When the word adoption is first heard, many people assume international adoption. This could be because the media often shows someone famous recently adopted a child from overseas.
Some people may tell you there are very few babies being adopted in the United States. This is certainly not the case. Let’s take a quick look at the domestic adoption scene in the U.S.
The Domestic Adoption Snapshot
- There are an estimated 15,000+ babies adopted in the U.S. every year
- Domestic adoption gives you the ability to adopt a newborn (unlike international adoptions).
- Most domestic adoptions are considered ‘open’ to some degree. This means there is some amount of contact with the expectant mother either before or after placement – or both.
- In most domestic adoptions, the expectant mother will choose the adoptive parents, forming a “match” which means she wants you to adopt her baby and you agree.
- You may need to travel to the city/state where the birthmother lives.
- If adopting from another state, you’ll likely stay there 1 to 3 weeks for paperwork to be processed.
- You will have to through the adoption home study process, which simply is where a state licensed adoption agency will determine that you are approved to adopt a child.
- You will need an adoption attorney to help you with the placement and finalization.
- Expenses can be as high as $35,000+. The average for a private domestic adoption is around $20,000 but there are foster adoption and special situations that can be significantly less. There are a lot of variables that go into this.
PROS vs CONS
Here are some pros and cons to help you decide if the domestic infant adoption process is right for you:
- You can adopt a newborn baby, possibly having the opportunity to be at the hospital and to bring the baby home after a few days or weeks.
- You won’t have the expense and headaches of travelling to another country.
- Through an open adoption, you may be able to have some family history of your baby, depending on your contact with the birthmother.
- You won’t worry about getting part of the way through the process and have another nation’s government suddenly end or change their program.
- The average wait period is less than two years. In some cases, couples have been matched in a few days after they are home study approved.
- You may have some travel expenses depending on the city/state where the birthmother lives.
- There is the possibility (although very rare) of a reclaim where the expectant mother changes her mind and decides not to relinquish her rights.
- If you think you may not want contact with the birthmother, than domestic adoption may not be for you. MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: open adoption is not as scary and awkward as you might think. It is actually a beautiful idea in most cases. Read my post about open adoption for more information.
There you go. This is a very brief look at domestic adoption. Whichever road you choose, remember never to lose hope…you can do this. May God bless you with the child of your dreams. Hope this helps you make the best decision for your family.
Want to learn more? Check out my FREE ebook 7 Steps To Domestic Infant Adoption.