... AdoptInternational:  Recent Press Coverage


Candace O'Brien Backs Madonna's International Adoption

October 17, 2006

Telemundo Television's international news program, Noticias, interviewed our Executive Director, Candace O'Brien, Esq, regarding Madonna's adoption of a child from Malawi, Africa. Download segment here.

Candace O'Brien interviewed by Telemundo

NBC Universal's Telemundo is the second largest Spanish language television network in the United States, second only to Univision. It's international media network is made up Spanish-language television channels worldwide.

Candace O'Brien Comments for Better Homes and Gardens Article: Navigating the Adoption Process: International Matter

[Extraction below.  Source: http://www.bhg.com]

International Matters

Finding a reliable agency isn't always easy. You can find agencies on the Internet or in the Yellow Pages of a city phone book, or call Adoptive Families for a thorough list. Also call the attorney general's office in the state where the agency operates and ask if any complaints are on file.

"Anyone going into an international adoption had better hang on and be ready," says U.S. adoption lawyer Candace O'Brien of Florida, who specializes in Bulgarian and Polish adoptions and spends much of her time in Munich, Germany. None of her cases have gone without a hitch. Potential hang-ups include uncertainty about a child's health, "shakedowns" from bureaucrats who want more money, and shifting policies in foreign countries.

Call the ones that seem to match your needs and ask for references; then call those references and quiz them. Improve your chances for a smooth international adoption by asking these questions:

What costs are included in the basic fee?

Will that fee cover your travel costs to the other country? What about travel within that country? Does it pay for translators, accommodations, Immigration and Naturalization Service processing fees, and notarizations?

What if our adoption falls through?

Find out what will happen if someone changes their mind on the other side of the world. If the foreign government temporarily shuts its adoption doors, then what? Get everything in writing that you can, including a description of what other programs will be available through the agency and whether the money you've paid will apply to such programs.

Will we be told about a child's health problems?

Some countries don't allow the adoption of healthy children by foreigners, so the agencies there exaggerate minor health problems. However, it also happens that serious problems are glossed over; once you bring the child to the United States, you are responsible for his health-care expenses from then on. Ask for a complete health history before adopting, and try to get a report on the parents' health, too. If the family has genetic problems, you need to know.

Finally, if you're adopting a child from an orphanage overseas, remember Candace O'Brien's words: "This is not a fairy tale. These children are not coming out of good circumstances; they're coming out of extremely disadvantaged backgrounds. That's why they're in the orphanages."

Fortunately, she has some reassuring news to report, too: "The vast majority of adoptive families are very happy. It usually works out very well."

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