you have decided to adopt a child, you should consider what type of adoption is
best for your family. Some of the most common types of adoption are as follows:
Newborn or Infant Adoption:
While infant adoptions can be
handled with the assistance of a licensed adoption or state agency, many are
handled privately between the birth and adoptive parents with the help of an
attorney. In such cases, the birth parents voluntarily relinquish custody to
the adoptive parents.
An increasing number of social
service agencies recognize that a happy and stable foster home is the permanent
placement of choice for a child. Fostering a child in your home is one way to
ensure that attachment and bonding takes place before the adoption process is
While there is no set definition
of an "open" adoption, it usually means that the birth parents chose who will
adopt their child and that the adoptive parents have a lifelong relationship
with their biological child. The
relationship between the parties is different for every family and can range
from the birth parents having the address of the child to periodic phone calls,
letters, and visits by the birth parents.
In this type of adoption, the
birth parents usually have some say in the placement of their child. Adoptive
parents may choose to provide the birth parents with letters, photographs, and
information about the child as he or she grows, usually through the adoption
In a closed adoption, the birth
parents have little or no say in the placement of their child. The birth
parents usually will not know the child's whereabouts and will not have access
to on-going information about the child's life.
Domestic adoptions mean that you
will adopt a child located within the United States. Domestic adoptions can be
handled by state social service agencies, private adoption agencies, or
privately between the birth and adoptive parents with the assistance of an
Like domestic adoptions,
international adoptions can also take place with the assistance of a public
social service organization or a private agency. Many international adoptions
require the adoptive parents to travel to the country of origin to finalize the
Special Needs/Waiting Children
of children across the United States have been designated as "special needs"
children because of their age, physical disabilities, or emotional issues. The
guardianship of special needs children are usually held by a state agency that
can facilitate the adoption process.
Many states treat adoptions by
relatives less formally then non-relative adoptions, and may require a scaled
back home study or none at all. Each state differs on what is considered a
"relative," but such adoptions are generally confined to grandparents, aunts
and uncles, and adult siblings of the child.
Adoptions by a step-parent are
generally performed with the consent of one of both of the child's biological
parents and are usually handled by a private attorney. If a child is in foster
care, a state agency may facilitate the adoption process.