Domestic infant adoption

What do you need to know if you are considering adopting a baby in the US? What is the process, how long does it take, how much does it cost, and what decisions do adoptive parents have to make? Host Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, the national adoption & foster care education and support nonprofit talks with Erin Patterson, Director of Adoption for Upbring Adoption; and Jill Davies, Executive Co-Director for Caring for Kids: Adoption, Foster, Care and Birth Parent Services.

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Hit the Highlights
  • Official numbers are hard to come by, but the number of domestic infant adoptions in the US appears to be holding steady at about 18,000 a year. This is a significant reduction from 20-30  years ago. Domestic infant adoption comprises only .5% of all live births in the US and only 1.1% of births to single parents.

  • Average cost of adopting a baby in the US is around $40-45K

  • About 60% of prospective adoptive parents are matched within 1 year of completing their home study. About 80% are matched within 2 years.

  • See more at Adoption in the US: How Many? How Much? How Long Do They Take? 

  • Depending on your state you can use either an adoption attorney or an adoption agency. Creating a Family goes through the differences between the two and provides detailed information on how to choose an agency in our Creating a Family Multimedia Guide on Choosing an Adoption Agency or Attorney 

  • How do domestic infant adoptions today differ from how many people think about adoptions?

  • What is the domestic infant adoption process at your agency?

  • What type of expectant mom considers adoption for their child?

  • How many adoptive parent profiles are usually shown to an expectant mom?

  • What do you see that expectant moms or couples look for when choosing adoptive parents?

  • After an expectant mother or couple chooses an adoptive family, what is the next step?

  • Counseling for expectant parents

  • What are the ways that different adoption agencies and attorneys handle birth parent expenses?

  • How early in the pregnancy do adoption agencies and adoption attorneys match expectant moms with adoptive families?

  • What percentage of domestic infant adoptions in the US are open?

  • What does open adoption look like?

  • What are some typical “special needs” that prospective adoptive parents may be faced with in matches? What situations are the hardest for adoptive parents to decide about?

  • How much information will adoptive parents have in deciding whether they should accept a match?

  • What factors influence the cost of adoption? 

  • What factors influence how long families wait for an adoption match?


Image credit: Terri Cnudde 

Music credit: Michael Ashworth