Domestic Adoptions Making a Comeback
A domestic adoption is an adoption of a child in the USA. Domestic adoptions have declined, but remain a viable alternative to adopt a child.
Is it almost impossible to adopt a USA-born infant?
No. The fact is in the recent past there have been more than 20,000 American families successfully adopting newborn babies per year.*
But has there has been a drop in domestic adoptions?
Yes. The drop is due to the ready availability of contraception, the social acceptance of being a single unmarried mother, and the availability of welfare funds for unwed mothers.
There has been a drop in newborn American adoptions since the 1970’s. In the 1970’s the percentage of single mothers placing children for adoption was 9%. In 2002 it was 1.4%.*
Does it not take an incredibly long time to adopt a domestic child through an agency?
No, most families can successfully adopt within two years of beginning the process.*
Isn’t the cost of a domestic adoption prohibitive?
Not usually. Usually the cost of a domestic adoption is significantly less than a foreign adoption. The cost of a domestic adoption varies widely, from as little as about $5,000 to more than $30,000. The median cost of a domestic adoption is under $20,000.*
What has been the major change in adoptions over the past 30 years?
The right of the mother (and sometimes of both parents) to choose the baby’s adoptive parents.
In the traditional agency adoption the mother “surrendered” her baby to the agency and she was thereafter totally out of the picture, with the agency, exclusively, selecting the adoptive parents. Birth mothers, however, discovered they are in a strong negotiating position so the birth mother may, if she chooses, participate in the selection process.
*Facts taken from “Perception & Reality the Untold Story of Domestic Adoption” in June 2007 Adoptive Families.