Narrowing Down Domestic Adoption Opportunities

Optimistic and I never felt the big pull to adopt outside the U.S.

For about 6 months I researched different ways to adopt domestically.

Here is a short list of what we seriously considered and the pros and cons I see in each.


Can you tell they kinda love each other?



1. Fostering to Adopt

This is typically one of the most

inexpensive ways to adopt.

Each state has it’s own qualifications

for a prospective family

so you’ll be guided through the process but

many times there’s parenting classes,

visits from a social worker and many papers to fill out.

If you are open to adopting older children

(please consider it!!),

sadly there are many who need a loving home

from the foster system.

This avenue can be an emotional rollercoaster;

sometimes the state supplements the living expenses for the child.

Another stipulation is that the child may not

leave the state until the adoption is finalized.


Joyful is made in the image of God.



2. Private Adoption Lawyer

Adopting through a private lawyer who

specializes in adoption has a lot of advantages.

You will always need to use a lawyer

to complete stateside adoptions.

Many times in this route you are cutting out

the non-essentials like a coordinator

who helps facilitate conversation and smooths any issues

between the birth and adoptive families.

You will need to stay up with all the logistics

with the home study, lawyers and birthfamily.

Because you are removing any

unnecessary people

from the adoption journey,

you’ll have a lot clearer communications for all parties

(and in our personal experience, less expense).

The flipside is that you won’t have any paid support

in the event you wait a long time

and are looking for some encouragement

or if you have questions that don’t have to do with legalese.

Finding a good adoption lawyer is important

in having a smooth adoption.

*Tip: Do as much of the business

with the paralegal

as the hourly charge is significantly less.


Two sisters with two different complexions with the same passion and beauty!



3. Birthmother Facilitator

This option is similar to an adoption lawyer

but with extra perks (and typically extra expense).

Facilitators are basically coordinators who

help in various ways to promote your adoption,

ease communication between the parties

and provide your information to birthmothers.

Having this third party involved in the adoption can help if tensions rise

or families feel they need extra care.


How else is Sweet Cheeks suppose to learn how to make silly faces?



4. Adoption Placement Agency

A well-known way to adopt is through an agency.

While there are some agencies that are very similar to facilitators,

I am highlighting the agencies that maintain more

of a presence during and even after adoption.

These agencies help shield adoptive families

from much of the emotional roller coaster.

Some agencies maintain the right to choose

the adoptive family for the child.

If this is the case, many times the families are not

notified of the baby’s birth until after the waiting period is over.

(This waiting period is when the birthmother can still legally take the baby back.)

Some agencies have stipulations where you must send annual reports

to them so the birthmother has an opportunity to stay in touch.

This is a “safe” option for adoption as many times

the agency guarantees a baby though it may be years.


Every mother should learn the joys of braiding her daughter’s hair.



5. Personal Relationship Adoption

Finally this unique option is a possibility

though not very likely.

When someone you know asks you to adopt the baby,

all you need to do is legalize the adoption

thus the expenses are significantly less.

I know of grandparents who legally adopted

their granddaughter and raised her.

In the past we have also been approached

about adopting a friend’s relative’s baby.

When I noted in an earlier post

about letting the word out about your hopes to adopt,

I was thinking of this type of situation

when it may be a local acquaintance who is the birthmother.

I know that was a quick breakdown of information.

Hopefully it encourages you that adoption

doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming.

Just take a little bit at a time!


3 thoughts on “Narrowing Down Domestic Adoption Opportunities

  1. I honestly wasn’t familiar with #3. But knowing you’ve used an adoption attorney, can I ask about your recommendations on finding a birthmother? I know there are a lot of ways to “market” your intent (for lack of a better and much more appropriate term), but I’m not sure how people do this effectively without an agency or personal referral. What are your thoughts?

    • That’s a good question! From my experience, whoever you join with in the adoption process (ie. lawyer, agency, etc) are the ones that handle the “advertisement” of adopting couples. But please note, you will pay for the advertising fee even if it’s just through the agency total fee. For our adoption lawyer, we paid the advertiser directly after we were matched with the birthmothers. If you want to try and advertise yourself without using the routes mentioned above, then I would encourage you to share it with everyone you know. Use social media to let others know. Drop off a little informational adoption profile at OBs & hospitals (if they let you.) Crisis pregnancy centers typically save the information of local adoptive families. Home study providers (licensed clinic social workers, etc) may be a good source to connect with as well. I totally think it’s worth a shot to try those avenues first and definitely less expensive as you are doing the manual labor. Make sure to leave some contact info with each profile! Does that help answer your question?

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