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Your Adoption Options

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There are many different ways to adopt a child, and as you begin to explore your plans for your family, your capabilities, and learn more about the children who need families, you may already have a preference or you may want to look further into your options.
  • Domestic Adoption (adopting an infant or older child within the U.S.)
  • International Adoption (adopting a child from another country)
  • Foster Adoption (adopting a child from the U.S. foster care system)
  • Stepparent and Kinship Adoption (adopting your stepchild or a relative)
The type of adoption you choose may help determine the type of professional(s) who will work you with during your adoption journey:
  • Agency Adoption (adopting through an adoption agency, public or private)
  • Private (or Independent) Adoption (adopting through an adoption attorney)
  • Adoption Facilitators (often faster, but more expensive and not allowed in every state)
Since adoption laws in the state where you live will, in most cases, govern your options, it is essential that you know what types of placements are allowed or not allowed by your state's adoption laws.

If you pursue an adoption across state lines, you must comply with the laws in both states before the child can join your family. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have enacted legislation (called the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children) that governs how children can be placed for adoption across state lines.

In international adoption, you will also need to comply with U.S. federal laws and the laws of your child's country, as well as state law.

For more information:
  1. Getting Started with Adoption
  2. How Many People Choose Adoption?
  3. Is Adoption Right for You?
  4. Adoption Self-Assessment Quiz
  5. Which Children Are Available for Adoption?
  6. Sibling Groups
  7. Who Can Adopt?
  8. Qualification Requirements for Adopting Parents
  9. Your Adoption Options
  10. Agency Adoption
  11. Private (or Independent) Adoption
  12. Options in Independent Adoption
  13. Adoption Facilitators
  14. International Adoption
  15. Foster Adoption
  16. Stepparent Adoption
  17. Transracial Adoption
  18. Special Needs Adoption
  19. Military Adoption
  20. Making an Adoption Plan
  21. Selecting an Adoption Professional
  22. Getting an Adoption Homestudy
  23. Adoption Costs
  24. Why Do Costs Seem So High?
  25. Help Handling the Costs of Adoption
  26. The Adoption Tax Credit
  27. Adoption Subsidies
  28. Employer Adoption Benefits
  29. Networking & Networking Tools
  30. Legal Issues in Adoption
  31. Evaluating Adoption Risks
  32. Open Adoption
  33. Breastfeeding the Adopted Child
  34. Coping With the Wait
  35. Glossary of Terms
  36. Recommended Reading
  37. Conclusion
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