Domestic Adoption

Domestic infant adoption is often the first choice for a couple that has gone through infertility and seeks a very young child that is of like race to adopt.

1.How many infants are available for adoption?

It is estimated that there is only one healthy infant for every 50 to 100 families wishing to adopt. The competition for this type of adoption and the risks that are inherent in infant adoption are high and it is imperative that the family select an attorney with a high degree of experience and a staff that can work with birth mothers.

2. What is the process for the infant adoption?

The first step is to align your family with a reputable agency and/or attorney who specializes in adoption law. (Some states allow for attorney placements, while others do not.) When choosing an agency, it is imperative that a family gets references, attends support group meetings offered by the agency, and call their state licensing agency to ascertain whether this agency has a history of founded complaints. If you are selecting an adoption attorney make certain that the state bar association has no founded complaints against the attorney. Once the agency/attorney is selected, the home study and family preparation is the next step. The family needs to be aware that they open and close adoptions. In addition, the family should become familiar with the adoption laws in their slate. The family must decide to what degree of openness they are willing to handle. Joining an adoption support group and attending adoption classes is an excellent way to become educated about adoption and making those tough decisions. Once a birth mother has been matched with the family, the “wait” is on. Depending on the family’s degree of openness that the family select, contacts are made throughout the pregnancy. After the birth, the birth mother must wait a certain period prior to terminating her rights. Birth father issues must also be handled to free the child from claims from potential birth fathers. If the child is coming from one state to another, Interstate Compact For the Protection of Children must be completed. There will be a period between the placement and the finalization of the adoption where supervisory visits will be made. After the adoption is finalized in court, a new birth certificate will be issued for the child.

3. How long does all infant adoption take?

It is very hard to gauge the time that an infant adoption will take. Finding the birth mother referral will be the key to the time factor. The other key will be that the birth mother follows through with the adoption plan. Some families will have multiple birth mother referrals before placement. It is imperative to remember that a birth mother cannot release her rights to the child until after the child is born, thus making domestic placement a higher cost and risk.

4. What are the costs in an infant domestic adoption?

Survey results from various adoption agencies and adoption attorneys indicate that the costs can vary from $10,000 to $30,000, depending on the needs of the birth

mother, uncovered medical expenses, legal fees, living expenses, if allowed, and legal fees.  It is very important to understand your agency or attorney’s policy about fees and the possibility of lost funds due to a failed adoption. The family should be aware of programs that may be available to them including employee reimbursement, tax credits, and, in some states, non-recurring adoption expenses, based on eligibility factors.

5. Where can I find out more about domestic infant placements?

To find out more information about adopting a domestic infant log onto to these sites:

  • www.adoptnet.org – resources and support for adoptive families
  • www.adoptivefamilies.org – online adoption forum
  • www.adoptivefam.org – Adoptive Families Support Group
  • www.adopting.org/ncsap.html- National Council for Single Parents
  • www.adopting.com – Internet adoption resources
  • www.starsofdavid.org – Support group for Jewish Adoption couples