In order to adopt a child or children from another country, families need to complete a homestudy with an agency licensed to work internationally. The adoption agency will help the family apply to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services for a visa for a child, and also prepare an application package (dossier) for the sending country.
Waiting children are typically in institutions and are usually matched with families by the local government. Older children, children with special needs, and sibling sets are often available. Some countries are still placing young children, although recent laws and more domestic adoptions have created a shift towards older or special needs children internationally.
The process differs if the country to which you are applying to has signed the Hague Adoption Convention, so it is important to find that out before you begin. Wait times, requirements, and costs vary significantly country to country. You can find the latest Adoption Alerts and Notices on the U.S. Dept. of State's website.
To find an international adoption agency near you, click on your County and look agencies with the i logo.