peasant farmers drowning newborn girls in buckets of water have been commonplace for
centuries. Now, however, as a direct result of the one-child policy, the number of baby
girls being abandoned, aborted, or dumped on orphanage steps is unprecedented.
Adoption is procedure by which people legally assume the role of parents for a
person who is not their biological child. Adopted children become full members of
their adopted family and have the same legal status as biological children. Although
the majority of people who adopt are married couples, many single people also adopt.
Many people seek to adopt when they discover that they cannot give birth to biological children. Others adopt children to add new members to a family that
includes biological children. Many people adopt simply to give a home and family to
children who might not otherwise have them. Likewise, children become available for
adoption for a variety of reasons. Some children are orphans. Some biological
parents make arrangements for their children to be adopted because they cannot care
for them due to illness or personal problems. Other children are abandoned by their
biological parents (Adoption, CD-ROM).
Adoption is a common practice throughout the world and throughout history. However, laws regulating adoption vary from country to country. People seeking to
adopt in a country other than the one in which they live, a process known as international adoption, should familiarize themselves with the laws of that country.
Similarly, although every province recognizes adoption, provincial laws regarding
specific aspects of adoption vary.
A significant number of people seek to adopt children from other countries, a
process known as international adoption. People seek to adopt abroad for many
reasons. Many people want to adopt an infant or a very young child. Some also
hope to adopt children who share their ethnic heritage. Such prospective parents may
find a shortage of suitable children available for adoption in Canada. Publicity
regarding the availability of infants in a particular country also encourages some
people to seek to adopt there. Many people adopt abroad because of anxieties
regarding domestic adoptions, especially fears that the birth mother will refuse to
proceed with an arranged adoption after she gives birth to the child. In a few,
well-publicized cases in the United States, biological parents have attempted to
reclaim their child years after it was adopted, adding to the worries of prospective
parents (Adoption Services, Internet).
Three methods can be used for international adoption. The majority of prospective adoptive parents use an adoption agency. Others consult adoption
facilitators in Canada. Some prospective parents choose to establish direct communication with contacts in a particular country. Many
adoption agencies place children from other countries. These agencies are familiar
with the adoption laws of foreign countries and usually maintain contacts in countries
where many children are waiting to be adopted. Agencies send information about the
adoptive parents directly to their contacts, who then locate an appropriate child for
the adoptive parents (Adoption, CD-ROM).
Facilitators in the United States also help prospective parents locate suitable
children abroad. Facilitators usually have foreign contacts who help resolve legal
issues pertaining to adoption in a particular country. In some cases, facilitators travel
to other countries and directly assist in adoptions. Prospective parents can also work
with facilitators in another country or deal directly with foreign institutions, such as
orphanages (Adoption, CD-ROM).
People who wish to adopt abroad must follow the procedures and...