How Does Infant Adoption Work?

The Domestic Infant Adoption Process

Step 1A: Adoption Home Study

The Adoption Home Study is conducted and approved by a licensed agency or social worker. The home study ensures that the adoptive family is prepared to safely care for the baby and that they’ve undergone all state-mandated training prior to placement. During the home study, your social worker will visit your family and home environment, ask questions about your parental planning, and examine your financial health. Click here to learn more about adoption home studies.

Since the majority of infants that we place are Black, we strongly encourage families who are interested in adopting a Black infant to apply.

Step 1B: Choose How You Will Work With Adoptions Together

As you go through the home study process, you will need to consider your options and determine how you plan to work with Adoptions Together.

Option 1: Networking Program

If you choose to join the Networking Program, you will work with a specialized social worker after you complete your home study documents. This social worker will help you identify an agency/attorney in another state.  The social worker will talk with you about your child preferences and adoption budget, revocation time periods in each state, as well as other pertinent aspects to help you choose the appropriate agency/attorney. Once your home study is complete and you begin working with your chosen agency/attorney, the Networking Program social worker will be available to discuss possible matches or other situations that may arise. The fee for this service will be $1,050 and is valid for one year.

Option 2: Wait List

Once your home study is complete, you can join the wait list for the Infant Adoption Placement Program. While on the wait list, you will get access to Parent Finder, a service that will help you create your online waiting family profile and video. Your profile will be displayed on the Adoptions Together website and on the Parent Finder website and can be accessed by birth parents in search of placement across the country. This is the same service we use with families in the Infant Adoption Placement Program waiting families pool, so you will already have that process complete when a space becomes available. The fee for this service is $1,000; however, it will be credited back to your Domestic Infant Program intake fee when you join the waiting families pool. Please note: if we can not make a match with a family in the Domestic Infant Program active pool, we will present the match to families on the waitlist to consider.

Option 3: Hybrid

You can choose to join the Networking Program to find another agency or attorney for placement and join the Wait List to enter the Adoptions Together Domestic Infant Program. This option will increase your opportunities for matching. If you choose this option, you will pay the $1,050 Networking fee when you complete your home study documents and you will pay the $1,000 Wait List fee when your home study is finalized. The Wait List Fee will be credited back to your Infant Adoption Program intake fee when you join the waiting families pool. If you choose this option and have success with another adoption agency, you do not have to enter the Adoptions Together Domestic Infant program once your time comes up on the wait list.

During this process, if you do receive a placement with another adoption agency, please notify Adoptions Together.

Step 2: The Active Waiting Family Phase

A child will be placed with you when you are selected by a birth parent to be the adoptive parents of the child. In many cases, birth parents have some requests for the type of family they choose for their child. As we rely upon the preferences of the birth parents in selecting adoptive parents, we have little control over (and cannot predict) the length of time that it may take for the placement of a child in your home. If a birth parent does not want to choose the family, we give preference to families who have been waiting the longest. Please note that the average wait time for the Domestic Infant Program is approximately 18-24 months.

Adoptions Together accepts referrals of birth parents through extensive outreach and its contacts with hospitals, medical clinics, crisis pregnancy centers, schools; as well as clergy, medical and other professionals. The agency contracts with to feature adoptive parent advertising on the internet. Adoptions Together recognizes the frustration families may feel during their wait for a child and we are always seeking new ways to make the wait for a child a little easier. We offer support group meetings, an e-newsletter, seminars, and social functions to use the time productively.

Step 3: Communicating with Prospective Birth Parents

There are several ways your family will be chosen by a prospective birth parent. Usually this happens when a birth parent chooses your profile based on similar characteristics or a birthparent’s wishes for their child to be raised by a family like yours. When your family is chosen by a birthparent, we encourage open communication within everyone’s comfort zones. This can range from writing letters to meeting with one another in our office prior to your baby’s birth.

Step 4: Placement and Finalization

When your baby is born, there are two ways they can come home – direct placement or through interim care. A direct placement occurs when an infant goes directly home with their adoptive family. Interim care is available to families who prefer that a temporary, qualified caregiver care for the baby until the birth family has signed final adoption paperwork. Once your baby has been home with you for several months and you have met the requirements of state adoption regulations, you can finalize your adoption with local court systems.

Step 5: Post-Placement Contact

Planning for and participating in post-placement contact is something most families get ready for as they go through the adoption process. Most of our adoptions are open, which means adoptive families and birth families have some level of ongoing contact over the child’s lifetime. Your adoption social workers will help to prepare your family for healthy post-placement contact over the course of your child’s life. Adoptions Together can help facilitate post placement contact that works for you, your child and your child’s birth parents.

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