Before diving into the details of adoption costs, wait times, and paperwork involved, you must commit to your choice of route. Once your course is in motion, your situation and priorities are compasses in navigating what is best for your family.
What Are Your Options?
If you wish to adopt a child to grow your family, you have several choices to make. Adoption can either be private or public as well as domestic or intercountry.
- Private: Also called independent voluntary placement, it is the more expensive yet straightforward option as birth parents match the child directly with a family of their choosing.
- Public: Otherwise called foster to adopt, comes with state funding. However, this tends to be more complex because the intention is to return the custody to the birth parents once they have completed necessary state requests.
- Domestic: Adoptions where the child is already born in the United States. Most adoptions are domestic as they are less expensive to pursue, and all public adoptions are domestic adoptions.
- Intercountry: Only available via a private adoption; this adoption process goes overseas to find to connect parents with their potential child.
In a recent National Council for Adoption (NCFA) report, the numbers dramatically declined from 115,353 domestic adoptions in 2019 to 95,306 in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic, declining birth rates among millennials and changing stances on single motherhood are just some of the factors attributed to these statistics.
Similarly, the report showed a 45% dip within the same years for intercountry adoptions, and the factors for this may include ever-changing policies across different nations, stricter travel restrictions and agreements like the Hague Adoption Convention.
However, international adoption remains a solid choice for many looking to grow their families through adoption.
Is Intercountry Adoption Suited For You?
The US Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs recommends getting in touch with an accredited Adoption Service Provider (ASP) as your first move. A comprehensive ASP directory is on their website, broken down into city and state, and with corresponding contact information.
Having an approved ASP by your side equips you with information about the step-by-step process of adopting children from overseas. In whatever way the adoption landscape evolves, every child deserves a forever home. And if your heart is in the right place, you may end up with the adoption journey you longed for.