Adoption is an amazing way to grow a family. Adoption can also be a confusing process and can come through many different avenues. Today I am offering a quick overview of the different types of adoption available and a free printable resource comparing important factors for each avenue of adoption.
There are four main avenues in which a person can adopt a child:
1. Adoption from Foster Care
2. Foster to Adopt
3. Domestic Infant Adoption
4. International Adoption
Each of these avenues to adoption are unique, special and important for the children and families involved. One is not better than another, one simply may fit a family’s dynamics better than another. I believe that they are all necessary and beneficial for our communities and world-wide.
As a side note, there are a couple of other ways that a child can be adopted, such as kinship adoption and private adoption, however these methods of adoption are less common and more circumstantial than elective compared to the four main types. Kinship adoption occurs when a person adopts the child of a family member and private adoption occurs without agency involvement and assistance. Both types of adoption are possible and valid, but are not methods of adoption that can be easily pursued without already knowing of a child in need of an adoptive family.
Adoption from Foster Care
Adoption from foster care is essentially adopting a waiting child. These children were placed in the foster care system through no fault of their own, but due to abuse, neglect or abandonment by their first family. Reunification with biological family is almost always the goal in foster care, but unfortunately that is not always possible. When a child in the foster care system cannot return home, adoption is the next option for a safe, loving and permanent home and family. These children are in desperate need of a family and permanency in their lives.
Foster to Adoption
Foster to adoption sounds the same as adoption from foster care, but there is a difference. Foster to adoption requires that you first become a foster parent. A foster parent is a person who commits to allowing children live in their home temporarily for an undetermined amount of time while reunification with biological family is pursued. If reunification is not possible, the fostering family then decides to adopt the child, making them a permanent family member. This avenue of adoption prevents another child from being put on the long waiting list of children seeking families.
Domestic Infant Adoption
Domestic infant adoption is a common avenue of adoption. It involves an agency that assists with matching perspective adoptive families with parents who are expecting and wishing to place their infant for adoption at birth. The agency prepares the adoptive family for the process and assists with the adoption finalization. It also seeks out women who are considering adoption and helps them choose a family that they would like to adopt their child. Domestic infant adoption is an excellent alternative to abortion or for women who choose not to parent the child born to them.
International adoption is the adoption of a child from a country other than your own. In the United States, the most common internationally adopted children are from China, Russia, South Korea, Ethiopia and Ukraine. An agency is required to adopt internationally due to laws and the tremendous amount of paperwork and red tape involved. Children adopted internationally are typically residing in orphanages and are in need of loving families.
For more explanation on the different Types of Adoption check out this page.
There are many important issues to consider when you are learning about the avenues of adoption to help you decide which may be the right direction for your family. I have compiled a comparison chart of the important factors for each type of adoption to help you understand important elements to consider for each avenue to adoption.
If you have any questions about the types of adoption or about adoption or foster care in general, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me here.