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International Adoption

OUR PROGRAMS

KidsFirst International Adoption recently received our reaccreditation through Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity (IAAME) and have been Hague-accredited since 2007.  We are one of just a handful of Hague-accredited international adoption agencies. The Hague Convention has been ratified by more than 75 countries and was created as a way to establish protections for children, birth parents, and adoptive parents. Our commitment to ethical adoption practices means we only work in countries which have a clear process for declaring children orphans and in need of an adoptive family.

We place children from the ages of 1 year to 16 years. In recent years, we see mostly school age children or children with special needs. We are committed to finding loving homes for these children, and we work closely with adoptive families to understand their hopes and preferences. Sibling groups are also looking for homes.

Due to Hague requirements, all adoptive families must complete a minimum of 10 hours of adoption-related education before their home study can be finalized. We have partnered with Adoption Learning Partners and other professionals to offer this education online. The fees are set by ALP and are subject to change. KidsFirst also maintains a lending library and educational resource binder, both of which are available to families at all times.

We are very intentional in our work with children and families. if it is too much for the family, the child will not benefit from that placement. This is the reason we want to understand your limitations, taking into consideration personalities and ages of other children at home and your life commitments and expectations.

See our Information Packet.

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WHAT WE PROVIDE

One-On-One Communication

One-on-one communication with adoptive parents to ensure that they fully understand which programs and situations are best for them.

Responsive Help

Close communication with our representatives abroad and timely responses when issues arise.

Information

We will provide you with as much information as possible to ensure that both the needs of the child and adoptive family are considered as we find a match.

ADOPTION IN BULGARIA

Bulgaria has a very straight-forward and transparent adoption process, which generally requires short stays in Bulgaria. Our overseas team is knowledgeable about the well-being of the children and will provide information about the child’s health including the physical, social, and psychological development of the child. We always push for as much medical and social history as possible. We are always open to a consultation with the family, and provide honest and transparent answers to your questions. We have done adoption for over 22 years and will always share our knowledge with the family. We have a waiting child program in Bulgaria to match children with adoptive parents. We maintain constant communication with our overseas partners to find waiting children who will be a good match with our adoptive parents.

 

Parent Eligibility

  • Couples and single women
  • Must be at least 25 years old
  • Cannot be more than 50 years older than the child

Child Profiles

  • Children range in age from 2 to 15 years old.
  • We see that  most younger children have significant special needs, so we spend time talking to families regarding what they can and can’t handle.
  • Children are mostly raised in orphanages, however, they may also be in foster homes.
  • The children being placed for adoption are generally of Roma or Turkish descent. Bulgaria also has a large Slavic population.
  • Bulgaria provides very detailed referral information. Each child’s referral includes a picture, detailed medical report, and sometimes videos. Additional information can be provided through our international coordinators.
  • We see a reasonably short wait if families are open to adopt a child with Down Syndrome.
  • We see a number of sibling groups and children ages 10 and up.
  • We feel Bulgaria is a good fit for families who are open to older children and sibling groups and are hoping to adopt a child with Down Syndrome.
  • Adoption from Bulgaria is also a good fit for families who understand and are open to certain special needs.
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Average Wait

  • We have a waiting child program where we advocate for children who are older or have special needs. In this situation, there may be no wait time. Once the child has been selected by a family, a referral can be held up for 6 months while the necessary paperwork is completed. Contact us to find a list of current waiting children, and learn more about them.
  • It takes many, many years to adopt a young, healthy child in Bulgaria. This agency is always honest and transparent with families and doesn’t feel comfortable putting families in the position of a long, long wait with the way adoptions are going now. It is always subject to change though.
  • Bulgaria is the right country for families where there is an interest in:
    1. Adoption of a child with Down Syndrome (age 1 and up)
    2. Older children and sibling groups
    3. An identified special need

Travel

Families travel approximately 2-3 months after accepting a referral. The first trip lasts 1 week, and both parents must travel. The second trip takes place 3-4 months after the first. This trip is 1 week long and only one parent must travel, if both cannot. Bulgaria allows one trip now due to the situation with COVID.

The court date for a Bulgarian adoption is not attended by the family, and takes place in the time between both trips.

Requirements & Process

To begin a Bulgarian adoption, each family must complete a Hague-approved home study and dossier. We walk our families through each step of the dossier process, which is shorter for Bulgaria than for most countries.

Once these two steps are complete, they will be submitted to Bulgaria’s Ministry of Justice.

ADOPTION IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

KidsFirst International Adoption began working in the Dominican Republic in February 2016. Our partner in the country is Madelaine Diaz Jimenez.

 

Parent Eligibility

  • Married couples only
  • Must be married at least 5 years
  • Must be at least 30 years old, and no more than 50 years older than the child 

Child Profiles

Children up for adoption in the Dominican Republic are generally orphaned due to voluntary or involuntary termination of parental rights, the death of a parent, or the inability of a parent to provide adequate care because they already have children or are parenting a child with special needs. Many children are abandoned at the hospital after birth.

Average Wait

  • The wait time to receive a child referral depends on your medical preferences and the age of the child.
  • Long wait for younger healthy children under the ages of 7-8.
  • For children older than 8, a family  may  be matched within a few months.
  • Waiting child program (similar to Bulgaria).
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Travel

Prospective parents are required to travel for one trip. Both parents must be in the country for approximately 5 weeks for a socialization and cohabitation period.
After this time, one parent may return home, giving the other parent power of attorney to complete the legal process, which can take an additional 2.5 to 3 months. Friends of family members may join the parent in the Dominican Republic for the remainder of the trip.

Requirements & Process

To begin a Bulgarian adoption, each family must complete a Hague-approved home study and dossier. We walk our families through each stop of the dossier process, which is shorter for Bulgaria than for most countries.

Once these two steps are complete, they will be submitted to Bulgaria’s Ministry of Justice.

ADOPTION IN POLAND

KidsFirst International Adoption began working in Poland in July 2015. Our partner in the country is Marta Kuczewska.

Parent Eligibility

  • Couples and single women
  • Couples must be married for at least 3 years
  • Must be at least 25 years old, and no more than 40 years older than the child
  • At least one parent must be a US citizen

Child Profiles

Children up for adoption in Poland are generally orphaned due to voluntary or involuntary termination of parental rights, the death of a parent, or the inability of a parent to provide the child with adequate care. There are many sibling groups and children with medical needs who are available for adoption. Children over 13 years old must give their consent for an adoption to take place. The children are generally raised in orphanages or foster homes.

Average Wait

  • The wait time to receive a child referral depends on your medical preferences and the age of the child.
  • Time frames change. Please call our office or email us to schedule a consultation and we will provide information about the current wait time.
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Travel

Prospective parents are required to travel for one longer trip (approximately 8 weeks), or two separate trips (approximately one week for the first, and six weeks for the second). The duration of the trips depends on the decision of a judge, and the region where the child resides. Poland requires a bonding period for adoptive parents to acquaint with the child. This can take 10 days to a month.​​Both parents are required to be in the country during this time, and children from the family are encouraged to attend as well. After the bonding period, there will be a court hearing that both parents must attend. After this hearing, one parent may leave the country if needed. It takes about 2-3 weeks to receive the court’s official approval.

Requirements & Process

To begin a Polish adoption, each family must complete a Hague-approved home study and dossier. The dossier requires a medical certificate and FBI clearance. We walk our families through each step of the dossier process.

Once these two steps are complete, they will be submitted to Poland.

ADOPTION IN UKRAINE

This agency is very excited to work with adoptions in Ukraine since this is where KidsFirst director, Inna Pecar, is originally from. Inna understands the culture, language, and the needs of the children. Ukraine is not a Hague country yet but does require families that adopt to follow the Hague process. Single men and women are not allowed to adopt from Ukraine. Ukraine approves families that are heterosexual couples only. Ukraine does not provide medical information on the child before traveling. KidsFirst connects families with doctors which specialize in the adoption field to help families understand the disabilities of children. We have over 22 years of experience in international adoptions. At KidsFirst, we are dedicated to guiding you through every step of the process including home studies, trip preparation, understanding medical disabilities of children, etc. We work hard to provide as much information as possible about children’s social, medical and psychological background. We ask a lot of questions about children’s medical and emotional needs and their personalities to make sure families are as prepared as possible.

Parent Eligibility

  • Couples
  • Must be at least 25 years old, and no more than 50 years older than the child

Child Profiles

Children up for adoption in Ukraine are generally 5 years or older. Sibling groups may include a younger child. Ukrainian children typically have Caucasian features.

Average Wait

  • Usually adoptive parents travel to Ukraine 2-4 months after the dossier is accepted by the Department for Adoptions and Protection of the Rights of Children.
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Travel

Families’ travel on their first trip is generally around 2-4 months after submitting their dossier is accepted. This trip can be up to 1 month in length, and both parents must travel.
Families generally travel for their second trip 1-2 months later. This trip generally lasts only 7-9 days, and it is acceptable for only one parent to travel.

Requirements & Process

To begin a Ukrainian adoption, each family must complete a home study and dossier. We walk our families through each step of the dossier process. The family can begin planning their travels once the ministry has accepted their submitted dossier documents.

Fill Out the Form Now to Get the Process Started

Parenting Internationally Adopted Children

Adoptive Family Resource Packet (from KidsFirst)

This is a broad resource guide to:

      • Medical and Counseling Contacts
      • Adoption-Friendly Language
      • Adoption Books
      • Funding Resources for Adoption
      • Promoting Attachment and Bonding
      • Embracing Culture, Heritage, and Race
      • Arriving Home with Your Child
      • Creating a Life Book

Dr Federici’s 10 Session Series on Raising Challenging Children

Dr Federici speaks to the challenges of raising young people successfully out of orphanages and the special challenges and successful strategies for growing them to adulthood. This 10 video series on Vimeo is available for pay-per-view download.

Dr. Federici’s Help For The Hopeless Child​

A Guide for Families (with Special Discussion for Assessing and Treating the Post-Institutionalized Child)

Adopting the Hurt Child: Hope for Families with Special-Needs Kids

A Guide for Parents and Professionals by Gregory Keck and Regina Kupecky can be purchased on Amazon.com

Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow by Gregory Keck and Regina Kupecky

This paperback offers effective suggestions, wisdom, and advice to parent the hurt child in your life and can be purchased on Amazon.com.

Health and Developmental Considerations for Children Adopted Internationally

Adoption Medicine: Improving the Health and Wellbeing of Adopted Children

Todd (2016)
Adoption Advocate, 92
Offers an overview of adoption medicine, including the roles pediatricians and specialized adoption medicine physicians play before, during, and after the adoption process.

Health Considerations

U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs
Provides information about the health of children adopted from other countries and the health information that is provided to prospective adoptive parents. Describes the medical exam required for all internationally adopted children.

International Adoption: Immigrant and Refugee Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Discusses health problems that may be present in children adopted internationally and links to news resources relating to health considerations for these children.

International Adoption Project

University of Minnesota
Describes a clinic that specializes in medical services for children who were adopted internationally.

Medical Issues in Adopted Children: How Can Adoption Agencies Best Support Parents Before, During, and After Adoption?

Schulte (2020)
Adoption Advocate, 142
Compiles information for adoption professionals and parents on handling medical conditions or medical issues in adopted children and when an adoption medicine physician should be involved.
Preadoption and Postadoption Medical Assessments

Adopting a Child From Another Country (Intercountry Adoption)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Outlines medical considerations for when adopting a child from another country and highlights the importance of medical reviews as part of the process.

Comprehensive Health Evaluation of the Newly Adopted Child

Jones, Schulte, & Council on Foster Care, Adoption, and Kinship Care (2019)
Pediatrics, 143(5)
Addresses the elements of a complete health evaluation of a newly adopted child, including the preadoption visit, current and past medical history, and referral for diagnostic evaluation.

International Adoption Medicine (S1:E18)Podcast]

Children's Hospital Colorado (2017)
Offers a podcast featuring experts in the field of international adoption discussing medical support for families adopting internationally. The discussion explores why international adoptions require a different medical approach than domestic adoptions and why pre- and postadoption medical assessments are necessary. The podcast also discusses expectations and guidelines for these assessments, and more.

Internationally Adopted Children: Important Information for Parents

HealthyChildren.org
Provides an overview of medical evaluations for children adopted from other countries, including what to expect during the first medical visit, a checklist of what a doctor should do, information on growth and nutritional issues, and more.

Medical Examination

U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs
Reviews how prospective adoptive parents should request a comprehensive medical evaluation of their adopted child and should be aware of the unique health issues children adopted internationally may face.

The Role of Pre-Placement Medical Review in Contemporary Adoptions: Setting Expectations, Assessing a Child's Needs, and Supporting Successful Family Formation

Johnson (2019)
Adoption Advocate, 131
Discusses pediatricians' roles in the adoption process and describes how new knowledge about adversity in early childhood has expanded the medical field's understanding about risk factors for medical, developmental, emotional, and behavioral issues in adopted children.

Intercountry adoption clinics and doctors

Foster Care, Domestic and International Adoption

University of Minnesota
Describes a clinic that specializes in medical services for children who were adopted internationally.

International Adoption Center

Cincinnati's Children Hospital Medical Center
Describes the services provided by the Center, including pre-adoption consultation, postadoption evaluation, and its research program.

International Adoption Clinic

Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital
Provides services before, during, and after international adoption to help assess and manage medical needs commonly seen in adoptions from other countries.

International Adoption Health Program

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Supports the healthcare needs of families who have adopted internationally and provides pre- and postadoption counseling, therapy, and other services for children with special developmental needs.

International Adoption Medical Clinics

International Adoption Help (2017)
Supplies a directory of clinics and doctors who specialize in international adoption medicine.

Program Specific Information about Children Available

International Adoption Children Info (from KidsFirst)​

Support for Birth Injuries

Birth Injury Resources

            Sokolove Law is an established national law firm and has decades of experience handling birth injury medical malpractice claims. Sokolove's lawyers   
            understand the suffering that families affected by birth injuries go through. They will work with families to understand their unique situation
            and fight for compensation.

CHIP Handbook of Help

HandBook of Help Download

            A reference handbook that provides multiple direct providers by sections such as: housing, healthcare, food pantries and more. 

INDYCOC

HandBook of Help Download

            A reference handbook that provides multiple direct providers by sections such as: housing, healthcare, food pantries and more.