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Envisioning a World Where Every Child has a Loving Family

Are you called to be the answer to one of millions who live without the hope of being loved by a family? Bethany can partner with you to address the global orphan crisis. You bring your passion for orphans and we'll bring our agency's expertise, integrity and high quality of service to aid in the adoption process.

See Bethany's statement about changes to our intercountry adoption fees

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Explore international adoption by downloading your free copy of The Adoption Journey.


Let us know you're interested in starting the international adoption process by submitting your free Preliminary Application.


Connect with us and get more detailed information about the adoption process by searching for a Discover Bethany Adoption event in your area.

Meet The Children

More About The Children

Waiting is certainly difficult, especially if what you’re waiting for is a family. These waiting children have experienced things like being abandoned, living in an orphanage, malnutrition, and more. Many of these children are older; have grown up in an orphanage; have emotional, cognitive, or physical special needs; or need to be adopted with their siblings.

Many of these children will be given the chance to thrive if they are adopted into your loving family. Can you find a place in your heart to love one of these children?

Adoption Story

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What is the power of one seemingly powerless child? “Benjamin's super-power is charisma,” said his adoptive father, Dennis. “There's something about him that draws people in and challenges their assumptions about disabilities once they have the chance to experience Benjamin.” 

Benjamin's influence has rippled out from his neighborhood to his school to international circles, where top-level discussions are shaping the future of orphan care in China. But the people who have been the most radically transformed by this 9-year-old boy with Down syndrome are his adoptive parents, Dennis and Sarah. 

In early 2004, with their 2-year-old daughter Emily in tow, Dennis and Sarah commenced the process of international adoption. Based on their lengthy experience working with people with developmental disabilities, the two social workers had decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome. “In looking through some of Bethany's information, we saw Benjamin,” Dennis said. “He leaped off the page at us, and I thought, 'There's our son.'” 

Late in 2004, the couple went to Hong Kong and returned with Benjamin. Hong Kong has a well-developed social agency network. But Dennis began to wonder, what if Benjamin had been born in mainland China, where conditions are much different. What would his life have been like as a child with Down syndrome? 

That question and the search for answers drove Dennis to undertake graduate studies in 2007 at the University of Louisville. Then in 2009, as he was framing his doctoral dissertation, Dennis met Bethany's international director. This had a profound impact on Dennis's understanding of orphan care. He has come to believe that there is no substitute for a family in the lives of children. 

In addition to difficulties with attachment and emotional development, the severe neglect that is often experienced by children in institutional settings has been linked with adverse physical changes. Research has shown that the brains of children in orphanages literally shrink, resulting in cognitive deficits and behavioral issues. 

“Kids get what they need in families,” Dennis insists. “Families are uniquely designed to provide children with the emotional inputs, the physical inputs, the safety, the protection, the attachments, etc.—those things occur in families.” 

Yet like so many other countries, China has poured its resources into developing its orphanages. Is there, Dennis wondered, another, far more beneficial approach? Late in 2009, Dennis went to China to research the answers for his dissertation. After his return, he was brought in as a consultant to Bethany as they applied for a 
$2.2 million USAID grant to change the way that orphan care is done in China. Bethany received the grant and subsequently invited Dennis to join their international team.

Bethany's family- and community-based orphan care vies with the institutional approach in China. But “there's some pretty amazing stuff happening. Bethany is hoping that the evidence produced from this work will help to drive some of the discussion at the table.” 

It all started with one small boy with Down syndrome. And ultimately it comes full circle, back to Benjamin and the family he has shaped in ways he does not fully understand.

“Adopting Benjamin has been the most phenomenal event that has ever happened in our lives. It has opened new worlds to us in so many different ways,” Dennis said. “Benjamin is a door or a gateway into something bigger, and I think a lot of people have travelled through that gateway. I see that as being God at work.” 

What does it cost to adopt a child from another country?

International Adoption Fee Calculator

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 * For itemized fee information and cost comparison chart, please click here

Financial Assistance

Cost may be at the top of your mind when deciding whether adoption is right for your family. And while costs vary by state, you may find that the bottom line is less than you think. This is especially the case when you consider the adoption tax credit, employer benefits and other sources of aid. You will receive full adoption fee information when you contact your local Bethany office and attend an informational meeting.

Bethany’s Statement Regarding New Intercountry Adoption Fees

As of February 1, 2018, the U.S. Department of State notified adoption service providers about substantial fee increases associated with obtaining and maintaining accreditation by the federal government, which is required to provide intercountry adoption services. In addition to the increased fee for adoption service providers, adoptive families would also see an extra cost, potentially deterring loving families from welcoming vulnerable children into their homes.

Bethany’s primary commitment is, and always will be, the safety and well-being of children here in the United States and around the world; thus we are committed to complying fully with the Hague Convention and ensuring that adoption practices protect the rights of children and both birth and adoptive families. To that end, we understand the concerns of the Department of State regarding failures of the monitoring and oversight procedures currently in place. Understanding the reasons does not negate our concern that the additional fee to be passed through to prospective adoptive families will have a negative effect on the families stepping forward to meet the needs of children who are waiting for a forever family.  We are hopeful that there can be a delay in implementation to allow for greater dialogue with stakeholders. This delay will offer time to explore other options for providing monitoring and oversight to extend critical protection to vulnerable children around the world and to lessen this burden on prospective adoptive families.

While IAAME, the new accrediting entity, will begin collecting fees on new applicants for intercountry adoption as of February 15, 2018, our hope is that families and individuals across the country can come together to support families in their efforts to provide permanence for children in need. Providing and supporting families for children is at the core of our heart and our mission, and we encourage those who have interest to contact your local representative to advocate for further dialogue and a better solution for waiting children around the world.

For more information on this matter, click here.

International Adoption - Family Stories

Hague Accreditation

Council On Accreditation Logo

The practice of international adoption is regulated by The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. The Hague provides guidelines to agencies in order to protect the best interests of internationally adopted children.

Bethany is accredited by the U.S. Department of State’s Council on Accreditation for all of the specific services we provide including compliance with the Hague Convention requirements. We work hard to ensure that high ethical standards are upheld in each and every adoption facilitated by Bethany.