The adoption process brings an influx of emotions for anyone who is remotely involved within the process. This is true whether one is a child awaiting an adoptive family, a family who is desperate for a child or a social worker hoping to find a match between a waiting child and a waiting family. There are as many types of adoption as there are types of families who pursue adoption in order to complete their family. Domestic, international, familial, transracial, special needs and older adoption are just some of the adoption options available for individuals and families to pursue (Adoption.com, 2009).
Whether a family is pursuing domestic (within the United States) or international adoption, many of the steps are similar, however international adoptions require an intensive paperwork collection, a knowledge of the sending country's culture and demanding financial costs. In order to understand the adoption process, an individual or family wishing to pursue adoption should conduct extensive research into the adoption process and choose an adoptive agency that is suited to their needs and beliefs. A quick perusal of the internet shows a multitude of agencies available both nationwide and worldwide, many with agency locations throughout the United States.
One such agency, Bethany Christian Services, offers extensive services to both birth parents and adoptive parents and has a multitude of locations and support services. "Bethany Christian Services began in 1944 as the fulfillment of a dream shared by two women, Marguerite Bonnema and Mary DeBoer. The agency now employs nearly 900 individuals and is the largest national adoption agency" (Bethany Christian Services, Working at Bethany, 2009). Bethany Christian Services houses its corporate offices in Grand Rapids, Michigan and offers "70 locations nationwide and services in 15 countries" (Bethany Christian Services, Working at Bethany, 2009).
One of the countries that Bethany Christian Services participates in international adoption with is China, which they began working with in 1992 and have two programs with. Per Bethany's website, "all adoptions in China are processed through The China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA) in Beijing, China (Bethany Christian Services, Working at Bethany, 2009). China is one of 77 countries who participate in the "Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention)" (Intercountry Adoption, 2009)). The agreement was "concluded on May 29th, 1993 in Hague, the Netherlands, and established international standards of practices for intercountry adoptions. The United States signed the convention in 1994, and the Convention entered into force for the United States in April 2008" (Intercountry Adoption, 2009). "Children of Promise is a program that Bethany Christian Services provides for chidlren with speical needs as many of the children from orphanages may have developmental or oganizational delays" (Bethany Christian Services, Working at Bethany, 2009).
In 2001, China reported having "25% of the children adopted by United States citizens" (International Adoption Facts, 2009) and continues to be the top country of choice for international adoptions. Of note, China's adoption to the United States increased three times from 1992 until 2001 while in 2003, there were 4,681 children placed in the United States (travel state Government, 2009). "In October, 2001 the China