For countless couples, the only hope of having a family lies in adoption. However, the mountains of paperwork, piles of red tape, pages of regulations and prerequisite stacks of cash make this procedure a daunting and often disappointing venture for many candidates. For these reasons, many would-be parents are going international for adoptions. One of the countries where international adoption is possible is Poland. It's not easy. It requires a rather lengthy stay in the country and the assistance and cooperation of international adoption agencies and government offices, but it is possible.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Decide if you would rather use the Polish Depart of International Adoptions or if you would rather work privately with the mother. Women who are wishing to place their child for private adoption generally advertise in newspapers and on the Internet. All arrangements are made privately between the adopting family and the mother and begin with contacting the mother via her e-mail. If you are under the age of 40, have your finances in order and have your heart set on a newborn, this is probably the best choice for you. If you would like an older baby or would consider siblings, adoptions services are preformed by government sponsored adoption agencies.
Ensure you meet the basic requirements for adopting a child. Couples must adopt the child jointly and must have been married for at least 5 years. The older spouse cannot exceed the child's age by more than 40 years.
Download, complete, and submit a formal application to a licensed Polish adoption agency or a local agency that is capable of handling international adoptions and have all qualifying documents translated into Polish. If you chose a private adoption, these documents will be given to a local attorney who will finalise the arrangments with the mother's family. The remaining instructions are for government sponsored adoptions.
Prepare for your home study and background investigations by the adoption agency. This process takes approximately three months, but when complete, you are preapproved for adoption. If you'd like to adopt more than one child, this is the time to bring it up.
Receive information cards containing basic information on children who are available for international adoption: physical description, health information, family information and information pertaining to the child's psychological development.
Go through the matching process where the adoption agency tries to find the best family for each available child.
Accept the Qualifying Commission offer and wait for approval for contact with the child.
Travel to Poland to meet the child in his current residence and make the final decision.
Make a formal declaration of willingness to become the parents of the child and submit the adoption application to the court in Poland.
Wait for court designated amount of "personal contact time," generally between two to three weeks. This time allows new parents and their child to begin bonding as a family.
Receive the court's final decision and, by Polish law, become the child's parents.
Wait three weeks to receive a new passport and birth certificate for the child.
Return to your home country as parents.
Tips and warnings
- The entire procedure lasts between two and three months and costs between £9,750 and £19,500, depending on accommodations while in Poland and whether or not you have agreed to pay for the birth mother's hospital bills.
- Preference is given to married heterosexual couples and Catholic families, though others are welcome to apply.
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