There are a few different ways to adopt U.S. kids. More traditional couples who wish to pursue an infant adoption can work independently with an attorney for their placement or with the help of an agency. Other adopters may wish to adopt children who are already born and living in the U.S. foster care system from a public agency. Each have their pros and cons, depending on the couple's perspective.
Independent and private adoptions are the more expensive adoption options due to all of the medical and travel expenses as well as counseling services provided to birth mothers and their families. These adoptions cost anywhere from $5,000 to over $40,000.
A domestic adoption made through a public agency, however, rarely has fees or expenses outside of the home study. These can usually be reimbursed up to $2,500 from the state. Public agencies tend to place older children, with the average age of foster children being just under 10.
To find U.S. kids to adopt, an individual or couple should ask other people they know who have adopted locally. Word-of-mouth recommendations are among some of the best an adoptive couple can ask for. They may also choose to ask local health care providers for recommendations, or they can browse through photolistings of adoptable infants and children to receive contact info for local agencies. Searching through classified ads or interviewing adoption attorneys are also possible ways to begin an independent adoption process.