Many single adults and couples in Tennessee become interested in adoption as a way to start a family or add to the family that they already have. While some choose to adopt through private and state agencies, others may opt to look overseas for their child. Those who are interested in international adoption should take time to inform themselves about international adoption policies and trends.

A review of recent statistics shows that there has been a decline in international adoptions by US-based parents. The reasons for this decline vary and are in some cases related to political conflicts between the countries. For example, Russia has issued a ban on the adoption of its children by American parents in response to US objections to some of Russia’s human rights policies. Other countries have likewise slowed down or stopped US adoptions due to concerns about ethical problems with adoption agencies and policies.

In response to this slowdown, adoption advocates, such as the National Council for Adoption, are hoping that the state department and other officials will do more to address concerns about international adoption, ethics, and improprieties. Doing so will make adoption easier and safer for all parties, particularly children who may otherwise languish or even die in war-torn or impoverished countries.

Couples and individuals who are interested in adoption may wish to speak with an experienced attorney. The lawyer may be able to review the situation and make recommendations regarding adoption options and the legal complexities of adopting a child. Such guidance may be particularly important in international adoptions, where issues such as visas, citizenship, policy changes and background checks can become overwhelming.