Adoption is a big step, but it is a fundamentally rewarding one for both the child and the parents. Along with the adoption process, however, come some potentially difficult decisions, like whether to do an international or domestic adoption. Both have their pros and cons, and have a lot to do with the needs of both the family and the child in question. That’s why it’s important to have all the facts before moving forward.
Adoption Costs Vary Widely
In the United States, almost 45% of all adoptions are domestic. Clearly, many families prefer to adopt children who live near them, which happens for a variety of reasons. One of the most obvious is cost. While it’s a myth that domestic adoption is more expensive than international adoption, the truth of the matter is that adoption costs vary drastically depending on all of the circumstances involved. However, some costs are known and can be easier to reduce.
Most of the time, the family meets the birthmother when the child is born, may be responsible for some of her living or medical costs, and is expected to arrive at the hospital before the birth, and stay until the child is cleared to leave the hospital. All of this can add up–but is much lower when the birth mother is only the next town over, rather than out of state or across the ocean. While this is probably not the main reason that a family makes the choice that they do, it can definitely be a factor.
Adoption Can be a Waiting Game
Another misconception is the amount of time that it takes for the entire adoption process to take place. While some families have heard horror stories that it takes years, the vast majority of families complete the process within a year, and oftentimes it’s much shorter. While it is an in-depth, and time consuming-process, it is absolutely doable and worth it.
You’ll Likely Know About Your Child’s Background
One of the major positive aspects of a domestic adoption is that it allows a more complete medical background for the child. This can be crucial as the child grows, because it gives the adoptive parents time to prepare to meet any medical challenges that could occur and provide the safest environment for the child.
A domestic adoption allows this more complete transfer of information, whereas adopting internationally can often provide a barrier to medical accuracy. Similarly, the domestic adoption process can allow more freedom in the social history of the birth parents, which can be helpful when the child has questions, or when the adoptive parents want/need clarification on the child’s behavior. This transparency can be a major draw for prospective parents, because it allows a more complete and accurate picture, which lets them make more informed choices and prepare more thoroughly.
While the choice between an international or domestic adoption depends heavily on the family in question, it’s important to learn and consider all the facts as you move forward. Just like with anything, there are pros and cons to the choice, and those should be carefully thought through.