International Vs Domestic Adoption

Choosing adoption can be a very difficult step for many couples, especially those that have faced infertility. However, if fertility treatments haven’t worked for you, you and your partner may be ready to look into the adoption route. But before you can adopt a child, it is necessary for you to decide what type of adoption you would like to pursue: international adoption or domestic adoption.

An international adoption can offer you and your partner the chance to adopt a child from another country, while domestic adoption can provide you with the opportunity to adopt a child who has been born in your own country. Here is a quick comparison of the various procedures involved in each type of adoption.

Domestic Adoption

International Adoption

Types of Adoptions Available
  • open adoption
  • closed adoption
  • closed adoption
    Where Do You Start?
  • public adoption agency, such as Foster Care, Child Services
  • private, nonprofit adoption agency specializing in international adoption
  • private nonprofit adoption agency specializing in domestic adoption
  • independently, with the help of a adoption facilitator (only allowed in certain countries)
  • independently
  • with the help of an adoption attorney
    What Children are Available?
  • usually newborns and infants
  • usually children over six months of age
  • special needs children
  • some special needs children
  • some sibling groups
  • typically no sibling groups
  • some older children (between the ages of 4 and 14)
  • children up to the age of 15
  • Procedures Involved
  • initial application package
  • initial application package
  • homestudy
  • homestudy
  • background check, including police record check
  • background check, including police record check
  • matching with child or birth parents
  • matching with child
  • Legal Aspects
  • need to draw up adoption contract
  • need to secure travel visas
  • laws may vary from state to state
  • need to secure citizenship in your home country for adopted child
  • biological mother has between 48 and 72 hours to change her mind
  • need to follow all legal proceedings according to country from which you are adopting
  • parents are not involved in the adoption process, so they cannot change their minds
  • Costs Involved
  • agency fees: $5,000 and up
  • agency fees: $7,500 to $30,000
  • homestudy fees: $300 to $1,000
  • homestudy fees: $300 to $3,000
  • travel fees: less than $1,000
  • travel fees: $1,000 to $10,000
  • legal fees: $100 to $1,000
  • legal fees:$500 to $4,000
  • How Long Does it Take?
  • between one and three years
  • between six months and two years
  • longer for newborns
  • depends upon the country
  • usually fairly quick

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