For those experiencing infertility issues, seeking out infertility treatment can often be a draining process, both physically and emotionally (not to mention financially). As a result, the option of adoption, and more specifically domestic adoption, is often taken as an alternative.
Adoption can be an enriching and rewarding experience, but individuals interested in this process often have many questions, such as: what type of adoption is best for me? And what are the differences between domestic and international adoption?
Domestic Adoption: An Alternate Solution to Infertility Treatment
Domestic adoption refers to the act of putting up American infants and children for adoption by American residents.
Each year, domestic adoptions account for 20 000 adoptions in the United States, while the adoption of international children in the United States totals 19 000.
Each state has its own laws in place that regulate the process of adoption. As such, adoption timelines vary, typically averaging several months to a couple of years from the time you apply to before you can adopt a baby.
The cost of domestic adoption can vary greatly, ranging anywhere from about $4,000 to $8,000, to upwards of $15,000.
The Benefits of Domestic Adoptions vs. International Adoption
When comparing domestic adoption with international adoption, there are many pros and cons to consider.
Some benefits of adopting a child domestically include:
- cost: domestic adoption is less expensive than international adoption. However, international adoption fees are generally presented upfront, which isn’t always the case with domestic adoption. Domestic adoption costs also vary depending on a variety of factors, including: agency fees, attorney fees, whether you will help pay for the birthmother’s prenatal care, and even (regrettably) the child’s race
- age: if you adopt domestically, your chance of adopting an infant is much greater than if you were to adopt a child internationally, since the latter requires a greater amount of time to process paper work and get a referral
- travel: less travel is generally involved in domestic adoptions, especially if you’re adopting in-state. Conversely, adopting a child from abroad usually requires individuals to travel for a period of up to three weeks
On the other hand, negative aspects of domestic adoption include:
- Period of revocation. This term refers to a period in which birthparents are allowed to change their minds about giving up their child for adoption; this period varies according to state laws, however, post-placement revocations are extremely rare
- Selectivity of criteria and waiting times. Domestic adoptions are generally regulated by stricter laws than international adoptions; this means that waiting times can be longer for domestic adoptions and adopting a child can be more difficult. For example, parents under the age of 25 and over the age of 45 generally have longer wait times when trying to adopt. Also, many state domestic adoption agencies generally require individuals wanting to adopt to take classes. However, while they generally take some 25 hours or more to complete, adoption classes are an excellent way to learn all about the adoption process and how to prepare for adopting a child. Finally, while there are no regulations with regard to family status in domestic adoptions, birthparents generally give preference to couples and families with few or no children.
Just as you should learn all about the different infertility treatment options before making any final decisions, so too should you learn all you can about the adoption process. Be sure to find out what adoption resources are available to you.