If an international adoption is in your future, you are undoubtedly eager to welcome the child into your family.
However, an international adoption comes with some unique issues for which you should prepare as a parent-to-be.
Agencies in the child’s birth country may not be able to provide the actual date of birth of your soon-to-be son or daughter, although they will supply their best guess as to age. You can therefore choose a date on which to celebrate future birthdays.
The child may have health needs. For example, if living in an institutional environment, he or she may have had exposure to others who were ill, or perhaps nutritional needs were not met. Arrange a visit with a pediatrician as soon as possible once the child is in your care.
Language issues may exist, and you may have to teach the adoptive child some words for the sake of communication. You may want to engage the help of a translator or professional teacher. Young children are able to pick up another language quickly, but the effort becomes more difficult as they grow older.
Certain behavioral and religious beliefs may hinder the progress of a child upon entering a new culture. As an adoptive parent, you can help ease this transition by explaining the differences between the two cultures and what is expected of the child now that he or she is living in a new country.
An international adoption will be one of the most significant events you will ever have in your life. If you can manage the issues that accompany your adopted child, you will grow together and enjoy a wonderful, meaningful relationship.