There are several ways to adopt a baby in the US.
Additional resources on infant adoption:
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Dawn Davenport 0:00
Welcome to weekend wisdom by creating a family.org. Creating a Family is a national support and training nonprofit for foster adoptive and kinship families. This is part of our podcast, the Creating a Family podcast and this segment drops every Sunday morning. And we answer a question that we have received. You could submit your own questions to info at creating a family.org just put weekend wisdom in the subject line and it will find its way to today. Our question is how can I adopt a baby? Great question. There are several ways to adopt a baby in the US. One way is domestic infant adoption. People call it baby adoption, domestic adoption, birth, Mother relinquishment adoption, sometimes it's called private adoption. It's the most commonly known form, perhaps of adoption in the US. It's what people often think of. In this form of adoption, it is where the birth mother and the birth father, if he is involved, relinquish their parental rights voluntarily, and usually choose the adoptive parents that they want to raise their child. So domestic infant adoption can be done that way. You can use either an adoption agency or an adoption attorney. And some folks also choose to use an adoption consultant, which is basically someone who holds your hands throughout the process and gives you advice and directions. In most infant adoptions in the US the expectant mom or couple chooses the adoptive parents or the couple or the adoptive couple, for her child or for their child, the vast majority of baby adoptions in the US have some degree of openness post adoption. The number of babies adopted each year this way in the US is always challenging to come by since nobody's really it's governed by state law. And there is no universal way that states have to keep tracking. Honestly, some states don't keep track, there's just no central place to collect this information. The best estimate is that approximately 19,000 Babies are adopted each year through private domestic infant adoption in the US. So another way to adopt a baby in the US is through the foster care system. Although there are a number of caveats to that statement. First and foremost, the goal of our foster care system is to return kids to their parents. And your role as a foster parent is to be a temporary, safe place for a child or a baby while the child welfare folks help get the family back on their feet and heading in the right direction. And this is as it should be, no one wants to state going around removing kids from their parents, just willy nilly. And this is just a reminder that the standard is not that they have to be great or even good parents. They just can't be neglectful or abusive parents, and doesn't matter that you might be a better parent that isn't the standard that they use. With all that said, however, infants are adopted from the foster care system, almost always a situation arises in the following way. A baby is placed with a foster family and stays there while the state works with the birth family. If the birth family is not able to heal, the state considers terminating parental rights at this point, are hopefully long before this point, the state should look for extended family members who are willing to raise the child. And it's in my experience that family is more willing to step forward with an infant as compared to an older child or a team. If however, no family member is found, or no family member that is adequate as found, the child welfare agency will usually turn to the babies or at this point, like the baby toddlers foster parents to see if they are willing to be a permanent placement for that child. So my word of advice is that you need to go in with the firm knowledge that it is likely that you will not be able to adopt the first, second, third or whatever child or baby in this case placed with you. You also need to be able to, for lack of better words, you know, beyond the birth parents team. By that I mean be willing to fully commit to helping the birth parents be able to regain custody of their baby. And this is not a path for everyone. And it takes a lot of commitment and self awareness on your part if your ultimate goal is to adopt. So you really need to think about that going in. There are I should add children whose parental rights have already been terminated and are just sitting there waiting for a family. However, they tend to be older children or children with more severe special needs are part of larger sibling groups. international adoption is also kind of an option. But the youngest children available in international adoption now are usually at the very youngest would be two years old, most older and most will usually have significant special needs or be part of the sibling group. So here are a couple of resources for you. You can check out creating family.org podcast, how to adopt in whatever the year is, it's an annual show. So you can just check out iniciar b How to Adopt in 2023. And we go into a lot more detail. So you can search the creating a family archive. So whatever app you're using to listen to this podcast. We also have a terrific article that is updated annually called adoption in the US, how many, how much and how long and that's also a great resource for you. I hope this has helped. Thank you for listening to this week's weekend with if you liked it, please tell a friend to subscribe to the creating a family podcasts. Do you know that we have 12 free courses that can help you be the best parent to your kid possible? Thanks to our partners, the jockey being Family Foundation, you can go to Bitly slash JBf support and choose from our library of 12 courses. Many of them will dovetail really nicely with the show this podcast go to Bitly slash J B F support that's bi T dot L y flash J B F support
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