There are four general types of adoption:
1: Domestic—within the US.
2: Internatinoal—outside the US
3: Foster to Adopt—adopt a child through the foster care system
4: Embryo—one can “adopt” a frozen embryo that the biological parents are not going to have implanted
Each one has its own set of guidelines, regulations, and circumstances.
We are adopting domestically. There are three types of adoption in our arena:
1: Open—becoming more common. The child, the child’s birthparents, and the adoptive parent have open communication—phone, e-mail, letters, and sometimes visits. Each party has lots of info on the other party.
2: Semi-Open—letters are exchanged. Information is known.
3: Closed—the least common. The child’s birth parents have no contact with the child and the adoptive parents. Limited information is known about the birthparents—mostly just medical history.
There are so many adoption options available.
Of course, cost is a major factor. Adopting through foster care is the least expensive, generally, and the kids are usually older, in sibling groups, and/or have special needs. International ranges from 20,000-40,000. Domestic (with an agency) is 15,000-25,000 or with just an attorney 5,000 and up. Embryo adoption—I’m not sure how much that is.
There are things that can help w/costs—you an fundraise, apply for grants, use the tax credit, and see if you or your spouse’s employer will contribute. My husband’s company gives us $5000.
Adoption is not a process for the faint at heart. One has to go through the homestudy process (inteviews, fingerprinting, paperwork, etc.) and the “waiting” process (after you’re approved, the great WAIT begins). There is no average “wait” time. It’s all situation based.
I don’t think adoption is for everyone, but it is an awesome option, one I’m thankful for, considering my diabetes.
Just remember that adoption is so much more than just adding to your family. It’s a difficult, emotional, educational, and , of course, wonderful journey!