Should I Adopt Domestically or Internationally?
Several children are ready to be adopted in the United States. In fact, 107,918 American kids are waiting to be chosen by families right now. In addition to that, Americans completed 19,942 international adoptions in 2007.
Should You Adopt Domestically or Internationally?
Before you decide to adopt domestically or internationally, it is a good idea to consider the following issues.
If adopting a newborn baby is important to you, then you will have to decide to adopt domestically. International adoptions require that you adopt an older child. If, on the other hand, you were hoping to adopt an older child, you must be aware that one of the main reasons that adoptions are disrupted in America is because of the older age of the child.
A disruption occurs after the child was placed in an adoptive home before the adoption had a chance to be finalized. In this case, the child returns to the foster care system. Disruptions occur in 10 percent to 25 percent of the adoptions in the United States. Therefore, if you are happy to accept an older child, adopting internationally may be an option for you.
International adoption can be predictable, but domestic adoptions may be less so. For example, in domestic adoption, the birth mother has the option of choosing the adoptive parents for her baby. Also, this decision could depend on several other factors, including which trimester the mother is currently in and the other professionals involved in the adoption. In most cases, this process may only take a couple of months.
Although an international adoption can be more predictable than domestic adoption, several things can disrupt the international adoption process, including changes in the country’s laws, a shift in the country’s feelings toward the United States and the economic situation in the country.
The Social and Medical History of the Children’s Birth Families
In domestic adoption, agencies often have a considerable amount of medical and social information on the birth mother’s family. Even so, it is important to note that one of the main reasons that adoptions are disrupted in the United States is because of a history of sexual or emotional abuse. If you are adopting internationally, you will most likely receive extensive medical history on the child, but there may not be very much information on his or her family.
Do You Want an Open or Closed Adoption?
For many Americans, international adoption is preferable because they aren’t required to have an open adoption. They do not want any contact with their children’s birth families. Domestic adoptions, on the other hand, may be at least “semi-open.” This means that you will meet the birth mother, and you may even talk to her on the phone.
To make things easier on the mother, the agency will send updates and photographs that you send. This is to reassure the birth mother that she did the right thing and that her baby is having a good life.
How Much Does It Cost?
There is no way to know whether it would be less costly to adopt domestically than internationally. In general, a domestic adoption will cost American parents between $20,000 and $35,000. International costs are a little more unpredictable. Some people paid $15,000 for international adoption, but others spent as much as $50,000. In both cases, your money will be at risk because a domestic adoption could be disrupted, and the country in which your international adoption takes place could slow down the process.
Concern About the Birth Mother
People often have a nightmare scenario in their minds about the birth mother coming to their doors to take their babies back. This is the reason that many people choose to adopt internationally, but this is an unfounded concern. In a legal adoption, the birth mother’s parental rights are terminated, so even if she found your door, she wouldn’t be able to take your baby. You can be assured that she will not know your address if your adoption is closed or semi-open. Besides that, most birth mothers are satisfied with the decision they made to give up their babies for adoption, so you really don’t need to worry about this happening to you.
Even if you are working with an agency, you will want to have the services of a New Jersey adoption lawyer. An attorney will guide you throughout the entire process and address all the legal issues involved in adopting domestically and internationally.
Contact the law firm of Cofsky & Zeidman to consult with a New Jersey adoption lawyer today. Call (856) 429-5005 to reach our main office in Haddonfield.