Domestic Infant Adoption

Domestic Infant Adoption in the US

Domestic Infant Adoption

infant adoptionInfant adoption, also known as baby adoption, domestic adoption, birth mother relinquishment adoption, and sometimes private adoption, is the most common form of adoption in the US.  Our Domestic Infant Adoption Chart has a great summary of the factors to consider.

It is possible to adopt a baby in the US using either an adoption agency or an adoption attorney. In most infant adoptions in the US, the expectant mother (or couple) chooses the adoptive parent or couple for her child. The vast majority of baby adoptions in the US are open.

What Are the Different Ways to Adopt a Baby in the US?
It is possible to adopt a newborn or young infant through private adoptions where the birth mother and birth father relinquish their parental rights voluntarily, and usually choose the adoptive parents that they want to raise their child. It is also possible to adopt through the foster care system, although few infants are available through this method.  International adoption is also an option, but the youngest children available are usually around 2 years. Check out this Creating a Family Quick Comparison Chart for the Different Types of Adoptions or listen to this 1 hr Creating a Family radio show on Adoption Options: What Type of Adoption is Best for You?
How Many Infant Adoptions Take Place in the US?
The number of babies adopted each year in the US is a hard number to come by since adoptions is governed by state law and there is no central place where the number of adoptions must be reported. The best estimate is approximately 18,000 babies are adopted each year in the US.
How Much Does It Cost To Adopt a Baby in the US?
The cost of adoption varies by type of adoption, whether the adoption is through an adoption agency or adoption attorney, how many services are provided by the adoption provider, whether the adoptive parents have to travel to the state where the baby is born, whether the expectant mom has health insurance, and other factors.

The average cost to adopt from an adoption agency adoption is typically about $43,000. Some adoption agencies have a sliding fee scale where adoption costs are based on your income.

An independent adoption through an adoption attorney usually costs an average of $38,000.

See the Creating a Family page on the Cost of Adoption in the US, which breaks down the cost by type of adoption and analyzes factors that affect the cost.

How To Find an Expectant Women Who Might Be Considering Adoption
There is something inherently dehumanizing about using the word “advertising” when used in reference to finding an expectant woman who might be considering adoption. As an adoption education organization, we walk the line in trying to provide practical resources for prospective adoptive parents and undercutting the basic humanity of a woman in crisis. And make no mistake, a pregnant woman who is considering placing her child for adoption is a woman in crisis. We have tried to walk that line, even though the edge is razor-thin at points. We have utilized words trying to carefully balance what people will be using when they search the internet for information with the understanding that no one owes anyone else a child. We suggest reading this blog that addresses how “advertising” for prospective birth mothers can turn them into a commodity. Creating a Family has many resources to help you find prospective birth mothers. These will get you started, but make sure to check out the many more resources at the icons at the bottom of this page.

What Is An Adoptive Parent Profile (or Dear Expectant Parent Letter) and How To Make One
An adoptive parent profile is a portfolio or “book” prepared by families that are looking to adopt an infant in the US. This profile is sometimes known as a “Dear Birthmother Letter”. The profile contains basic information on the prospective parent(s), why they want to adopt, and pictures that represent their life. These profiles are shown to expectant mothers that are considering adoption and are the first step in choosing the family that she wants to adopt her child.

Adoptive parents often feel a lot of pressure to make the perfect profile book in order to be chosen. While there is no such thing as perfect, Creating a Family has many resources to help you prepare your adoptive parent profile and know what to include and what to leave out. These radio shows, fact sheets, blogs, videos, and expert Q & A’s can be found by clicking the icons at the bottom of this page. Here is a sample of what you will find:

What is Open Adoption?
Open adoption means some degree of either contact or exchange of information between the adoptive families, adoptees, and birth families. The amount of openness is tailored to the needs and desires of the parties involved. Creating a Family has an entire section devoted to Open Adoption with extensive resources to help adoptive and birth families navigate openness.

Creating a Family has many additional resources on domestic infant adoption. A few we think you will find particularly helpful are:

Many more Creating a Family interviews with experts, blogs, and fact sheets on adopting a baby in the US can be found at the icons below.

Sources: Creating a Family Radio shows below, Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, National Council for Adoption
Image credit: Papermoons

Additional Resources

link image
Creating a Family Radio Shows on Infant Adoption

link image
Creating a Family Blogs on Infant Adoption

link image
Creating a Family Factsheets, Tips on Infant Adoption