Guest Author - Karen Ledbetter
There are almost as many different types of domestic adoptions as there are adoptive families, and there are advantages and disadvantages to each type. An adoption situation that works great for one family may not be the best adoption option for another. Only you can decide which type of adoption is best for your family.
Many private adoption agencies place newborns of all races, and the birth parents and adoptive parents usually receive pre- and post-adoption counseling. The adoption may be open or closed, usually depending upon the birth parent´s request. Agency adoptions can be incredibly expensive, and adopting across state lines may increase the costs. Interstate adoptions usually require two agencies--one in the adoptive family´s home state for the home study and post-placement follow-up, plus the agency that places the baby and provides services to the birth mother. Travel to the baby´s state of birth may be required. Babies may be placed with their adoptive families before the birth parents’ rights are fully terminated. The legal risk period varies, depending on the state you adopt from.
Independent adoptions are usually arranged directly between the birth parent(s) and adoptive parent(s). A third party, such as a friend or adoption facilitator, may introduce the birth parent(s) and adoptive parent(s); or they may find each other through advertising or another form of networking. An attorney is usually required to assure that the adoption is legal. Independent adoptions, adoption facilitators, and adoption advertising are not legal in all states. Not all birth mothers receive pre- and/or post-adoption counseling in independent adoptions.
Occasionally a private or public agency will place an older infant in an adoptive home. Perhaps the baby was removed from the birth parent(s) due to neglect and/or abuse. Maybe it took time for the birth parent(s) to realize that adoption was the best choice for their baby, with the baby spending most of his/her life in foster care. The adoption may be open or closed, and there could be legal risks involved.
Public adoption agencies usually place children from the foster care system. Adopting from the foster care system can be cost efficient, with minimal fees, if any. However, a child in foster care may have been removed from his/her birth family due to neglect, abuse, or other problems. S/he may spend several years in and out of foster care before being legally cleared for adoption and may experience many moves during this time, resulting in emotional difficulties; or s/he may have other special needs.
No matter which domestic adoption option you choose, you´ll experience the journey of a lifetime!