hand-palm-babyAdopting a child into your family can be a confusing, expensive, and long process that will always be worth it in the end, when you have given a child a loving home. But what are the different kinds of adoptions, and how do you pick which route? This guide will act as a starting roadmap to help guide you.


U.S. Foster Adoption:

There are very few restrictions on age, marital status, or income with foster children. The average cost of adopting a child through fostering is low-to-no cost, and you may actually qualify for federal tax credits for fostering. The age range of children in foster care varies quite a bit, from newborns to 17 year old teenagers. The average age of child waiting for placement in a home is 8. Children in this situation may have some mental or physical health consequences from neglect or abuse prior to entering care, but are also some of the most in-need children for the same reason. The predictability of the process is uncertain. There can be uncertainty of when or if a child will be available for adoption, based on the situation the child was taken from. Fostering must take place before adoption, however fostering can take place before they are legally free for adoption, so you will be able to give the child a loving home sooner than you might have if you were waiting for them to be adoptable though another system.


International Adoption:

Restrictions on age, marital status and income may vary by country. Some countries require information on length of marriage and number of previous divorces. Single parents may be prohibited in certain countries, as well as LGBTQ parents. Some countries will not adopt an infant to older parents. The average cost for most international adoptions ranges from between $25,000 and $45,000. You may be eligible for a federal tax credit. There are some grant programs to help aid parents in international adoption, a quick Google search returns many results you may be eligible for depending on your location, background, income, or religious affiliations. The average wait time from beginning of the process to taking the child home is two years, but can range from almost instantaneous to up to five years, depending on the conditions of the country, age, and gender of the baby. Children can range in age from infant to 4. Health care varies greatly by country, and in some instances of international orphanages, there may be detrimental health circumstances depending on quality of medical care, and some developmental lags. You will most likely never have contact with birth parents in an international adoption. The process can sometimes be unpredictable and you may have very little control over the process due to the international governmental regulations.


U.S. Infant Adoption:

The restrictions on age, marital status, and living situation is somewhat more lax in American adoptions, and often focuses more on interviewing parents for parental qualities. The cost of adoption can run the entire gamut of ranges from as little as several thousand dollars to $45,000. The average cost is ~$30,000.  You may be eligible for a federal tax credit. There are fewer grant and financial aid resources available for US adoptions. The timeline of the adoption varies wildly and is dependent on the state and individual organizations. The average timeline is two years. The average age of children adopted in the US is infant, and often newborn. Medical conditions are most favorable with this form of adoption. There may be some contact with the birth family. As many as 50% of expectant mothers contemplating giving up their baby for adoption change their minds, so while almost all families who want to adopt a newborn will be successful, there may be some setbacks in the process.