Every year, more than a hundred thousand children receive the blessing of a permanent, loving family through the process of adoption. In 2007 alone, more than 136,000 children were adopted. Domestic adoption, either through private agencies or through foster care, comprises more than two-thirds of this total number. Unfortunately, domestic adoption has also suffered from a number of misconceptions that do not accurately reflect what the process is and who it involves.
Following are a few of the latest trends in domestic adoption. Gaining an understanding of these trends might help you to better appreciate the process and perhaps even consider it as a way to grow your own family.
A few statistics pertaining to domestic adoption provide a clearer picture of the landscape as it stands today. Around 136,000 children were adopted in the United States in both 2007 and 2008, the last year in which a major study of these statistics is available. Of these, about 86 percent were domestic adoptions. About 38 percent were private adoptions facilitated by adoption agencies and others. Another 37 percent were public adoptions out of the foster care system, speaking to both the value of the adoption agency and the hard work of the foster care system.
Although children were adopted in every state, Texas ranked third in the number of domestic adoptions. This speaks to the large number of people who live in the state, as well as to the hard work of the adoption agencies in Texas, such as Providence Place, and the other individuals and agencies who devote themselves to finding children permanent homes in which to thrive. As these statistics indicate, welcoming a child into your family is neither uncommon nor out of reach.
Another trend in domestic adoptions is the overall affordability of the process. Adoption may seem like a dauntingly expensive process. Stories of families spending tens of thousands of dollars to bring children home can make it feel impossible to successfully complete the adoption process. It is true that the cost of adoption can rise upwards of $25,000. However, adoption agencies work very hard to lower their overhead and make adoption as affordable as possible to place more children with more families.
In addition, there are options available to help curb the cost of domestic adoptions. While some agencies offer payment on a sliding scale, this often results in a higher final cost. If there are complications with the pregnancy, for example, the price can increase unexpectedly to cover the additional care needed. Rather, couples should look for agencies that offer one flat fee that will not change based on things like birth mother expenses, the number of matches they meet with or other variables. Some employers provide benefits, bonuses, or other aid for employees who embark on the adoption process. Other options that can ease the financial aspect of the adoption process are loans, payment plans, and tax credits.
While international adoption in Texas is also popular, recent years have seen an increase in the number of people both adopting domestically and being affected by domestic adoption. For instance, in 2007, 38 percent of all adoptions were private domestic adoptions, as opposed to 25 percent of all adoptions being international adoptions. These statistics have remained the same over the past several years. Part of the increase in domestic adoptions is due to current restrictions on international adoptions that make the international adoption process harder and longer.
Another recent trend in domestic adoptions is the increased familiarity with and acceptance of open adoptions. Open adoptions occur when the birth parents and the adoptive parents learn about each other before the adoption, meet before the adoption, and remain in contact after the adoption. This process is usually facilitated by the domestic adoption agency. This process, when it was first introduced, was greeted with widespread skepticism.
SEE ALSO: Preparing to Meet A Birth Mother
However, it is increasingly becoming an accepted and positive aspect of domestic adoptions. The birth parents receive peace of mind and a say in the family who adopts their children, and the children gain the benefit of staying in contact with their birth families and heritage. Combined with the advantage of knowing the child’s background, adoptive families are increasingly leaning toward open adoptions. When you choose to pursue open adoption in Texas, you receive the support and help of an adoption agency. This agency will guide you through the open adoption process and provide the emotional support needed by both the birth parents and adoptive families.
Domestic adoptions provide a wonderful way for you to open your home and family to a child or children who need a permanent, loving home. It also gives you the opportunity to give peace of mind to birth parents who want the best for their children but who are unable to keep them for one reason or another. Recent trends in domestic adoption in the United States make this type of adoption easier and more appealing than ever before. For instance, the general affordability of domestic adoptions, their increasing prevalence, and the increasing acceptance of open adoptions make them an appealing and attainable way to expand your family.