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The Different Types of Adoption

Adopting a child is a very fulfilling experience for parents, but getting there isn’t always easy. One of the first obstacles is understanding the different types of adoption in the US and choosing the one that’s best for you.

There are many different ways to categorize adoptions. Some professionals only distinguish between international and domestic. Others split adoption types into private and public. However, we will break it down and take a more detailed approach.

1. Private Adoption (This is the main focus of Choice)

Choice is a licensed non-profit adoption agency, and like others with this accreditation, we are held accountable to provide the best services at the fairest cost while providing compassionate services to birthmothers, waiting adoptive families and foster children. Licensed agencies are also required to abide by a strict code of standards and policies.

Note that sometimes there is no agency. Instead, there is a direct legal agreement between the adoptive and birth parents.

2. Adopting Through the Child Welfare System (Choice also has a foster child adoption program)

Also known as foster care, this system involves adopting children who are under the custody of the State. Children are abused, abandoned or neglected by their parents and therefore taken into foster care … After a parent’s parental rights are terminated, their children become available for adoption.

3. International Adoption

According to the US Department of Health & Human Services, international adoptions are extremely common. Many families pursue this option to widen their search for an addition to the family. Others want to provide opportunities for children of underserved and/or underprivileged families in underdeveloped and developing countries.

4. Relative or Kinship Adoption

Sometimes people adopt members of their own family. One of the most common instances is when an aunt adopts her nieces and nephews because her sibling is unable to care for them. According to Child Welfare information, in any instance where children cannot safely remain at home with their parents, this is the first type of adoption considered.

5. Adult Adoption

This is perhaps one of the most surprising additions to the list, but it does happen.

“There is typically a 10-year age difference and both adults can demonstrate that it is in the adoptees best interest to be adopted,” says a Child Welfare worker. For example, “[The] youth placed in a foster home at 17, but is now 18 years old … caregiver and youth want to become an official family and move forward with adoption.”

The Recommended Type

There is no one type that is best for any family. If you are considering adoption to start or grow your family, be sure to consider your finances, patience, resilience and the willingness to navigate international and transracial complications.

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