I have gotten a few requests for this, so I am putting it out on the board. :) Hope it helps someone!
Domestic adoption is a terrific option, however it is a bit risky, being that you pay fees and the birth mother may change her mind. Most of the time you keep fees to a minimum and if the situation does fail, you can transfer funds to the next adoption if you stay with the same agency. A good way to ensure you won't lose any funds is to accept a birthmom that is almost due or has already given birth.
Also, birthmoms often do drugs, smoke, drink. You must be willing to accept this if you are going to go this route. Even if you go international, you have a lot of unknowns.
Some babies are absolutely fine even after heavy drug use, some end up being SN (special needs) even with slight drug use. You can have a perfectly healthy, normal mother give birth to a child with autism (we see it every day here), so it really sometimes it is a luck of the draw.
There are 2 ways to adopt domestically: private adoption (where the adoptive parents join an agency or hire an attorney), are picked by a birthmom and they adopt her baby. OR when you meet someone and adopt their baby without an agency.
The other way is fost/adopt. It is when a baby has been taken from the parents due to abuse, neglect, etc and the child/ren are in custody of the state. The pro: It is completely FREE. The con: there is a huge risk that the children will go back to the parents if they do what they are supposed to. You must be willing to accept that risk, which is very hard! I know of MANY couples that adopted their kids like this. I also know many who were left heartbroken.
The first question you have to ask is: Am I open to other races. The more open you are, the sooner you will be matched.
The second questions is: How open are you to a birth mom smoking, drinking, etc. Do your research!
A question : will a birthmother choose me if I have other children. The answer is YES. I know of some childless couples who have waited for many years and some families with 5, 6, 7 children who were chosen in 2 weeks. Each birthmother looks for different things when choosing a couple. Some want a stay at home mom, some don't mind both parents to work so she knows her child is stable financially. Some want the child to be the only child, some want a big family because they came from one, or they think it is wonderful. I heard of one couple who was chosen because the birthmom was born in the same town as the adoptive mom. You just never know what will jump out at the birthmoms!
Another question: Can I choose gender? Absolutely. However, know this will most likely slow the process down. There are bithmoms who don't want thier child going to a family who *only* wants a girl. The other factor is there are only *so* many bithmoms and only half of them will find out what they are having. For example: An agency has 10 birthmoms waiting. 5 of them find out. 3 of them are having girls. There is a pool of 15 adoptive parents. Get the picture?
The key to being chosen: a good profile. Every birthmom will be given profiles to choose from. This book they get from each perspective adoptive parents (PAPs) is their first introduction to the couple. We all know how important first introductions are!! If it is too overwhelming, I have a friend who does KICK ASS profile books. She did mine and I swear it is the best I have seen!
There are more, look and see if there are any in your state :)
Don't want to join an agency to be locked into them?
Check out referral services. Referral services get situations from agencies and then match you. You will most likely be matched quicker. The down side? There is a fee.
Open to race or harder to place babies? I HIGHLY recommend these referral services because they always have situations waiting.
Here are a few that I have heard wonderful things about.
Going with an agency? CHECK THEM OUT THOROUGHLY!!!!
Check out that whole site, she has TONS of info on domestic adoption, including agencies to stay away from.
Some good larger agencies: American Adoptions, Spence Chapin, WACAP, PACT.
How much does it cost? Anywhere from free (fost adopt) to minimal (finding a birthmom on your own) or it can cost $50,000. The average is about $25,000 when all is said and done. A Caucasian girl will probably cost more and take more time, but that really depends on what agency you use. My homestudy/placement agency (small agency) that we work with charges $16,000 for adoption no matter what race, gender, etc. I was going to use them but then Hailey found us ;)
I will add more as I think of it. :)
Mama to: 5 handsome & 4 beautiful !!
26, 23, 17, 15, 10 , 8 , 7 (US Foster, adopting!!), 6 (Adopted from Guatemala) , 3! (Domestic, Co-parenting, came home at 4 days old, she lives with us half the week).
YES, THEY ARE ALL MINE!
Hoping to add one more little boy to the mix!
To accompish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also BELIEVE.