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:
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.