Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Domestic Adoption

OK so a while ago I posted about foster care & adoption.....and will in the future post about international too.....but for now this is all about domestic adoption!

If you would have asked me after adopting 7 children already that a domestic adoption would be possible- yeah, I would have totally laughed in your face!!!!  Seriously!  BUT now that we have become a lot more familiar with domestic adoption....I know the TRUTH!!!  Truth is there are many many many children each and every year here in the US that need families!  They are children of every skin color (although darker skinned children are still placed on the "hard to place" listings- SAD).

There are families of all shapes and sizes needed- single moms, large families, small families- and everyone in between!  If you would have said that domestic adoption does NOT consist of waiting for years and years....I would have said- you are CRAZY!!!!  Yeah, well I know a lot better now!

So what does a domestic adoption take?  It takes a homestudy ready family.  That is people who have hired a local social worker or agency to come into their home and do interviews with them- usually 3 or so visits.  The cost of this varies but is usually $1,000-$3,000, and usually takes a month to 4 months.  Up front - ask them how long it will take so you don't get your hopes up and you know reality!!!  (hmmmm.....maybe I will do another post just on the homestudy aspect because it is pretty specific and is needed for domestic and international adoptions).

So now that you know the rumors are NOT TRUE!  ANYONE who has space, time, love, and earns enough to support another child (YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE RICH) can adopt!

So what are some of the perks & hard spots to domestic adoption.....
*Compared to international adoption it is a much more stable - politically.
*Your child/ren are usually infants- sometimes weeks old, but usually days old or less....
*You usually know a lot more about your child and the birth family medically speaking and socially speaking.
*There is usually some continued contact with the birth family like letters and photos- sometimes more sometimes less (again another post about the different kinds of ongoing contact- open, semi-open, and closed terminology)
*Sometimes it fails..............*The travel is usually a lot cheaper as opposed to international.  Sometimes it is within your own state....sometimes it is across the country- depends on your agency.  If it is out of state the travel time is usually 1-2 weeks for the consents to be signed and for the interstate compac agreement to be cleared.  The interstate compac agreement is just the bureaucracy of each state sending and receiving the child.  It is not a "test" just a formality that has to be done for your adoption across state lines.
*You have little control in being "picked" in domestic adoptions, but there are times when the agency does the pick as well.  This can feel helpless, but it can also reassure you that the birth family wants you too!
*You have to make up profiles for the birth family to view- giving an outline of your family, who you are, and why you want to adopt...reassuring them that you are a loving family.  This can be stressful, but there are many people out there ready and willing to help you do this too!

SO- there is risk, but as with any adoption the risk you take to love a child.  Contrary to popular belief though there are many children that STILL NEED HOMES!!!!!

Great Questions to ask of a domestic adoption agency:
Do you work with other states....if so which ones?
***Keep in mind that there are a few states that have harsh consent laws that take a long time, but MOST states the signing of parental rights or consent happens within 48-72 hours or upon release from the hospital. 
How many adoptions does the agency complete in one year?
Approximate costs?  Does it vary with children of different skin color?  Or children with special needs?
Do they work with other agencies for homestudies or do they do all the homestudies themselves?
Are there situations when the agency does the pick?
Are there certain situations where there are last minute placements- how many?
Is your agency comfortable with you working with other agencies at the same time? **Sometimes you can get access to an agencies "waiting" situations page and ask to be referred to different situations, as long as they do not all overlap.
Does your agency help with doing profiles?
How many profiles will they need and in what format?  - digital, hard copies, specific binding, etc.
What happens once you are "picked" by a birth family - are there specifics with that agency?
What is your agencies policy when an adoption does not happen either by failed adoption or you are just waiting a longer time?  Do you have to pay additional money- if so how much, are there limits?
How much is usually paid to the birth families- are there limits (this varies by state and adoption agencies) for birth family expenses?

I know that with adoption- MONEY is a HUGE deal.  Make sure you know what you are thinking about with how to raise or save for it.  There are many interest free loans, and grants to be had out there if you do your homework!  There are many fundraising ideas that great creative people have done, that work!

I would say your average costs of domestic adoptions are $15,000-25,000 for dark skinned children.  $20,000-30,000 for children that have parents of different skin colors.  $30,000-40,000 for light skinned children.  It is what it is- I LOATHE writing this....that there is a difference!!!  Notice I don't like using "race" as a word.  This is my opinion- We all came from Adam and Eve.....and later Noah's family.  Therefore even though we come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and skin colors- I don't differentiate in that.  I know I know we all need to be aware that there are differences, how this affects our children, but hey it's my blog- and that is my opinion :)  he he he

So before this gets realllllllyyyyyy loooonnnnnggggg- I will stop and write more later.  BUT please e-mail us if you have ANY QUESTIONS!!!  I would love to hear them.  AND if you want to talk with us about Mother Goose Adoptions....just let me know because we are needing families for some very precious children!!  ;)


  1. Thank you for posting this today. It really touched my heart, especially since our failed international adoption last week. Right now we are trying to gather as much factual information as possible and will make the decision to move forward when we are ready.

    I appreciate you reaching out to us and for your encouragement and prayers.

    Many blessings,

  2. Thank you for this! We are still praying about where the Lord wants us and when. :)

  3. Thanks for posting this and being so wonderful and patient with my thousands of questions. We are currently fundraising and can't wait until we can say yes to a placement and have the funds lined up. All God's timing but we are soooo excited. Your love for children and adoption is encouraging so many people on a daily basis to adopt. God Bless you!

  4. Oh, your comments about who ends up on the "hard to place" lists are so true and so sad. I just wanted to mention that we paid practically nothing for our domestic adoption. We paid for some classes (Boys Town classes through our county) and some licensing (like CPR and first aid), fingerprinting and background check,(which I think was the most expensive thing at about $150 for each of us) but that's about it. Our home study was conducted for free by our agency. We did hire a "private attorney" who was really an attorney on the list from the county workers, and believe it or not, the good 'ole broke state of CA reimbursed us the $800 in attorney's fees ($400 for each child in the sib set.) All total, I bet we spent less than $700 for a sib set in CA! I'm not sure if maybe your numbers reflect private adoptions, but through the fost-adopt system, it's very inexpensive!

  5. My question is are there guidelines to how long you need to wait to adopt domestically after having a child or adoption another child. We are obviously going to be very busy with two little one's under a year here soon but we are very interested in pursuing a domestic adoption sometime down the road and are curious of how long we would have to wait IF we felt God leading us in this direction :)

  6. This is such a helpful post, thank you so much! It is the second time in a week I have felt nudged in this direction... we adopted from Ethiopia 8 months ago and are still adjusting so I've not yet talked w/ DH about the possibility of domestic adoption. One of the reasons we chose international was because the thought of birth parent involvement was really scary to him.

    Does Mother Goose work with families in NY state?

  7. great post! bookmarking this for later :-)

  8. Mother Goose works with people from ALL states.

    Different agencies require different times after adopting or after giving birth. I think a good guideline for anyone is a year, but there are many exceptions that sometimes have worked really well.

    When I talk about domestic adoptions in this post I am talking directly about agency adoptions and not foster care adoptions. Yes foster care adoptions have very little if any cost. Check out our post on foster care/adoption to see more on that adoption possibility :)

  9. Love your opinion near the end of your post--I couldn't agree more!!!

    Love and blessings from the North,

  10. I feel like Mike and I are ready for this. We are licensed foster parents and our agency does all types of adoption. We had a homestudy done last winter for Madi's adoption through foster care.
    Whats next for us?
    And Id like more info about Mother Goose... we have discussed special needs adoptions... and would like to consider those too!!
    Help! :o)

  11. And if you're willing to adopte older children... costs are almost nil (tax credits, etc.), continuing subsidy may be available, and kids are eligible for Medicaid. Not to mention, older can mean - already potty trained! ;-)

    Mom to 2 bio kids, and an adopted domestic sibling group of four - 11.5 years ago
    (Kids now 22,21,20,19,16,15)
    And Grandma to two

  12. Our Xander was born 12 miles from our home. Seriously! Just a few exits up the road! Also, I want to encourage your readers that some agencies have sliding scale fees. Our adoption was $8K and would have been less if we would have done our homestudy through our placing agency. God does all kinds of creative things to get the lonely into families!

  13. Very informative, thank you. We are in prayer concerning adoption, it seems so far away from our life right now, but I still keep it in my heart.

  14. We are 56 and 53 years old. We adopted all of our 15 children domesticly. (last adoption 7 years ago, last birth baby 6 years ago LOL!) Our kids are ages 6-35 yrs old.

    In May of 2009 we began another domestic adoption and were rejected 10X due to our ages. That hurts.
    We are now adopting internationally (Bulgaria) two precious boys, 3 years old that will hopefully come home this spring.

    Please if you are adopting and our ages, realize that Birth moms are not going to pick you. Our oldest granddaughter is 13, birth moms think we are ancient! And even though we wanted special needs children only; with all of our experience, younger parents were chosen over us.