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Adopting a Newborn in the U.S.

Your guide to domestic adoption with Adoption Choices of Missouri with Facts:

  • The annual number of infants adopted domestically (excluding foster and relative adoption) is estimated to be around 18,000 which is far greater than the annual number of international adoptions.
  • The adoption process of a newborn in the United States is much faster than you probably think. A 2016/2017 study found that when using an adoption agency, 62% of families were matched within 1 year and 82% were matched within 2 years.
  • In the majority of U.S. newborn adoptions, adoptive parents are selected by the birth parents of the child, and in at least half of the cases, the birth parents and adoptive parents meet. Adoptive families usually appreciate the opportunity to build a relationship with their child’s birth family.
  • Ongoing contact, or open adoption, is increasingly common while a semi-open adoption is next most common and closed adoptions are rare.
  • Adoptive families must work with an agency to complete a home study, but may choose to work with an attorney for the majority of the process as well, depending on state laws.
  • Adoption is always free for the birth parents and often will receive financial support. Depending on the situation, and the laws of the state where the family lives and where the baby is born, prospective adoptive parents may cover some of the living and medical expenses of the birth mother.
  • Average estimated cost of a domestic adoption: $25,000 to $50,000. Note, costs can vary considerably.
  • Privately adopted babies in the U.S. are usually newborns.
  • There are no legal restrictions on adoptive parent age in most states. Older couples or individuals or young couples or individuals are welcome to apply.
  • There are no legal restrictions on adoptive parent family dynamics. Married couples, same-sex couples, and singles are all welcome to choose adoption.
  • The adoptive family must satisfy the laws of both the state where the baby is born and the state where they reside before they can bring the child to a different state according to the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC). Depending on the states, this varies from one day to several weeks.

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