Raymond W. Godwin

Assisting Families For More Than 25 Years

Our Practice Is Limited to Adoption & Children's Law

New film "Lion" shows complexity of international adoption

A new film entitled Lion is set to debut in theaters on November 25. The film, starring Australian-American actress Nicole Kidman, is based on a non-fiction book by an Indian-born author that tells the story of his birth in India, separation from his mother, life with adoptive parents in Australia and the search to locate his biological mother.

Kidman is a good fit for her role in the movie because she adopted two children of her own in the 1990s during her marriage to actor Tom Cruise. Her life as a twice-married dual citizen actress with adopted children shows the custodial complexities of adoptive parenthood. Likewise, her role in the film Lion could spark interest in international adoption.

As many as 3,000 couples in South Carolina seek to become adoptive parents every year. They are regular families with one goal in mind - adopt a child who needs a loving home. Your desire to adopt internationally is noble, but it is not without its legal challenges. When considering international adoption, it is important to understand the barriers you may face in the process.

Natural disasters

Overseas natural disasters such as earthquakes or hurricanes create unique challenges to international adoption. An unexpected event can create short-term delays in adoption due to a potential disease outbreak or separation of families.

These delays ensure that a sick child does not leave home without a plan to receive care. Further, a child who is homeless or orphaned as a result of an earthquake or storm could still be placed with other relatives.

Uncooperative governments

Just like our Presidential election could bring foreign policy changes, there are international leaders elected around the world who are sometimes unfriendly to the United States. The U.S. State Department handles policy for intercountry adoption at the highest level of the federal government and works around the world in the interest of U.S. citizens.

The election of an international leader who is adversarial to the United States could change his or her country's adoption policies on a whim. Adoption lawyers are aware of the global landscape and can share advice on how to avoid complications with international adoption

What's the first step?

The adoption process takes about a year to complete. By speaking with a lawyer, you and your spouse can reach your goal of starting or growing your family through international adoption.

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