One of the biggest choices a parent will make is whether to adopt domestically or internationally. A common misconception to first time adoptive parents is that there are no babies available for adoption in the U.S. There are actually thousands of children adopted domestically each year, many of them newborn infants. Available newborns, a clear adoption process and ability to connect with birthparents are distinctions of the domestic process.
A domestic adoption takes place between citizens of the United States, although the birthparents and adoptive families do not always reside in the same state or even region. A qualified adoption agency can introduce families across the U.S., and help with the adoption process, which also includes applications, home studies, and navigating various adoption laws.
Lifetime Adoption’s qualified adoption service screens and matches birthparents to adoptive parents, and can make referrals for attorneys to traverse the laws that can vary from state to state. If an adoption is taking place across multiple states, the attorneys will need to look at the laws in both. Another aspect of domestic adoption that can vary from state to state is the requirements for the adoptive family’s home study. A home study is a written and oral description of your family and lifestyle combined with visits to assess the safety standards of your home.
The biggest benefit of domestic adoption is that it allows for open adoption. An open adoption permits birthparents to select the adoptive family and level of communication they desire after the adoption. Some birthparents and adoptive parents elect to communicate during the pregnancy, and the adoptive parents may decide to offer help and support to their birthmother at this time. After the adoption, birthparents may want to receive letters, emails, or have phone calls. Sometimes the open adoption may include visits between the birthparents, adoptive family and child.
An open adoption benefits all parties involved. When birthparents select the family that will parent their child and have the ability to communicate as that child grows, it helps alleviate doubts and fears about their decision. Adoptive parents have access to the birth family and medical history if needed. Most importantly, open adoption benefits the child; having the gift of complete understanding of why they were placed for adoption, and knowing that they were placed with a family hand-picked to offer them nurture, stability, and love.
When selecting a domestic adoption, you can benefit from an open adoption situation that would otherwise not be available in an international adoption. There is no mystery about who the child’s family is, or what their family medical history may be. The birth and adoptive parents can decide on a level of openness and communication that suits their particular needs, and often trusted relationships form that allow a child to grow with even more people to love them than in a closed adoption.
Founder of Lifetime Adoption, adoptive mom, adoption expert, and Certified Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P).
Since 1986, adoption expert Mardie Caldwell has been dedicated to bringing couples and birth parents together in order to fulfill their dreams.
“Many years ago, I was also searching for a child to adopt. We didn’t know where or how to get started. Through research, determination, and a prayer, our dream of a family became reality. I started with a plan, a notebook, assistance from a caring adoption consultant and a lot of hard work; this was my family I was building. We had a few heartaches along the way, but the pain of not having children was worse!
Within weeks we had three different birth mothers choose us. We were overwhelmed and delighted. Many unsettling events would take place before our adoption would be finalized, many months later. Little did I know that God was training and aligning me for the adoption work I now do today. It is my goal to share with our families the methods and plans which succeed and do not succeed. I believe adoption should be affordable and can be a wonderful “pregnancy” for the adoptive couple.
I have also been on both sides of infertility with the loss of seven pregnancies and then conceiving by new technology, giving birth to a healthy daughter. I have experienced first-hand the emotional pain of infertility and believe my experience allows me to serve your needs better.
It is my hope that for you, the prospective parents, your desire for a child will be fulfilled soon.”