Deciding to adopt a child is a major life decision. Any family considering adoption undoubtedly has many questions about where to start and how the whole process works. As a domestic infant adoption facilitator, Everlasting Adoptions receives many questions regarding the differences between domestic adoption and international adoption.
When comparing these two adoption paths, families have multiple factors to consider; costs, wait times, medical history, social history, legal matters, etc. For families just beginning the adoption process or for those just wishing to learn more, we’d like to help you discover the biggest differences between domestic and international adoption.
Many families considering adoption share the misconception that international adoption costs far less than domestic adoption. However, this is not true. The cost of any infant adoption is dependent on a variety of factors – but both domestic and international adoption have similar total costs.
The differences lie in what families will have to budget for. For example, a family adopting internationally will have to factor in visa costs. Additionally, international adoption will involve a great degree of traveling to and from the country they are adopting from. On the other hand, a family adopting domestically may be contributing to birthmother expenses such as her rent and medical bills. Families adopting domestically may also need to prepare for traveling to the birthmother’s home state for the birth of the child.
It’s a common belief among adoptive families that more children are available for adoption internationally than domestically. This assumption is untrue. In fact, rules and regulations regarding international adoption have gotten more restrictive over the years, making it harder to adopt children from different countries.
There are children who need homes both within the United States and outside of the country. If your passion for adopting is unbreakable, you can find the child that was meant for your using either path.
The time it takes for a family to adopt a baby internationally or domestically relies on many factors. While we cannot speak for other adoption facilitators, over 95% of our adoptive families adopt within 24 months. There are several variables that play into this, including race of the child, whether the family chose open or closed adoption and budget. The more specific the family’s requests are (for example only being open to one race or gender), the longer that family may wait.
Adopting internationally also poses waiting factors based on the family’s adoption plan. The time it takes to adopt internationally will also differ from country to country. For example, adopting a child from China typically takes much longer than adopting from other countries such as Russia.
Weighing the Options
We have just scratched the surface of this big decision. Because a family who adopts a child from Russia will have a much different experience than a family who adopts a child from South Africa, it’s difficult to explain what to expect when adopting internationally.
We recommend carefully researching all avenues of adoption before committing to a plan. This goes beyond just domestic adoption or international adoption, but also weighing the options of closed adoption vs open adoption plus much more.
The staff at Everlasting Adoptions is committed to guiding our adoptive families through every step of the adoption process. Contact us any time for questions about domestic adoption vs international adoption or any other topics you’d like to discuss.