Domestic vs. International Adoption:
What Kind of Adoption is Right For Me?
Many families begin the adoption process by asking what kind of adoption is right for them. If your family is dreaming of adopting a newborn, then it’s time to decide whether a domestic adoption or international adoption is the right choice. Here are a few things to consider when making the decision between domestic and international adoption.
The Cost of Adoption: How Much Does Each Type of Adoption Cost?
Domestic adoption and international adoption can cost about the same amount if a family chooses to use a private agency. However, if a family chooses to pursue an international adoption, they should factor in costs related to finalizing the adoption within the child’s home country like travel expenses, medical expenses and visa costs. Some countries require families to remain in the country for an extended period of time before the adoption is finalized and the infant can travel home.
Similarly, families considering domestic adoption should research working with an agency that understands birth parent compensation laws and is upfront with how birth parent expenses are paid. At Adoptions Together, birth parent expenses are covered on a flat-fee-basis from a fund that each adoptive family contributes to. If a placement doesn’t occur, your contribution to this fund is refunded at 100%. This way, you don’t risk paying a birth parent’s expenses if she changes her mind.
How Long Does it Take To Adopt? Domestic vs. International Adoption
Wait times vary depending on the type of adoption a family chooses. Domestic infant adoptions typically take between 12 and 24 months depending on how long your home study takes, what kind of risk factors you’re willing to consider, and what level of openness your family desires with a birth family.
In recent years, international adoptions have become more complex. According to AdoptiveFamilies.com, in 2016, the wait for a healthy child from China was more than 5 years. As fewer international adoptions occur and they take longer to complete, families must consider which option is best for them.
What Will I Know About My Adopted Child’s Background? Domestic vs. International Adoption
When you adopt domestically, your agency will gather some information about your child’s medical history from the birth parent. This information can help you to understand your child’s health and social development. Occasionally, medical and social history information is available to parents adopting internationally, but it varies depending on the country and care setting the child was raised in. Before you decide which type of adoption is right for you, discuss social and medical history information with your adoption agency or representative.