Are you considering adopting a baby and don’t know where to start? You might wonder what adopting options are available to you. While most adoptions occur due to infertility and inability to have a child naturally, some parents also choose to adopt to be loving parents to a child in need. Regardless of why you want to adopt, there are three main adoption options available to you.
Adopting a Child in the United States
The most common option perspective parents explore in the beginning is adopting an infant domestically. To adopt domestically, you work with a placement agency. These agencies are licensed to assist adoptive parents as well as the birth mother of a baby awaiting adoption. However, the demand for babies exceeds the supply. Around 20,000 newborn infants are placed with adoptive parents each year while 60,00 to 80,000 parents await a child to adopt. While domestic adoption can be a viable option, make sure you’re working with a reputable, licensed agency. Research the agency carefully beforehand.
Be aware that the birth mother of the baby chooses the adoptive parents she deems most suitable. You’ll also have to meet certain conditions. For example, at least one parent must be a U.S. citizen and under the age of 50 years. You must have a certain minimum income and not have been convicted of a felony. Factors like health issues can also disqualify you. Be aware that adopting domestically can be expensive. The cost is typically between $25,000 and $50,000.
While domestic adoption can be a viable option, make sure you’re working with a reputable, licensed agency. Research the agency carefully beforehand.
Another option is to adopt a child from another country. To adopt a child outside your country, you must meet the adoption criteria for that country as well as the location you live in. You will likely have to travel to the country where you’ll be adopting, possibly several times.
What about cost? Although many people believe international adoptions are less expensive, they typically require substantial outlays of capital, especially when you account for travel costs. In many cases, adopting internationally is just as expensive as adopting a child domestically. You must also work with an agency licensed in the country where you’re considering an adoption. Unfortunately, not all countries are open to adopting to parents who live outside the jurisdiction.
Adopting a Child Through Foster Care
If domestic or international adoption isn’t viable for you, there’s another alternative. Did you know there are more than 100,000 children awaiting adoption through the foster care system? Adopting a foster child can be a rewarding experience, although many misconceptions still exist about adopting a foster. Some parents don’t even explore this option for fear a foster child will have special needs, mental or physical, that they’re not prepared to handle.
In fact, only about one out of three foster kids has a physical or mental disability. Contrary to popular belief, most are not juvenile delinquents but victims of abuse, neglect, or family breakups. The cost of adopting through foster care is also significantly lower, usually under $2,500. Plus, you may be eligible for financial assistance for your child such as financial aid for college or monthly stipends.
The Bottom Line
Consider your options and explore each thoroughly before making a decision. Be sure to work with a reputable agency and, if possible, talk to other parents who have been through the adoption process beforehand. The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be to choose the option that’s right for you.
Children of All Nations. “U.S. Infant Adoption”
Today.com. “Curious about adopting from foster care? Here’s what it’s really like”
Are you considering adopting a child? It might seem a bit overwhelming. In general, you have three options available to you. This article will explore each one.