I don't know a ton of details, because I don't really know the people involved. But my best friend's BIL's sister (see why I don't know them?) adopted a little girl from Russia a couple of years ago. They got the child, but they got fleeced along the way. They spent the $20,000 that AD mentioned in his post, got jerked around for a year, then spent another $20,000 or so to go back again to finalize things and actually bring the baby home. They cleaned out a big chunk of their savings to get this little girl. They have her now, she's been a part of the family for a few years, so she's doing fine, and it's all legal - they were smart enough to get really good lawyers in place. But from what I was told regarding some foreign adoptions, some of these areas and orphanages are so impoverished, they'll tend to drag the adoptions out to try and get more money for the orphanage. They do truly want to get the kids adopted, but they're so broke, they're also trying whatever means necessary to get some money for their facility before giving the kids up - if that means bleeding some of the wealthier prospective parents in the process, they'll do it.