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  1. #1
    Tondi G is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Default Domestic adoption within the US.. where to start???

    I see most, aside from Jan (Kalebsmom)(by the way she is absolutely beautiful), are adopting outside of the US, is there a reason WHY???? Is it more expensive locally??? Just curious as I have no idea about adoption and wouldn't know the first place to even start looking into the possibility! Not even sure if it is something we want to do for sure yet but figured it couldn't hurt to find out a bit more!

    Thanks

    ~Tondi
    mommy to Mason 7/8/01

  2. #2
    icunurse is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Domestic adoption within the US.. where to start???

    Where you adopt from is just as personal a choice as deciding to adopt. Some people want to help a child from a struggling country, some want a "sure thing" (birthparents don't reclaim with inernational adoption), some people want birthparents involved, some people only want a newborn. Lots of reasons. Expenses for both types of adoption tend to have a large range (you'll always find someone who barely had any fees vs. someone who paid $30,000). There are a lot of great books and websites out there to help guide you to the right decision for *you*. If you would like some suggestions, just let me know. We recently adopted our son - domestic, open adoption - seeing him at the hospital when he was a couple hours old and bringing him home 2 days later.
    Traci
    ~Connor's Mom~

  3. #3
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    Default RE: Domestic adoption within the US.. where to start???

    Tondi,

    As Traci pointed out this is a very personal choice and lots of things go into it. When considering domestic adoption, there are the foster care system and private adoptions.

    Children available for adoption through the foster care system tend to be older and/or have special needs of some sort (including, but not limited to, having been abused). This is an over-generalization though. I think this is usually the least expensive route.

    In private adoptions, the birthmother usually chooses the adoptive parents, often from an agency's available prospective parents. Waiting to be chosen means the prospective adoptive parents don't have much of an idea when things will happen. Could be tomorrow, could be next year, could be a couple of years or more. One can also do an independent search for a birthmother--I don't really know much at all about how that works.

    As Traci pointed out, there is also the revocation period, which is the time frame in which the birthparents can change their minds. This period varies considerably from state to state. I think 10 days is the shortest I've heard of and 6 months is the longest. Costs for this route vary widely depending on whether the prospective adoptive parents pay the birthmother's living expenses, medical costs, etc. What is permissible to pay varies from state to state.

    These are gross generalizations though. I think especially with domestic adoptions everyone's story is different.

    International adoption is certainly not completely predictable. Depending on the country chosen though, the process can be a bit more orderly.

    If you are interested in adoption, I would encourage you to think about what is important to you and what sort of child you feel able to parent. For example, are you able to parent a child with special needs (if so, what kinds), is it important to you that your child be of your race, is it important to you to adopt a newborn, and so on. Once you've thought those issues through, it becomes much easier to decide things like domestic vs. international.

    Hope that helps,

  4. #4
    malie Guest

    Default RE: Domestic adoption within the US.. where to start???

    I think it just happens that most people on this board tend to adopt international more of a fluke than anything else. The truth is I'm pretty sure that overall numbers of adoption in the USA are pretty evenly split between domestic and international. There are pros and cons for each and it greatly depends on your personality and what works best for your family

    http://www.adoptivefamilies.com/ Adoptive Families magazine has a nice little information center to help get you started

    http://www.adoptivefamilies.com/articles.php?aid=682 is a quick look at the domestic vs international situation

  5. #5
    smkinc is offline Silver level (200+ posts)
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    Default RE: Domestic adoption within the US.. where to start???

    I just wanted to add that there really isn't any revocation period in OR, and I think other states have similar laws. As it was explained by an adoption lawyer in our orientation class he refers to the revocation documents as the 'I can't change my mind form' to the birthmothers he works with.

    I believe that the birthmother cannot sign until 48 hours after she's given birth, though. There are some are some nuances to the law that I'm not exactly familiar with, like the time between when they sign and when it becomes final with the court is usually ~2 days (which is a limbo time for independent adoptions). However if it is an agency placement, once the agency places the child in your care, there would have to be extremely mitigating circumstances for the adoption to be revoked.

    I thought I'd clarify because this can be one of the primary worries for adoptive parents, and in my state the laws are pretty much written to favor the adoptive parents as far as revocation goes.

    Mary

    ETA: Our adoption was actually much less expensive than if we'd gone international. From my perspective if you're okay with an open adoption, the biggest downside to domestic is that you really have no idea of the timeframe of when the child will be placed (as PP mentioned). This can be very difficult if you need to plan in advance for time off work, etc.

  6. #6
    icunurse is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Domestic adoption within the US.. where to start???

    I know that www.adoption.com has more info about individual state adoption guidelines....they're all different for a domestic adoption. Here in Illinois, a birthfather can sign over his rights prior to the birth, but they don't go into effect until 72 hours after birth. A birthmother cannot sign over her rights until 72 hours after birth, but once the paper is signed, rights are permanently terminated.
    Traci
    ~Connor's Mom~

  7. #7
    Melanie is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Domestic adoption within the US.. where to start???

    Does anyone adopt via the government/county anymore? For some reason, I had it in my head that people used to place their babies for adoption with the (county?), but it seems like everything is via private agencies or attorneys. Does this expedite things or just raise the costs? Just curious b/c I recall a friend waiting years for a baby to adopt...this was in the 80's though.

  8. #8
    icunurse is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Domestic adoption within the US.. where to start???

    You can still adopt through a county/state (with little to no cost), but, most likely, you will be dealing with an older child (3 or above) or special need. Babies, especially a newborn, can take years to get, especially if you are particular (Caucasian, healthy, no drug/alcohol exposure, etc.) Remember, too, that it is a system....children may have been moved from home to home and, in many cases, the state may still try to reunite the family (if you try foster-to-adopt).
    It is becoming more common for people who place their child by choice(vs. losing custody) to want to have some of a say in where their child goes. Many birthmothers will review profiles and maybe even meet the "chosen" family, choosing them based on what they would want for their child (and typically it is not money, European vacations, and a pony :) Yes, it is more expensive than a state adoption, but you also get a lot more choices (ie. race, health, age, known family health history) and, in the case of a newborn, it usually happens faster (I know a couple working with the state who had been waiting 5 years for a baby and finally adopted a 12 y.o...it took DH and I about a year from the info session to bring our son home at 2 days of age).
    Traci
    ~Connor's Mom~

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default RE: Domestic adoption within the US.. where to start???

    Tondi,
    I think as a PP said that it is just a coincidence that more here are adopting internationally.
    One of the ways that we got started was by taking a class offered here about adoption. It is through one of the local hospitals and is run by an adoptive mom. She has people come and speak that have adopted all different ways (domestic, international, foster, etc) and they tell their story about how the process worked for them. It was helpful to hear about other's experiences. She also has alot of handouts on agencies, legal issues etc. This class also counted as our education requirement for out homestudy.
    We picked our agency after asking around. We liked the fact that there weren't any up-front charges. We only paid the agency fee after placement. I have a friend that had to pay 1/2 of the fee at the start with no guarantee that a match would be made.
    My computer is freezing up on me so I better go. Feel free to email me through the boards if you have any questions. I'd be happy to share more of our experience with you.

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