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Baby Adoption

Summary: Domestic vs. International Baby Adoption.

Domestic Adoption and International Adoption are options considered by many people looking to add a member to their family. Whether an issue of infertility or just the desire to fill your heart with the love of a child, adoption is the legal bond creating a “parent-child” relationship. Both domestic and international adoption come with great reward – and frustrations. Being educated about the process, having reasonable expectations and good organization are three important keys to weathering the process.

Domestic Adoption:

    1. A term used when the adoptive parents(s) and the adoptive child are from the same country.

    2. Children of any age are available—even days old. This is appealing to those most interested in adopting a newborn. One benefit is the ability to bond with the child at the youngest possible moment.

    3. The cost of adopting domestically can be little to nothing if done with the state or through a foster care situation. Costs may increase with the use of an agency or in private adoption. Generally, domestic adoption is considered less expensive than international.

    4. Costs are often predictable.

    5. May have a complete and accurate medical history of the adopted child as well as the possibility of a family medical history.

    6. May provide the adopted child with a sense of history and place. Personal details may be available to the adoptee as they age and mature. These facts may give the child a sense of being.

    7. Domestic adoption is often a less intimidating option for those unfamiliar or uncomfortable with international travel and cultures. It avoids having to deal with an unfamiliar culture.

    Types of Domestic Adoption:

  • Foster Care Adoption: usually with the assistance of a not-for-profit adoption agency or state assistance. -  Independent Adoption: usually with an adoption agency / adoption attorney / adoption facilitator.

  • Relative Adoption: Often by a grandparent or other family member with the assistance of an attorney.

  • Open Adoption: Identifying information is shared between the birth parent or mother and the adoptive parent and child. Contact may also continue after the adoption. Open adoption is becoming more common. Laws differ by state.

  • Closed Adoption: No identifying information is exchanged between the birth parent and the adoptive parent and contact is not maintained. Non identifying information is often exchanged about all parties including medical history and other details. Considered more traditional although less common than in the past. Laws differ by state.

International Adoption:

  • International Adoption takes place in a foreign country where the adoptive parents and the child do not have the same citizenship status. The laws that apply are not only those of the birthparents, but also of the adoptee.

  • The children available are usually 6 months or older with an age range that varies by country.

  • Family history and/or medical history are not generally exchanged. Often the children adopted were abandoned by their parents without their identity being known in reaction to laws and societal norms within the country.

  • Internationally adopted children may be able to identify with their cultural identity.

  • International Adoption may be expensive. Costs including travel, agency fees, orphanage donations and paper work may range from $10,000 to $35,000 with an average in the low 20’s.

  • From start to finish an international adoption may be complete within 12 months depending on the speed in which prospective parents complete the necessary paperwork and issue resulting with the desired country.

  • Common International Adoption Countries:

  1. China

  2. Russia

  3. Guatemala

  4. South Korea

  5. Ukraine

  6. Kazakhstan

  7. India

  8. Columbia

  • Types of International Adoptions:

  • Agency Adoptions: The most common type. Generally, a not-for-profit agency assists the prospective parents through the paperwork process.

  • Independent Adoptions: Usually made with the assistance of a facilitator.

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