Adopting a child is a great and noble thing to do. With so many children in the world looking for families and homes, being able to offer that is surely giving the greatest gift on Earth. At the same time for many families who are unable to have children of their own, it’s a fantastic solution that can help fill a void in their lives meaning that everyone wins.
However with strict laws and regulations and a long queue facing anyone who wants to adopt a native child, good intentions can often end up going to waste. At the same time when there are countries around the world where orphan children live in much more severe conditions, many families feel they can do much more to help a child from abroad. Rather than waiting in a queue for potentially several years, why not open your home and heart to a foreign child and potentially help them to avoid a much worse fate?
Why People Are Looking for Orphans from Europe
With this in mind many people might opt to adopt a child from Europe, and in many ways this makes sense. For one, a European child is more likely to be more accustomed to a Western way of life. Likewise a European child will most likely be white, which means they won’t be as likely to notice that they’re ‘different’ (and nor will their classmates) – and that additionally means that the adoptive parents don’t have to break the news until they choose to do so. Of course it’s also just a lot easier to adopt children from Europe where there is a better infrastructure in place compared to developing countries.
Why it’s a Mistake
But then if you’re choosing an adoptive child to be Westernised and want to avoid the difficulties involved in an international adoption – then why not just stay domestic? By adopting a domestic child you will be adopting one who is much more likely to fit in and to be happy in their new home, and when there are so many children in need of adoption right at home why look further afield?
And the thing with European orphans is that they don’t need adoption in the same way as African children. In fact the domestic waiting lists for hopeful parents in most of Western Europe are already ‘too long’ – so you can forget any hopes of adopting a child from the British Isles, from France or from Germany. The simple fact of the matter here is that there are fewer children to begin with (as few families are so poor as to be unable to support their children and because of the lower birth rate), and many more local couples looking to adopt. Your best chance of adopting a child from Western Europe would be to first migrate and become a citizen in that country and even then you’d have a long wait ahead of you.
So that leaves you with Eastern Europe as your only real option, but there are problems here too. Already the numbers of children available are still much lower than in countries such as Guatemala or Ethiopia and you will be competing with a greater number of people. At the same time though it’s important to recognize that when you adopt a child from Eastern Europe there are no ‘uniform rules’ pertaining to the process across the EU. In other words every country has its own procedures and requirements for adoption, and there are fewer charities and organizations in place to facilitate the process.
The fact remains too that conditions in countries such as Hungary are not as serious as developing countries in Africa where you can save a child from starvation and AIDs. Hungary still has a health system in place, many natural resources such a coal and fertile soil, no real corruption and a high life expectancy.
With a greater need in other continents, and a much larger number of children, it surely only makes sense to adopt from there if you want to make a difference, and with much better infrastructure and fewer potential complications you’d otherwise be best sticking to an American child.
How to Adopt
That said there are still some organizations in place to help you adopt a child from Europe should you wish, such as ‘Adoption Ark’ which can help to organize adoptions from European countries such as Bulgaria, the Ukraine and Hungary and which will encourage a trip to your chosen country first. To get the process started, search for an international adoption agency that deals with European countries, and make sure to do as much research as you possibly can on the subject – particularly into the laws in that particular region – before you make a commitment to that course of action.