Adoption Options: A Comprehensive Guide | Heart of Adoptions

By RedWallPPC
July 9, 2024

Well over 100,000 children are adopted each year in the United States. This is more children than are currently in the US foster care system. Despite this statistic, the number of adoptable children isn’t going to run out in the near future.

Foster care is one type of adoption, but it’s not the only one. Many adoptions take place on a personal level, with step-parents or current guardians legally adopting a child. 

Regardless of where you are in the process, and what side of it you’re on, you have adoption options. We’ll discuss some of your options and how they differ here.

Open and Closed Adoptions

All adoptions can be sorted into two large categories – open and closed adoptions. Which option you use will determine how the adoption process works. 

Open adoption is a much more transparent process. Adoptive parents and birth parents are allowed to know each other’s names, communicate, and even meet each other.

The biggest reason for this is because it helps the adopted child. Adoption can be alienating if the child isn’t informed about their situation and allowed to make their peace with it.

Closed adoptions are far more secretive. Birth parents and adoptive parents never meet, and names often aren’t known. First names, basic descriptions, and summaries of birth parents might be given, but nothing that can be traced.

The adoption agencies handle everything. Closed adoptions occur so that birth parents can maintain their privacy. 

Parents who choose closed adoption usually want to shield their baby from something. Perhaps the child is a result of an abusive relationship. Perhaps the perspective mother is too young or not ready to be a parent. Maybe the baby has needs that their birth parent can’t afford. 

In some states, adopted children are allowed to know the identities of their birth parents once they turn 18.

Foster Adoption

Foster adoption often happens when the child is older. Most foster adoptions take place within the foster care system itself. This helps the children adjust better and goes a long way towards ensuring that the adoptive parents are a good fit.

Children adopted through foster care often come with past trauma. This can apply to any adopted child, but it’s far more common among foster children. The good news is that the adoption process attempts to eliminate any potential risks to the child’s safety by screening parents.

International Adoption

We hear a lot about people adopting children from overseas. It’s gained a reputation as the type of thing celebrities do. However, international adoptions have changed in the last few decades. 

In the early 2000s, the most popular countries to adopt children from were China, Russia, and Guatemala. These nations have all since ended their adoption treaties for various reasons. 

Knowing Your Adoption Options

Whether you’re thinking of giving up a baby or becoming a parent to one, you have plenty of adoption options. We’ve discussed some of them here, but there’s a lot more to know about adoption.

You can learn more about Heart of Adoptions by reading our blog. Feel free to read our story while you’re here too.