Many prospective parents seek to adopt healthy infants, often of a background similar to their own. In the United States, a relatively small percentage of healthy, Caucasian infants are placed for adoption. Most Caucasian infants available for adoption are placed through adoption agencies and independent or private adoptions (adoption attorneys). African-American, Hispanic, and mixed-race infants are available for adoption both through public and private adoption agencies. The adoption of American Indian children (of all ages) by non-Indians is strictly controlled by the Federal Indian Child Welfare Act (P.L. 95-608). Fees and waiting times for infants vary tremendously, depending on the type of adoption involved and the specific circumstances of the adoption.
Children Awaiting Families
Many children in the U.S. foster care system are available for adoption. These children may be determined to have special needs, meaning they may be older (grade school through teens); may have physical, emotional, or mental disabilities; or may be brothers and sisters who should be adopted together. Both public agencies and some private agencies place children with special needs. In addition, national, regional, and state adoption exchanges will assist in linking prospective parents with these children. Adoption exchanges and adoption agencies usually have photolistings and descriptions of available children, and many photolistings, like AdoptableKids.com, provide information about waiting children on the Internet, . In many cases, financial assistance in the form of adoption subsidies is available to help parents with the legal, medical, and living costs associated with caring for a child with special needs.
Children in Foreign Countries
Many children in other countries are available for adoption. Russia, China, Korea, India, Romania, Guatemala, Vietnam, Ukraine, Cambodia, Kazakhstan and other countries in Eastern Europe, Central America, and South America are the sending countries for most foreign-born children adopted by Americans. More than 700 U.S. private agencies place children from foreign countries for adoption, and a few countries allow families to work with attorneys rather than agencies. Children available for adoption in other countries are often living in orphanages, and in some instances, are in foster care.
There are strict in-country and immigration requirements for adopting children from other countries, as well as substantial agency fees and transportation, legal, and medical costs. It is important that you choose a licensed, knowledgeable organization. The international adoption process can be lengthy and complex, but can often be more predictable.