Adoption is a legally binding process in which an adult who is not biologically related to a child legally assumes the parental rights and responsibility over a child.
There are about 6 million to 10 million adult adoptees in America, and 2 percent of all children in the U.S. live with adoptive families - that's 1.5 million youth adoptees, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Adoption begins with and adopter's self-evaluation. The options for adopting a child are endlessly customizable, and it's up to the adopter to find the best possible adoption scenario to fit with his or her family dynamic. They may ask themselves: What kind of resources, such as time and money, do I have for a new family member? How could this affect the kind of child I'm interested in adopting: infant, toddler or teen? How will the community I live in support a transracial family or a child with special needs? Do I have a unique lifestyle or a disability that could affect my ability to adopt? Do I want to work with an adoption agency, facilitator or attorney?
There has never been a larger resource for information than there is now with the Internet, forums and a large pool of international partners from which adopters can expand their families. Regardless of what brings someone to the adoption community, there is someone out there with the answers and guidance to a great adoption experience that's right for your future family.