Giving birth to a baby is an exciting life event and many young couples can't wait to have their own children. But what happens if a couple out of different reasons cannot have children? First of all, it shouldn't be a reason for worrying because nowadays artificial insemination is more frequent than 10 years ago. On the other hand, there is always the possibility of adopting a child. Many couples take into consideration that possibility.
The number of couples or individuals wanting to adopt children from overseas, especially from developing countries has grown. Between 1995 and 2006, the annual global number of intercountry adoptions nearly doubled from 22,000 to almost 40,000 - They may follow the example of different celebrities who recently adopted kids from poor countries, above all Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
As announced by the African Child Policy Forum, the number of international adoptions has increased in the last eight years and Africa is becoming the new frontier for inter-country adoption. The biggest problem is that adoption has been commercialised in African countries, especially in Ethiopia, where many children are traficked and sold by their parents. UNICEF indicated in a report from 2007 that there were around 5,000,000 orphans in Ethiopia.
Nowadays it is easier to adopt a child from an African country than one from countries including China, South Korea, Guatemala, Russia, Romania and Ukraine as they have tightened up eligibility rules and shut down or limited overseas adoption.
But adopting a child from another continent also means the loss of his ethnic, religious and cultural identity and may expose children traumatized by the loss or separation from their parents to further trauma and long-term emotional problems. It is difficult to integrate a child into a society which is completely different to its original background. Of course it depends on the age of the kid, it's easier with a baby than with a 10- year old kid.
In general if you want to adopt a kid you should follow these steps:
- Check your eligibility. The only legal requirement for adoption is that you are over 21 years of age. There is no set upper limit for adoption, but most agencies will only accept potential parents who are less than 45 years older than the child they wish to adopt
- The next step is to contact an adoption agency in Great Britain. Please keep in mind that you can only apply at one single agency.
- Before you adopt you should think about the fees which are expensive in the case of international adoptions. There's also lots of paperwork and background checks and research to be done but if you have a qualified and ethical agency, they will guide you through the process.
- The time of the whole process could last from 1 to 3 years depending on the government of the country.
- Please keep in mind that adopting a child in an illegal way has legal consequences.
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