The process of adoption, generalized, is: a couple decides to adopt then are matched with an available child. The journey from Point A to Point B varies with each couple and kind of adoption.
The process of adoption begins with a couple decides they want to bring a child into their family. They then have the obligation to explore their options: domestic or international, agency or independent, infant or older child.
After choosing where and how to adopt, the couple will need to pay for a home study. When a couple has passed a home study, they simply wait for placement with a child. For prospective parents adopting an infant domestically, the process may also include interviews with a future birth mother, but, mostly, a lot of waiting for placement. This can take anywhere from a few months to a few years.
Adopters seeking an older child adoption, domestically, may be asked to foster the placed child before finalizing the adoption. This may last for six months to a year.
Adopters seeking international adoption have the least placement waiting to do, however, there is a plethora of paperwork to get through before finalizing an international adoption. Some orphanages may also require an adopter to take two trips to the country of origin, which will require considerable time off from work as well as ample financial resources.
The process of independent adoption is barely facilitated and requires an adoptive couple to hire an adoption attorney and to actively seek a future birth mother.