Recently, I’ve touched base on the different types of adoptions nationally.


But what if you wanted to adopt a beautiful child from another country. Would the process still be the same? 


Unfortunately, it’s quite different. 


Let’s see how.

What Does the International Adoption Process 

In California, if you’re thinking about pursuing an intercountry adoption here’s what you can expect the process to look like:

  • Choose a country you want to adopt from. 
  • Pick a California international adoption agency.
    1. Apply to be eligible to adopt-Before you can adopt overseas in California, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services must give their approval. 
    2. Wait for an adoption opportunity-Once both the United States and the country you wish to adopt from deems you eligible, you’ll wait for an adoption opportunity. 
  • Apply for the child’s adoption eligibility. 
  1. Receive your child’s immigrant visa. When you travel to adopt your child, you’ll receive one of the following types of immigrant visas:
  • The IH-3 (Hague) or IR-3 (non-Hague) visa. 
  • The IH-4 or IR-4 visa. 

When there’s a foreign adoption, it’s always important to complete a re-adoption in the United States. Why?

Because it helps to ensure he/she gets the same legal rights as a U.S. citizen.

***It’s very important to note that as of January 1, 2020, under California Family Code (FC) 8919, ALL state residents who did an intercountry adoption in a foreign country are required to file a petition to readopt the child in a California court within 60 days of the child’s entry into the United States or prior to the child’s 16th birthday.***

What Are the Pros and Cons of an Intercountry Adoption?

As with any major adoption decision, there’s always some pros and cons. An intercountry adoption is a bit more complex. Here’s a few things to take into consideration:


  • More children available to adopt-both boys and girls, infants and older, healthy and special needs.
  • Parents and children are matched by either your adoption agency, the country’s adoption committee, or during an in-country visit.
  • You’ll know how long it will be before you have your child in your arms.
  • Birthmother will not change her mind. 
  • You’ll know more or less what the costs will be before you ever begin the process. 


  • You’ll (probably) have to travel to another country.
  • Cost is a lot higher.
  • You won’t get a newborn infant.
  • Child’s background and family medical history may be unknown. 
  • If a child was in an orphanage, they may have some developmental delays and other problems.
  • Birthmother may have received poor or no prenatal care.
  • You may not be able to trace the child’s birth parents.
  • There’s an excessive amount of paperwork and the process is longer.

If you’re interested in intercountry adoption in California, you’ll definitely want someone who is skilled in completing adoptions in the country you wish to adopt from. 

Here’s a few international adoption agencies in California to help you.