There are many different types of adoption, such as: kinship adoption, domestic foster care adoption, private, domestic private, inter-country adoption, adoption of a healthy child or child with special needs, transracial adoption, and the adoption of an individual child or of a sibling group.
Domestic Private: These Adoptions can be facilitated by licensed adoption agencies (for-profit, or non-profit), attorneys or adoption facilitators, physicians, or other intermediaries. Often these children are adopted directly from their birth families using the services of adoption attorneys or adoption agencies to make sure that the legal requirements are met. Usually, the child's biological family chooses the adoptive family, and both parties take part in deciding how much future contact the original family will continue to have with the newly created family.
While most children adopted through private adoptions are infants, there are still many factors and variables to consider. Some of these are whether to consider only healthy infants, or infants with special needs or risk factors; whether to adopt only within your same race and ethnicity, or to adopt transracially and the degree of openness you wish to have with the child's birth family. A competent agency or attorney can provide you with counseling and classes to help you sort through these issues and make these decisions wisely.
Inter-Country (International): Adoption of children who are citizens of one country by parents who are citizens of a different country. Such adoptions require the approval of the governments of both countries. (When choosing a country from which to adopt, it is important to check the State Department website to make sure that this country is currently allowing inter-country adoptions to the U.S. to take place. Click here for more information.
"I share my story of growing up in foster care because I want to be the seen of the unseen and the voice of the unheard." 20-year-old child who grew up in Foster care
Kinship/Relative: Adoption of children by someone related to the children by family ties or by prior relationship connection. Children are sometimes adopted by their stepmothers, stepfathers, aunts, uncles or grandparents, if one or both of their parents cannot take care of them. These adoptions also need the assistance of licensed adoption professionals to make sure legal requirements are met.
Domestic Adoption from State Foster Care: Adoption of children from the U.S. foster care system, or public child welfare system. Many children in the community need new families because they are growing up in state-sponsored foster care in temporary situations that can change at any moment. These children are all ages-infants to adolescents-and races, some with health problems and some with none. Many are sibling groups of 2 or more children who need a family together. Having suffered losses, these children need new parents who are committed to helping them make the transition to a permanent home and the optimism and hope that a permanent family can offer.
While these children are generally in the custody of the public child welfare agency, these agencies often contract with private provider agencies in the community to perform the adoption services including preparation classes, home-studies, post adoption support and finalization. For most of these children, the state will provide access to Medicaid for their medical needs and a subsidy which can help meet other needs such as tutoring, summer camp, therapy, and child care or enrichment activities.