As mom of six children, four of whom are adopted, I answer questions about adoption every week. Many people understand what adoption is, but have little understanding of the types of adoption that are available.
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Types of Adoption
Adoptions can be broken down initially into two major categories; international and domestic. Within those two categories, there are several different avenues of adoption available to prospective adoptive parents.
International adoption is exactly what it sounds like. It is a parent or parents from one country adopting a child from another country. The length of the international adoption process and the costs involved depend upon the country in which the child is born. Typically, the international adoption process is a more expensive option, but it is chosen by many parents because the adoption records are permanently sealed and the biological parents are in an entirely different country.
Biological Family in a Different Country
Country can close adoptions at anytime in the process
A domestic adoption is one in which both the prospective adoptive parents and the child reside in the same country. Here in the US, there are several types of domestic adoption.
A private adoption is one where the state, and sometimes agencies, are not involved. There is an agreement between both the adoptive and the biological parents about the adoption. This can happen at any age of the child until the child is old enough to make his or her own choices about adoption. Private adoptions are most often facilitated by an adoption agency, but they can occur without an agency. Though not as much as international adoptions, there are considerable costs associated with private adoptions.
A kinship adoption occurs when a child’s biological parents are no longer able to care for him or her and the child is then placed with relatives for care, and the relatives then chose to adopt the child. This occurs most often in the US when a child is removed from the biological parents by Child Protective Services and is then placed with a relative to keep the child out of the foster care system. When children are removed, family members are considered first for placement over prospective foster families.
Adoption from the Foster Care System
Adoption from the foster care system occurs when a child is removed from his home by the state department of children’s services, no kinship placement can be identified and reunification with biological parents cannot be achieved. If possible, it is the goal of child welfare to reunify children in foster care with their biological parents. However, in the completed statistics from 2015 showed that only half of the over 400,000 children in the foster care system even had a goal of reunification. This means that half of those children in the system would become adoptable by the foster parents they are placed with. There are no costs for the adoptive family associated with adoptions that are facilitated from the foster care system.
Additional Information About Adoption
Information about adoption and foster care can be found in the following books and websites:
Download a free home study checklist via the form below and join our Foster Care and Adoption Questions and Answers Facebook group here.