Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Types of Adoption

Last week I kicked off National Adoption Month with this little post.  This week I'm talking about types of adoptions.  I think it can be easy just to think about the type of adoption we are around most, but there are actually several types of adoption.  Here I will try to touch on each type and also types within those.  The definition of adoption in the US:  Adoption is permanently placing a person under the age of 18 with a parent or parents other than the birth parents in the United States.

So, for example I'm a mama by domestic, infant, transracial, semi-open adoption.  We had long planned on doing a domestic infant adoption (feel free to ask!) and chose transracial for a lot of reasons (feel free to ask!).  As for the openness--we left that up to the birthmother, and her comfort level. 

Each adoption is one of these three types:

1.  Domestic (infant) adoption:  refers to the placement of U.S.-born infants for adoption by their birth parents, who legally consent to the adoption with an adoptive family of their choosing.

2.  Foster care adoption:  a type of domestic adoption where the child is initially place in the foster care system and then placed for adoption.  There are a variety of reasons children are placed into foster care, including removal from the home by the government because of maltreatment.  Some places the adoptive parents are licensed as, and are technically considered foster parents 
while the adoption is being finalized.  In the US, there are over 100,000 children in the foster system available for adoption  and  
waiting for a forever home.  

3.  International adoption:  is the type of adoption where an individual or couple adopts (become legal and permanent parents of) a child who lives in a different country.  There are different requirements for international adoptions in both the home country of the adoptive family and the country they are hoping to adopt from.

And then, each adoption is also one of these types depending on the age of the child:

1.  Infant adoption:  Sometimes infants are placed through the foster care system, but most infants who are adopted are through (private) domestic infant adoptions.  Although the word infant is considered any child under the age of 1, most are placed with the first couple weeks of their life.

2.  Older Child adoption:  Really, as far I know, this is considered a child who is over 1 and up to 18 or sometimes 21.  Most of the time there is the greatest need for families to adopt older children who are 8 and over though in the US Foster System.

And then, each adoption is also either transracial or not:

Transracial adoption:  refers to the adoption of a child who is of a different race than the adoptive parents.  Also can be called interracial adoption.
or not:  refers to the adoption of a child who is the same race as the adoptive parents.

Finally, each adoption is also one of these degrees of openness:

1.  Closed adoption:  Where an infant is adopted by another family and the record of the biological parents is kept sealed.  The adoptive and birth parents don't have any contact before, during or after the adoption.  This used to be the primary type of adoption until the mid-1940s.  Sometimes also referred to as confidential or secret adoption.

2.  Semi-Open adoption:  Allows the adoptive and birth families to know basic info about each other like first names, state they live in but there is no real identifying information or contact information exchanged.  The families may have contact before birth but after the placement is finalized, a third party, like the adoption agency mediates all communication.  Letter and picture updates go through the agency for example.  

3.  Open adoption:  The biological and adoptive parents are free to communicate before, during and after the adoption process.  This communication could be phone calls, meeting in person, letters or photos.  It is up to the families to choose to share their full identity and contact info.  The birth parents may also even be able to meet with the child and adoptive family periodically.  (more info that explains it really well!)

Sources:  Wikipedia, ShowHope, American Adoptions, AdoptUSkids,

Next week I'm sharing a whole lot of resources for adoption, then the following week I will share how to afford adoption and finally the last week of November I have a challenge for you all!  Stay tuned for the next parts of this series for National Adoption Month!

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