Adoption FAQs

Young siblings together at a parkAs prospective adoptive parents look to interview and select an international adoption agency they will have many questions and concerns. Below are questions commonly asked by families at the beginning of the adoption journey. We are happy to schedule initial consultations to answer your individual questions. Please contact us.

Is MLJ Adoptions a Hague adoption agency?

We are a Non-Profit Hague-Accredited adoption service provider based in Indianapolis, Indiana. We were previously a Hague-Approved Agency since 2008. 

In what countries does MLJ Adoptions have international adoption programs?

MLJ Adoptions has programs in Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Samoa, Ukraine, and a growing list of country programs. We may also serve as a primary provider for other countries.

What other services does MLJ Adoptions provide?

The MLJ Adoptions Social Services Department will conduct home studies for Indiana residents wishing to complete a domestic adoption or international adoption.

What makes MLJ Adoptions different from other adoption agencies?

We feel that our team, comprised of an experienced, interdisciplinary group of professionals, is one aspect that sets us apart. Our program directors have each united more than 180 children with their forever families. Our compassionate and knowledgeable Social Services team is dedicated to supporting families before, during and after placement. Collectively, our staff have personally adopted ten children with three more adoptions in progress. We also believe that our commitment to community building is a distinguishing factor; MLJ Adoptions is committed to building an adoption community through the organization of online forums, cultural events, seminars and social media. Additionally, MLJ Adoptions fervently advocates for orphans and vulnerable children worldwide. We are focused on serving children in need.

Who can be an MLJ Adoptions’ client family?

MLJ Adoptions is happy to serve families across the United States and around the world who are interested in international adoption.

Is MLJ Adoptions a religiously-affiliated adoption agency?

MLJ Adoptions is a secular international adoption agency. Our primary mission is to place children in need of families into loving, permanent families, and we welcome families of all faiths and belief systems. Many staff at MLJ Adoptions have been drawn to adoption due in large part to their Christian faith, and several staff members within our agency are members of the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO). All staff are thankful for and happy to work with prospective parents of all faiths seeking to love a child who needs a family.

How long does it take to complete an international adoption?

Every adoption process is different because every country, every family and every child are different. It will take time to get paperwork together, a home study complete, a dossier compiled, and, once the dossier is submitted, families must wait for a referral. Referral times depend on the age and gender of the child you are adopting, the known health conditions you are open to, and the country from which you are adopting from. Referral wait times may be substantially longer if you are seeking to adopt a healthy female child as young as possible, whereas wait times may be considerably shorter if you are open to adopting a child over the age of five, sibling group, or a child with known special and/or correctable needs.

How much does it cost to adopt?

The cost of adoption can range from approximately $20,000 to $40,000 or more for the entire process.  While expensive, there are many options for grants and raising funds to bring a child or children home. Finances should never stop a child from having a loving family.

Why does adoption cost so much?

The process of adoption is one that is intricate and complex. It involves individuals and entities at the local, state, and federal levels, as well as foreign individuals, entities, and governments, all working collaboratively in order to complete an adoption. The adoption process involves social workers, attorneys (both in your country and abroad), mental health professionals, caregivers, judges, immigration officers, translators, drivers, administrative staff and others. Often these individuals and entities are involved in your adoption process for two to three years or more. The costs associated with adoption must go in many different directions and cover many different services; fees for adoption are fees for services and are not fees for a child.

What does “Special Needs” mean?

Each country determines its definition of “special needs.” The term can include children over the age of five, as well as sibling groups, because it is often more difficult to find families looking to adopt these children. Special needs may also include mental, physical and emotional needs that can range from mild to severe. You may contact to learn about waiting children.

Can I adopt if I have a criminal record?

All offenses will be considered on a case-by-case basis and taken into careful consideration by your adoption agency and home study provider. Some foreign countries also have their own restrictions. It is best to be forthcoming with your adoption agency and home study provider and disclose all relevant information. It is the case worker’s responsibility to ensure that the best interests of the child would be served by any placement with a family.

What is a dossier?

A dossier is a collection of specific documents that are submitted to the country from which you are adopting. These documents contain detailed information about you and your family. Each country has its own dossier requirements and requests, but most generally a dossier includes a home study, medical reports, proof of employment, birth certificates, marriage license, and reference letters. MLJ Adoptions provides detailed lists and instructions to assist families through the dossier process.

What is a referral?

When completing a home study, your home study coordinator will ask you for the characteristics of the child that you are comfortable adopting. When a child becomes in need of a family that matches the characteristics the adoptive parents have indicated, the family is then asked to accept the child. Receiving a match for a potential adopted child is called a referral. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us directly, as we are more than happy to answer any questions you may have. You may also request more information here.