If you are looking to build your family by adopting a child, you have three primary options to choose from: domestic infant, domestic foster, and international adoption. The prices and wait times vary case by case, and you can either go the independent route or choose to use the assistance of an agency. Both domestic and international adoption are quite expensive, ranging from $5,000 to $45,000, but there are financial assistance options available to you, including loans from private companies. For adopting a child, you can also earn up to $13,000 in federal tax credit to help ease the financial burden.
Finding an Agency
Those potential parents looking to adopt domestically can turn to a local agency in their area, or they can contact a national agency, such as A Family for Every Child or American Adoptions. These agencies will assist you in finding a birth mother or a baby and will handle all of the legal processes for you. The average infant adoption is finalized within two years, but it can take as little as five months or as long as five years in some cases. You have a very good chance of finding an infant if you go through an agency, but you also have the option of locating a birth mother yourself, if you choose to do that. Once you choose to adopt, you and the birth mother can decide on an open adoption or a closed adoption. Whichever you choose should depend on you, the child, and the birth mother and how much contact you each of you want to have with one another.
Consider Children in Foster Care
Adopting a child in foster care is usually a quick process, and placement with a family can occur within a month or two. The average age of children waiting in foster care is eight years old, but they can be as old as seventeen, so you have a good chance of finding an older child if you desire. Many individuals or couples decide on this option because there is usually little to no adoption fee, so it is a viable option for those who don’t want to/can’t afford the high costs of infant adoptions. One thing to keep in mind if you are wanting to adopt a foster child is that they may have a history of neglect or abuse, so you will need to be very patient and understanding with them, especially during the first few months.
Some potential adopters decide to look internationally for a child, and there are quite a few agencies that you can enlist to help you find the perfect child, including Children of All Nations International Adoption Agency and International Christian Adoption Agency. International adoption wait times can vary greatly depending on the country, but are generally finalized within two years. Many people decide to adopt internationally to help children who would not have access to healthcare, education, or other basic necessities otherwise. The majority of international adoptions come from Asia or Africa, with only 15% of internationally adopted children being Caucasian (usually from Eastern Europe). International adopters usually have little to no contact with the birth mother, so the child’s medical history may be unknown.