13 Amazing Things You Didn’t Know About Adoption

Thinking about adopting? You’ll find no shortage of articles about the ins and outs of the process online but the things you may not know will surprise you. Check out these 13 amazing facts about adoption!

  1. There are over 400,000 children in the U.S. system alone, this number includes foster care and over 100,000 of these are waiting for adoption. This means that out of all the children currently living in the U.S., 2% of them are adopted.
  2. Females who chose to adopt tend to be older, in fact over half of all mothers who adopt are over the age of 40. This number is comparative to those females who have not had children.
  3. Male children outnumber females in the foster care and adoption systems and a higher proportion of those males are African American.
  4. Famous adoptees include people such as Faith Hill, Steve Jobs, Bill Clinton, Maya Angelou and John Lennon, to name just a few!
  5. The phrase “to put up” for adoption goes back to the mid 1800’s. At that time homeless children were ferried into farm regions via train and put onto the train platforms to see if anyone would take them home.
  6. On average a child in foster care will spend five years in the system before ever being adopted.
  7. The time it takes to find a child for adoption depends on the factors you prefer like age and race. For example, parents who are searching for a Caucasian baby located in the U.S. may wait as long as five years to find a child through an agency. On the other side of that coin, the waiting list to adopt an African American child is weeks or months. African American males will also adopt out quicker than other demographics.
  8. It is also interesting to note that adopting a Caucasian baby will actually cost the adoptive parents more, averaging as high as $40,000 versus an African American child whose adoption fees can be between $10,000 and $12,000.
  9. Adopted children will often find themselves in families that have adopted before, sometimes with as many as three other adopted siblings.
  10. In the U.S. adoptive parents tend to prefer babies and toddlers as well as girls over boys.
  11. Americans have adopted children internationally at the highest rate with that number peaking in 2011. International adoptions occurred in countries like China, Russia, Vietnam and the Ukraine. In recent years tighter regulations on international adoption have cause the number to drop significantly.
  12. In the U.S. adopting within one’s family is one of the most common methods of adoption with nearly 100 million adoptees being taken in by their immediate family members.
  13. Lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual couples are legally allowed to adopt in every state minus one – the state of Florida. This prejudice persist even though recent studies show that same-sex couples who adopt are generally more education and have greater financial resources than the equivalent hetero-sexual couple.

How To Choose The Right Adoption Agency

When you are starting the adoption process you are probably heavily influenced by your desire to start a family or to have a child that you can call your own. Going forward with an adoption is complicated because of the associated emotions that get involved in the process. To make the right choices you have to be prepared to distance yourself a little.

Adoption can be likened to a large purchase because for one it does involve some financial investment, but there’s also an emotional investment to consider – one that impacts not only your family but any potential child you may choose to adopt.

Picking an agency is perhaps one of the most important components of the process as well. So how does one accomplish this monumental task? Break it down into smaller, more approachable steps. You’ll stay organized and also not feel as overwhelmed.

Use these points as a guideline for your search

  • Do your research – we’re lucky to live in the digital age, information on agencies, adoption and other professionals can be found via a few clicks of the mouse. Researching agencies online can help identify those close to you and help narrow down those that appeal to you.
  • Make a list of agencies that appeal to you – first impressions are important, if something speaks to you about an agency, write it down but be sure to follow up on your gut with some solid legwork into the company. Narrowing down agencies can also help focus your research, you can give more attention to the few vs. the many. And keep it in perspective, while online research can be helpful always keep in mind the nature of online reviews, people can be overwhelmingly negative in the anonymous sphere of the internet. So branch out, talk to people who have used the agency and make some phone calls.
  • The best agencies are focused on children – adoption agencies are in the business of placing children in a family that will love them, they are interesting in finding actual homes for the children in their care. Common traits among these agencies will be:
    • Pre-adoption information and education, stressing education to prospective adopters, some of these agencies will even host education sessions on their own
    • Counseling for both potential adopters and birth mothers
    • Stress the importance of a lifelong relationship between you, the adopter, and themselves, the agency
    • Stresses welfare rather than numbers of children placed
  • Talk to people who have used the agency – the internet can also assist with this process, find an online group or message board and inquire about the agencies you’re leaning towards. The agency itself may also provide references to families who they’ve worked with in the past. Talking to people who have gone through the process with the exact company you’re looking at is key.
  • Review the fees – be sure to ask the agency for their fee structure, understand what you will be charged for, when those charges will occur and when they will be due for payment. These fees will pay for the adoption agency’s services and the do not imply a guarantee that a suitable match will be found for your adoption. As with any large expenditure be wary if payment is demanding in full and ask your legal counsel to look over any documentation before you sign it.

Remember, any agency should withstand your scrutiny, if you follow your instincts and use the common-sense tips above you’ll be well on your way to selecting an agency that will work for you. Once you find the agency that meets your needs you are one step closer to building your family!

8 Tips For Adopting A Child

When you are at the beginning stages of looking into adoption the process can appear overwhelming. It can be, at times, a complicated process with varying emotions from anticipation and excitement to one filled with uncertainty. The following steps can be helpful when you’re considering adoption.

  1. Be Prepared – first and foremost, do your research. Research the process of adoption, the fees, documents, legal fees and the waiting periods for all of the steps along the way. Adoptions can be drawn out over long periods, being prepared for this downtime between steps can help ease anxiety with the process.
  2. Do the Research – adoption can be a long and overwhelming journey, be prepared by researching the methods you’ll be using to adopt, the agency, lawyer, and the prospective birth parents.
  3. Ask Questions! If you’re unsure about the agency or anything about the adoption process itself, ask your legal professional about it. Ask the agency to provide information and references. You should never be asked to pay a full amount up front or make a decision right away. Professional agencies and services will go out of their way to make sure you’re comfortable with the process.
  4. Decide the details – before choosing to bring a child into your home and life it is important that you do some soul searching about what exactly you want from the adoption itself. Are you looking for a baby, do you have a preference over gender, do you want a U.S. born child or an international one. Adoption isn’t a one size fits all scenario and you must consider all options before wading into the process. For example, would you be willing to adopt siblings or a special needs child? The relationship with the birth parents, whether it’s a closed or open adoption can also be decided.
  5. Prepare finances or acquire financing – adoption can be costly depending on the option you choose. Determining the type of adoption is the first step in preparing for the financial responsibilities you’ll face.
  6. Prepare to Wait – the process of adoption can take an amazing amount of time to complete from start to finish and many couples express surprise at just how long it takes. It is best to focus on each step individually, be excited about the outcome but invested in the moment. By focusing on what each step entails and successfully moving through the steps one-by-one you’ll help ward off the waiting game jitters.
  7. Getting to know your new baby or child – once the process is completed and you have brought your new child home give them some time to acclimate to their new home, if they are older they may have had foster parents before you, you may be able to talk to the previous foster homes to get an idea of what life was like for your child before you adopted them. Learning their routines can be especially important in helping them transition into your family and make them as comfortable as possible.This can be especially true for international adoptions or bringing a child into your home from another state even. Traveling to the child’s home, be it a country or a state, can give you an opportunity to connect to the culture they are coming from. Connecting with a child’s past can be a great start to getting to know each other or forming an attachment.
  8. Post adoption services – be sure to take advantage of post adoption services, bringing your child home isn’t the end of the process, rather it is just the beginning of your life together with the child you have chosen to bring into your family. Post-adoption services can provide support for those who have gone through a similar journey and help with some special cases like special needs children.

In short, use the resources at your disposal and do your research. Adoption is a big step and one that results in a permanent member of your family. Always take the time to discuss concerns or questions to the professionals who will be aiding in your search for a child for adoption.

How Much Does It Cost To Adopt A Child?

The choice to adopt is one that is seemingly easy to make at first and for many couples who cannot have a child of their own adoption is the obvious choice. What isn’t obvious for those stepping into the world of adoption is just how many options there are out there. When immersing yourself into the process it can seem overwhelming. What you may not know is that there are many options when choosing adoption and these can come with varying costs.

ADOPTION AGENCIES

Adoption agencies are probably the first thing you think of when you think “adoption”. This sort of agency is common in the United States and domestic adoptions. These agencies will try to find a family for a native born infant. Adoption agencies can funded through public or private means, private agencies will sometimes have more restrictions that other more public institutions.

The typical cost for this sort of adoption can range from $20,000 to $40,000.

PRIVATE ADOPTION

Private adoption is another common method to adopting a baby born in the United States. In private adoptions the prospective or adoptive parents would locate a birth mother themselves. This usually takes place with the help of legal counsel. Private adoptions account for about half of all adoptions in the U.S. Adoptive parents can locate a birth mother through a variety of ways including social media, advertisements in newspapers or other media and even through personal webpages. Arrangements will vary by both the adoptive parents and the birth mother with specifics usually outlined by a lawyer.

The typical cost for this sort of adoption average around $35,000. Costs associated with this form of adoption include legal fees and medical expenses.

INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION

International adoption through countries such as Vietnam, China, Africa or Latin America is perhaps the third most common method of adoption for parents based in the United States. The adoptive parents will also be required to travel to the country where the child is. Special consideration may need to be implemented when adopting internationally, children from under-developed countries will have their own set of challenges and consultation with a doctor is often encouraged.

The typical cost for this sort of adoption range from $25,000 to $50,000 with costs varying based on governmental requirements as well as travel to and from the country of adoption.

FOSTER CARE ADOPTION

In the United States there are over 50,000 children in the foster care system. Sometimes referred to as children in waiting many of them are available for adoption from the public system. Adoptions through foster care will be handled by the public system or the state system. For those wishing to go through the foster system you can either apply directly to the foster program as a potential adoptee or you can foster a child first, then go through the adoption process. In a foster adoption process the birth parent’s usually have their rights terminated on adoption.

It should be noted that children in the foster system are usually older, infants may not be available for adoption within foster care however this method can be one of the more economical ways to adopt.

The typical cost for this sort of adoption range from $0to $3,000 in expenses, some of these fees can be reimbursed through federal plans and you may even qualify for a federal tax credit.