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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Alternatives to Russian Adoption

10With Russia closed to Americans adopting, what’s a prospective adoptive parent to do?  You’re going to need to do your research on this one.  Many are the agencies and facilitators looking to sell you on their program, but just be sure that’s it’s a proven program.

Guinea pigs often spend their times running in circles and get nowhere.  You don’t want to be the one to test the waters for them in any foreign country where they have no previous experience.

Many parents looking to adopt in Russia are seeking babies and toddlers, healthy, usually Caucasian or slightly Asian.  That’s not really going to happen elsewhere.  Possible, though, so don’t give up hope.

All you need is one (or two, or three…)!

In my opinion, your best bet is to adopt from Ukraine.  We’ve written about it a couple of 11times here at 3-D.  And I quote:  “No upper age limit for parents, approximately school-age for children (few babies available unless they have an older sibling and you adopt both), about 1/2 the price of Russian adoption, one 5-6 week stay in country–or possibly make that into two trips, no agency necessary but a facilitator would be helpful.”



West of Russia, on the Black Sea and bordered by Russia, Poland, and Romania, Ukraine is a country whose time has come.  Number of adoptions from Ukraine to the US in 2011:  640.  I have a feeling that number will be skyrocketing.

Our second prospective country for adoptions is on the Black Sea, north of Greece and Turkey is… Bulgaria.  I’ve heard mixed reviews about this program which can take 2 to 3 years to complete, unless you’re adopting a special needs child.  Most of the children are Roma (gypsy), with a few Caucasian children available.  They may be 3 to 15 years of age and have at least minor special needs.

17Few age restrictions for potential parents, simply at least 15 years older than the child.  You may be married or single.  Two trips to Bulgaria are required, each about a week, with 3 to 4 months inbetween.  Number of adoptions from Bulgaria to the US in 2011:  75.

Our third country for prospecive adoptions is rather iffy.  Landlocked near Slovakia, Croatia, Austria, and Macedonia, we speak of Hungary.  Also Caucasian and Roma, the children available range from 6-16 years old.  The adoption may take 1-2 years.  Parents must be less than 45 years older than the child, and must be married unless a single woman wishes to petition for a child over 10.

The children often come from foster homes and receive good care.  You ORPHANSwill need to travel to Hungary for 6 weeks, similar to Ukraine.  After the referral, and should you decide to adopt the child, he/she comes to live with you in the apartment or hotel where you are staying.  The local social worker visits you over a period of weeks and makes observations and writes reports.  This determines whether or not you may adopt.

Here’s the rub:  Number of adoptions from Hungary to the US in 2011:   4.

Not promising.  We need to ask:  why so few?  Maybe the numbers will increase, but be careful for now.

That’s it, folks.  Three possible alternatives to Russia.  Do your research, proceed with caution, but don’t become discouraged.  There’s a child out there, waiting for you.



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7 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar hoonew says:

    Alexandra, I would love to hear your comments about Latvia at some point.

  2. avatar Cassandra says:

    Moldova sent only 3 children to the U.S. last year, though they were working on amendments to their adoption law. Now that they have been passed, it may open up more. Programs are telling families to expect kids of at least 4 years of age. Essentially children will have to have been in state care at least for 2 years before becoming available for foreign adoption.

    • avatar admin says:

      Thank you, hoonew and Cassandra, for sharing more countries with us. I don’t personally know anyone who’s adopted from these lands, but they also sound promising.

      Latvia doesn’t look bad at all, hoonew, bordered by Russia, Estonia, Lithuania and Belarus. With 56 adoptions to the US in 2011, it may be an up-and-coming program. The healthier children will probably be over the age of 8, or be sibling groups of at least three children. Marrieds and single women in the 25 to 50 age range can generally apply, maybe some leeway above the age of 50.

      The entire process in Latvia could take anywhere from 6-12 months, which is a good turnaround. On the down side, the second trip, about 2-3 months after the first two-week trip, usually requires a month-long stay. So that’s going to be about 6 weeks in country.

      Now, Moldova sounds interesting, Cassandra, from the age point of the children, if someone were interested in younger kids starting around the age of 4. With only 11 adoptions to the US in 2011, you’re right, it’s not so tried-and-true, but the fact is, “healthy” children ages 4-8 are available (and some claim even younger), along with special needs.

      Another plus is that there are two trips, but only one parent must travel, and the trips last about a week each! You have to travel to Bucharest, Romania to process the child’s visa, but still–. Moldova is located inbetween Ukraine and Romania, not far from the Black Sea, and fairly landlocked. This could be a winner for many, so let’s stay tuned and hope that this is not outdated info.

      Everyone let us know any other good ideas that are out there. 🙂

  3. avatar ap says:

    What is the latest on Russian adoptions? Is there any chance that the families with referrals will eventually be able to travel? What about those who have already been to court? It seems like a nightmare for those familes…..

    • avatar admin says:

      AP, those with Russian court approvals before 1/1/2013 will be allowed to proceed. There were about 50 families that fell into this category. The others, with referrals, or with first visits, or on second visits and preparing for court have not been able to proceed. The US Government is asking for further clarification on these cases. Our prayers are definitely with all of the families in limbo!

  4. avatar Kite says:

    Latvia!!! We have kids from Ukraine [2000] and Latvia [2003]. Older children in both countries… very healthy in Latvia!

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