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If you’re just getting started on your adoption journey, you may be wondering what terms like “open adoption,” or “domestic adoption” mean. There seem to be so MANY types of adoption! If you’re looking for a guide to these terms, you’re in the right place. Let’s get right to it!
International adoption or Intercountry adoption. International adoption involves adopting a child outside of the country you live in. While every country could use an “update” on social norms, some countries do not embrace adoption at all or have some pretty sketchy procedures. No matter what, it’s incredibly important that you find an ethical adoption agency if you are interested in adopting – ESPECIALLY if you are looking to pursue an international adoption.
Domestic adoption is when the adoptive parents, birth parents, and the child all live within the United States. The entire adoption process is regulated by State laws and policies. You will definitely want the help of an adoption agency or attorney who is familiar with the laws of your state – for super personalized care, work with a local/statewide agency.
Private adoption is when the birth parents voluntarily select the adoptive family and place the child into their care. There will always be an agency, attorney, or legal entity involved. This is not to be confused with independent adoption – they are two entirely different things.
Public adoption is, essentially, adopting through foster care. The child has been involuntarily taken from the birth family. There are currently over 500,000 children in foster care.
Independent adoption is when a hopeful adoptive family “adopts independently,” AKA does not rely on one agency or attorney. Typically, when you work with one agency, you rely on their direction entirely – setting up a home study through their recommended provider, waiting on them to give you direction for your profile book, etc. Independent adoption gives you more flexibility in the home study provider, profile book service, etc. This is why you are likely to match and place faster through independent adoption. You simply utilize an agency or adoption attorney for their legal services. Parentfinder Preferred is perfect for independent adoption.
Open adoption means there is a free-flowing line of communication between the birth family and the adoptive family. There has been an increase in open adoption in the last few decades, meaning more adopted children have the opportunity to really get a feel for their history. But, open adoptions are not always the best choice – it truly comes down to what is best for the child.
Semi-open adoption means that there is a level of communication between the birth family and the adoptive family. This is slightly more private than open adoption. Think of it as a semi-open door.
Closed adoption is a closed door. This is usually done because all parties desire a certain level of privacy. However, adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth parents may have access to records after the child is 18.
No matter the level of communication, many families may feel comfortable having a mediator, like their caseworker, involved. Childconnect.com is used by many agencies, providing a secure platform for communication in all types of adoption – whether open, semi-open, or closed. It’s also bilingual!