Domestic adoption refers to any kind of adoption that takes place in the United States. There are three core kinds of domestic adoption: independent, private agency and public agency. All of these adoptions can be radically different within themselves due to the customizable experience that adoption has evolved into. However, following are the basics on domestic adoption.
Every adoption requires a home study. These will generally cost a few thousand dollars, but depending on the kind of federal or state aid an adopter can acquire, these fees can be reimbursed at a later date or on tax returns.
Public agencies are government-run and usually handle older child adoption. The majority of these children will have come from foster homes or institutions. Of all adoptions, domestic and international, those made through a public agency are associated with the lowest fees. This is mostly because there are no services to pay for a birth mother and no philanthropic donations to an orphanage (as in international adoptions).
Infant adoptions are those that are handled independently and by private agencies. These will require more services to finalize the adoption and overall fees for both can be anywhere from $5,000 to over $30,000. They also may have the longest wait times because infants are among the most desired age for adoptable children. The main difference between the two is the mediation of the adoption. Attorneys play a much larger role in independent adoptions than those through an agency, where negotiations between a birth mother and adoptive parents are handled by a case worker.