Couples who are considering adopting a child are choosing to do so during a time that has never been more customizable nor accessible than now. Every state and country has different adoption laws, some in conflict with others, but many meant to optimize the number of children who can be placed with adoptive individuals and couples.
Adopting a child can be done domestically and internationally, for nearly fee-free or with services heavy in fees. The process of adopting a child can be complicated, however, by things that make individuals considered nontraditional adopters. Nontraditional adopters may be single men and women, gays or lesbians, people with disabilities, those within the military, or older couples or those with large age gaps between spouses. Likewise, adoptees are also varied. Adopters can be placed with infants or children of varying ages. They can even request to adopt a child with specific special needs they may feel comfortable working with.
To go about adopting a child domestically, adopters can choose to work with a public or private agency, independently with an attorney or with a facilitator. Public agencies tend to place older children from the foster system while all other agencies and attorneys work with birth mothers and infant placement.
International adoption is handled by agencies and will almost always require the adopters to travel overseas to meet the child, be immersed in his or her culture and to finalize the adoption.
Adopting a child always requires a passed home study, which costs a few thousand dollars. This expense may or may not be reimbursed by the government.