Adopting children is something thousands of couples and individuals choose to do every year, domestically and abroad. By adopting a child, adopters petition to be legally responsible for a child's welfare. An adopted child is susceptible to the same treatment in the law's jurisdiction as a biological child.
Adopting children from another country is called international adoption. For the most part, these adoptions are of older children who are being cared for and sometimes educated in an institutional, foster or orphanage environment. Adopting children through international agencies require more financial resources and time, as there are many travel, paperwork and philanthropic-related expenses as well as requirements to stay in an adoptee's country of origin for a certain amount of time.
Domestically adopting an older is far less costly than international adoption. Sometimes, the facilitation of an adoption through a public agency is called "free adoption." This means that the only fees are those paid for a home study. In public adoptions, it's common for home study fees to be waived or refunded.
Adopting older children has the advantage of adopting a child whose personality is already apparent. For adopters who do not have the time or desire to raise a child from infancy, older children are a great match. There are, however, a few cons to adopting older children. Adoptees who have been placed in the foster care system are more likely to have attachment disorders or other behavioral conditions, such as depression, anxiety or ADD/ADHD, according to survey results published in the chartbook Adoption USA.
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