Adopting a Newborn in the US?
Adopting a newborn can come with some difficulties that don’t exist when it comes to adopting older children. For example, the cost of adopting a newborn can be significantly higher when compared to the reduced costs found in many sates that offer reduced fees for adopting children from foster care. In addition, the waiting time for adopting a newborn can be as long as two years due to the demand for infants. Nonetheless, adopting a child is a noble pursuit and there are several adoption options available to perspective parents.
Adopting a child through a licensed private adoption agency is one option open to prospective parents. When adopting from an agency, the birth parents give up all parental rights to the agency. The agency then works to try to match infants with prospective parents. Agencies such as these are perhaps the safest option because they need to conform to licensing and operating standards. It is, however, a more clinical process. The parents may have no choice in which child they will be adopting and they are unlikely to ever meet the birth parents.
Some private agencies are faith based and may give preference based on religious affiliation; other agencies may give preference to parents based on marital status. The cost of adopting through a private agency can be as much as $40,000.00 and the wait can be as long as two years.
Independent adoptions are allowed in most states, and in these cases the birth parents and prospective adoptive parents locate each other either independently or through a third party. The sets of parents will employ attorneys or other parties to facilitate the adoption as defined by state law. Some of these lawyers belong to the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys. This is a professional organization with high ethical standards. Parents adopting through an independent adoption should learn as much as possible about adoption prior to beginning the process. Adopting a child from across state lines may require adherence to both state’s adoption laws.
Independent adoptions can be negotiated to pay for all or part of the birth mother’s living expenses and medical fees during pregnancy and for several weeks postpartum. Each adoption contract is drawn up by the parties involved and should always be overseen by a lawyer to make the contract binding.
The birth mother and the adoptive parents often have a very close relationship and the birth mother can stay in the child’s life if agreed upon by both parties.