Things to consider

What you need to think about

Before you start thinking about what country you would like to adopt from, you should consider if you’re able to provide a stable, loving home to a child who may have special needs. You must be able to provide a safe and supportive environment until your child reaches independence, and in some cases for the rest of their life.

Children in need of adoption from overseas countries

While the age of children in need of intercountry adoption varies across partner countries, they are usually older, in sibling groups or may have special needs. Their language, culture and ethnicity may be different from your own and that of your community.

Many children are old enough to remember their birth family, and some may have lived in foster care, orphanages and other institutions.

What are special needs?

Each partner country has its own definition of special needs.

Generally, many of the children have special physical, mental or behavioural needs such as:

  • health problems ranging from minor to complex and requiring ongoing treatment
  • mild to severe developmental delay
  • difficult family or social history (including abuse)
  • physical and/or intellectual disability
What happened to their birth families?

There are many reasons a child may need to be adopted. Their parents or parent may have died or may be alive but unable to care for them.

If there aren’t enough families in the birth country to care for these children, then the central authority of the child’s birth country will decide if they can be placed for intercountry adoption.

More information