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Domestic Adoptions

Prospective parents often choose domestic over international adoption because they:

  • Want a child from their culture and ethnicity
  • Want a newborn
  • Have access to the birthmother’s and baby’s medical records and prenatal medical care is more readily available than in poorer nations
  • Have the option for open or semi-open adoption

Getting Started

Today, most birthmothers (and sometimes birthfathers) select adoptive parents based on information in the adoption agency’s portfolio. In addition to age, race and ethnicity, prospective parent profiles include a brief biography of the couple/individual, their reasons for wanting a baby, plus family photographs.

The birthmother chooses several profiles that she most likes and the agency arranges a meeting between them. Afterward, each party decides if it feels like a good match. This is called a semi-open adoption, because the birth- and adoptive parents meet but don’t disclose their full identities. Whether and how often they meet after the adoption depends on the desires of both. Most do not meet after the birth, but exchange letters and email via the adoption agency.

Possible Downside

The downside of domestic adoptions:

  • An expectant mother can change her mind. Depending on the child’s birth state, the birthmother has a legal window ranging from one day to 30 days after the birth to sign the relinquishment consent forms.
  • The birthfather might not be involved, and therefore little may be known known about his social and medical background.

Important Details

Domestic adoptions can take many forms: agency, private/independent (attorney), and public agency (e.g., state/county child welfare programs, with foster-to-adoption options).

Domestic adoption costs range from $10,000 to $40,000. Most state/county/province child welfare agencies charge very little or no fees for adoptions, however, the children are usually older, from toddlers to 14 years.

Adoption agencies must be licensed; call or research online your state/county department of social services or children’s services to find licensed agencies in your state. You can also work with out-of-state agencies.


Comments (17)

We at Fertility Authority assist patients in finding infertility centers. I am sorry, but you would need to contact an adoption agency or a lawyer to understand the process more.
Thank you,

My name is david and i would love to adopt a baby. me and my wife are no longer able to have any children and it is my dream to have a son. i have two daughters which i love very much and my youngest daughter wants a baby brother my wife wants a son aswell as my inlaws and my mother would love to have a grandchild. only because it is our dream to have a son. i am begging anyone for help. please make my dream a reality.
thank you.

Sometimes when I see a poor child who has no family anymore, I want them to stay with me and I want to raise them in proper way so they might grew with an enough knowledge how to live their lives.

hi, my name is brittany and i am wanting to adopt a child. i have always wanted to adopt to help a child and thier birth parents out. i just havnt had to money to adopt. as i can tell its verry costly. to adopt a child would be amazing and would mean the world to me. i was pregnant with twins when i was 18 and i miscarried at 3 months with one and had my son by c-section at 32 weeks because he had so many problems. unfortunatly my little man didnt make it and passed away 6 1/2 hours after he was born and is now a beautiful angel. it was the hardest thing i have ever had to go through and i still suffer from it to this day. and i am now 20 and trying to make a life for myself. so as u can tell it would mean the world to me to have another baby to have and to hold and raise as my own. hopefully one day it will all work out and i will get that opertunity. thank u for your time.

I am 31 years old and I get this feeling that my child bearing years are slipping away. I don't want to be a 45 year accidental mom. I want to have a blessing in my life now. I am becoming very impatient and eager to give birth to my own small little piece of life. I have been patiently yet sometimes impatiently waiting for about the past 10 years. I grew up loving and taking care of kids and now every child or baby I see I just want to take them and love them .... I feel like I have become obsessed with it all. All my friends and family keep telling me that I can adopt. However ... adoption takes alot of money all at one time. I don't have money like that. I have never understood why it takes so long and the parents to be have to go through so much just to get a child to love and raise ... when others in the world are just given them and they don't even know what to dowith them ... precious little angels. Anyhow I could go on and on but where do I go next ... my Dr is running more tests and doing an ultrasound this week and I have PCOS ... Dear Lord give me the strength to get through this all !!

Hi all,
I read through many of the comments. Most couples starting to consider adoption do not know where to start, how to begin or what to prepare for in thier adoption journey. I am an adoption consultant and help families work through the process. An adoption consultant will be your guide through the maze of adoption information, help you make an adoption plan, find the most ethical, appropriate professionals and realize your dream of becoming a family. Support, education and preparation are very important factors in your journey. Select a consultant who will be available to you and one who you like and enjoy talking with. Take control of your adoption. Before you write a check to any adoption entity or professional, seek the advice of your personal adoption consultant.
Warm Regards,
Debra Vinson
New Beginnings Adoption Consultation and Education, LLC
210 638 1000

Hi, i am prasad and get marrried almost 3 years we had no child till now and thought to have a baby girl for adoption. can i get any details regarding this

Hi, I am 24 years old. My husband and I have been together for 6 years, married for 3. We have 2 little boys who are almost 3 and 4 years old. Since they are getting a little older having another baby has been on my mind alot. I have always wanted to adopt or maybe even be a foster parent but i dont know if i could handle them leaving if they were to get adopted. Anyways my question is would it be very smart to adopt right now with my boys still being small, should i wait until they get older? Thanks so much! Kellie

Hi, I am 28, I live in IN and I am married going on 3 years. My husband & I would like to have a child together and start our family. My husband has a son from a previous relationship. I love my step-son who will be 17 in a few weeks but he is still just my step son. He lives with his mother so we hardly see him anymore. He is also so busy with friends and his new baby brother by his mom that he rarely has time to come see his father and I. We live about 2-3 hours away now and so this also makes it more difficult. I have been diagnosed with PCOS and I have had 3 miscarriages. I had an SIS Ultrasound today and found that I have multiple uterine polyps and the Fertility Dr said this is a major cause of miscarriage. I also have been recently diagnosed with EDS(Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome) which affects my joints (hyper mobility) and my skin (very elastic and stretchy). I have looked into adoption online and I have not been able to find out what my ability to adopt is or is not. I would just like a little help in finding out if there are certain things when it comes to your health and your ability to give a child the love and caring and nurturing that I know and have known all my life that i could give to any child. I am the type that would love to own a daycare and be around small children all my life. To me it never gets old. My neighbors kids love me and my husband so much they call us "aunt and uncle". we have even dedicated a room in our house as the neighbors girls (5 yrs & 7 mos) playroom/bedroom for when they stay the night or when my husband or I are babysitting them. I really just want to know how I can find info that will let me know if we can win this battle of trying to have a child/children we can call our own? Anyone who has any advise please let me know.

My husband and I have been trying to have a baby for over 2 yrs now and I am 34 and It does not look like a baby is in our near future. I suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and have failed getting pregnant on fertility. We are now looking into adoption but we really can't afford to pay to adopt a child. It's not that we don't make good money and work it's just coming up with a large amount of money at once is nto easy. We really would like to adopt locally or in the US and we would like to have a newborn and pick the race of our baby. Is there anywhere we can adopt without going broke and still be able to get what we want?

Thanks so much

This is not a comment but a question.
I was fix about 8 years ago. Now i want a baby. What should I do? My son
will be 13 in July . I miss holding a baby.

i have been told that if you have a mental illness there is no way you can adopt. i have also been told other things about it i really want to adopt and i dont know what to think anymore please help

Hi - There isn't a cut and dry answer to your question. Your best bet would be the same advice given to the previous question. You should contact adoption agencies in your state (including foster-to-adopt agencies) and request their information packets. This will help you understand what the process is and what agency stipulations there are.

Good luck with your information gathering!

I am a 24 year old female, I would love to adopt a child. I'm ready to start my family. I just dont know the first thing about adoption. If anyone could let me know what my next step woulb be please let me know.


Hi Ashley --
One of the first things you can do is contact adoption agencies in your state (including foster-to-adopt agencies) and request their information packets. This way you can start exploring the different ways to adopt so you can get a better understanding of what each process requires and which might work for you. You'll get an idea of what a homestudy requires, which adoption programs work with your lifestyle (for example, some agencies or international programs require certain age or income requirements or only place children with married couples married X number of years, etc.). This will help you narrow down your research.

Good luck!

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