Children are often held as a great blessing to families, but not all couples are able to have children by natural means. It can be a long process before a couple begins to accept this and decides what their next steps will be, and one of the options that many couples in this situation turn to is domestic adoption.
If you are thinking about adopting a child in the US, here are some things to keep in mind.
It’s Not New
Domestic adoption is not a new concept and is widely accepted by society. According to the Adoption Network, 135,000 children are adopted every year in the US (https://adoptionnetwork.com/a
It’s Not Necessarily More Expensive Than International Adoption
One common misconception about domestic adoption is that it is far more expensive than adopting internationally. The reality is that either of these types of adoption can vary greatly depending on several factors. For some families, a domestic adoption can cost the same or even less than an international adoption. For international adoption, the cost of flights and staying in the country where the child is during the process also has to be considered.
Of course, couples interested in a domestic adoption of an unborn child need to be ready to travel to where the birth mother is and remain there until after the child is born and released from the hospital. In addition, children born outside of the adoptive parents’ state are subject to approval via the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, which is a contract among the 50 states, the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia regarding the protection and support of children.
Domestic Adoption May Not Take Forever
Another common misconception about domestic adoption is that it takes a very, very long time. While some families may end up waiting two years or longer, many families are able to adopt within a year. The times for waiting for domestic adoptions are varied and are impacted by the adoption professional involved and the flexibility the adoptive parents have regarding their adoption plan. These plans include considerations such as the baby’s race; whether the adoption is open, semi-open or closed; and the birth parents’ medical history. The stricter and less flexible an adoption plan is, the longer it may take for the adoptive parents to complete the process.
Part of what you have to consider in your adoption plan is the child’s medical background. One positive aspect of domestic adoption is that the child’s medical records will be more accessible and readily available. Some adoption agencies offer the records to adoption families before matching is done so the adoptive couple can gauge whether they would accept the match based on the factors they have learned.
It’s Unusual for Birth Parents to Try to Get a Child Back
Although it’s a common fear, it is unusual for birth parents to come back for their child after a domestic adoption, and when this does happen, it tends to be the result of flawed legal practices. With an experienced adoption attorney, it’s very unlikely this would happen. Once the paperwork has been completed and legally finalized, the rights of the birth parents are terminated by law and the adopting parents are the child’s legal family.
Adopting a child is a decision that will change your life forever, so it’s important to know as much as you can about the process and your options. Consult with an adoption attorney to help you fully understand everything that will be involved.