Weighty Issue

Experts specializing in Korean adoptions say that if you want to adopt a child from Korea, you shouldn't weigh more than 30% over the normal weight for your height. Korean agencies often specify this when working with agencies within the United States. If you're considering an international adoption, you can expect to be asked to submit to a weigh-in. If the agency isn't happy with your weight, you may need to switch agencies.

Vaguely Unsavory

Does this seem prejudiced and vaguely unsavory? The truth is that every nation has its own specific requirements for prospective adoptive couples. In general, such requirements relate to age, number of children already living with the couple, and the stability of the couple's marital environment: How many times have you been divorced? How many years have you been married? Last, but not least, when the prospective parent is single, gender will be considered an important qualifying or disqualifying factor.

Single prospective parents, regardless of gender, should forget about adopting a child from Sri Lanka, Thailand, or Armenia (as a start).  Many countries will just not countenance single parent adoption. But how's this for a qualifying factor for adoption? If you want to adopt a child from St. Lucia, you don't have to live there, but must own property on that island.

Arbitrary Requirements

Some of these more arbitrary requirements may leave you scratching your head, and wondering if it's worth the trouble. For instance, in Slovakia, you have to establish long-term residency in the country and must remain there for the entire process of adoption which can take up to 2 years.

Then there's homophobia. China won't accept any adoption applications from gay men while many countries have laws that are specific about denying adoption to same-sexed couples.

If things are so hinky outside of the U.S., why bother with international adoption at all? Well, for one thing, domestic adoption comes with age restrictions whereas in countries like Greece, Russia, and Mexico, adoptive parents can still apply at age 60. That makes it possible for an older couple to become parents. The truth is that in some countries, such as in the Ukraine, there are no age limits set for adoptive parents. The only thing that will matter is their suitability as prospective parents as determined during an interview and evaluation.

Amusing Limitations

While some of these restrictions and limitations are curious or even amusing, we bring them to you to serve as a reminder that if you seek to adopt a child through international adoption, it pays to familiarize yourself with the individual restrictions and personal sensibilities of that particular nation.