A Change in International Adoption:

Insights & Guidance

At Tate Healey Webster, we are not just witnesses to the evolution of international adoption—we’re dedicated participants in the journey that brings families together. With international adoptions becoming more infrequent, the importance of each family’s story grows. In 2022, we saw 1,517 such stories unfold, and although we anticipate fewer every year, each number holds a world of joy and connection.

Why the Decline?

There are multiple factors contributing to the decrease in international adoptions:

  • Preference Policies: Countries give preference to families of heritage, which can limit the pool of eligible adoptive parents from other backgrounds.
  • Agency Accreditation: With only 91 agencies left in the entire U.S. and many not renewing their accreditation, the infrastructure supporting international adoptions is shrinking.
  • Cost and Time: The cost and time it takes to complete an international adoption can be daunting.

For instance:

  • Colombia: 235 adoptions with an average completion time of 442 days and an average cost of $41,432.
  • India: 223 adoptions with an average completion time of 705 days and an average cost of $36,122.


These figures show the significant investment families must make, not just financially but also in time and emotional commitment.


Choosing Your Path

The decision between domestic and international adoption is deeply personal. While international adoption can preserve a child’s cultural roots, it also comes with a complex legal process.

If the adoption is finalized in the foreign country and you are back home in the U.S., we can provide legal assistance through Florida’s Recognition of Foreign Adoption process so you can acquire a Florida Certificate of Foreign Birth.

If you are, as a part of the foreign process, given custody or guardianship, and then need to finalize in the U.S., we can provide heartfelt guidance and finalize your adoption in the U.S.

Looking Ahead

As we look forward to the rest of 2024, we are here to support the families involved in international adoption. Tate Healey Webster, with 40 years of practice, offers consultations to suit your unique legal needs. Please contact us at (813) 258-3355 or email [email protected]; we are happy to help.

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