Q How can LAN agencies help me adopt a child?
LAN agencies work in partnership with you to accomplish the entire international adoption process. You will begin the process by working with a local agency in your state of residence to complete the preliminary applications, the adoption home study, and education/training. You will also work with one of our placing agencies to complete the child referral or matching process as well as travel to bring your child home. Think of your local social worker as a “primary care physician” who will remain a resource to your family throughout the process, while the placing agency’s country coordinator is the “specialist” who knows the country’s regulations and procedures best. Through the structure of LAN, these two agencies and professionals are able to work collaboratively to make the adoption process as seamless as possible.
Q Do I have to be Lutheran to work with a LAN agency?
No, our agencies will work with families regardless of their religious affiliation. What is most important is your desire and ability to parent a child who needs a loving family.
Q What are the basic steps in adopting internationally?
Click here to review the general steps in the process.
Q What is a dossier?
The dossier is the collection of documents required by the foreign country. Documents vary by country (as do fees and timetables) but usually include birth and marriage certificates, police clearances, employment letters, financial and medical statements, letters of reference, and the home study. The documents must be notarized and depending on country, may need additional levels of county, state or federal certification.
Q Why are fees and time frames subject to change?
International adoption procedures are entirely the purview of the country and agencies have no control over the decision making of government officials regarding adoption policies. Changes can occur at any time that may affect both the timing and the cost of adoption, however some countries tend to be more “stable” in this regard than others. A good agency will communicate constantly with their in-country staff so that they are aware of changes which may be forthcoming, and will try their best to share that information with waiting parents as soon as possible. Change is not always predictable, however, and families adopting internationally must be flexible.
Q Is travel always required?
In almost all countries, travel by at least one parent is required. Parents are encouraged to travel for their adoption, regardless of the country’s travel requirements. It is an amazing opportunity to see your child’s birth country and experience the culture.
Q What information can we receive about our child?
Both the quality and the quantity of information varies depending on the country. Some programs can provide parents with a social and developmental history, medical/physical evaluation, and photographs. Others are only able to obtain the most minimal basic information. In many countries, resources are so limited that no background information is available until after a child has been in care of an orphanage. Sometimes, for this reason, the younger the child the less information there will be.
Q How long will the process take?
Following the completion of the home study in your state, which usually takes about 3 months, an adoption placement through a LAN agency generally occurs within 12 months. See our individual Country Fact pages for more details on time frames for each country.
back to top