Building A Family Through Adoption

Learn About Adoption and Fostering to Adopt

Adoption or fostering to adopt can be a thoughtful and loving choice to build a family, helping a child in need of a family.  There are many reasons to adopt, and much to know about the process of adoption, including the emotions that may be experienced.

Who Might Adopt or Foster a Child

Heterosexual couples who are infertile and have not had success with fertility treatment after several tries may turn to adoption to build a family.  Couples who are able to conceive and carry a child but are concerned about passing down genetic disorders or diseases which are present in their biological family may choose to adopt.  Same-sex couples may decide to adopt or foster to adopt in order to have a family without using fertility treatment or a surrogate.  Sometimes women are born with conditions that prevent them from getting pregnant or safely carrying a child and do not want or can’t afford surrogacy. Some people who were adopted themselves choose to build or extend their family by adoption, carrying that love to a second generation.  And some make the decision to adopt an older child or a teenager they have fostered, making the relationship permanent.

What to Expect

Couples or singles who foster to adopt usually work with a public agency or a private agency in their state that has contracted to provide services.  Children in foster care range from toddlers to teenagers.  Many of them have experienced trauma, which is why they were placed in foster care.  Foster parents undergo training to understand the effects of trauma and to help the children heal.  Fostering to adopt can take months to years, and the fostering family must support efforts to reunite the child with the birth family if that is the court’s plan for the child.  Fostering to adopt allows the prospective parents to build a relationship with the child, and benefits the child because it is moved fewer times.  Adopting from foster care costs little to no money, according to AdoptUSKids.

Infant adoption is facilitated by attorneys or licensed private adoption agencies, which is known as independent adoption.  Some of these specialize in international adoptions, although fewer countries are permitting international adoption than in the past.  If considering an independent adoption, patients should make sure to investigate the adoption agency with their state Attorney General’s department to find out if there have been complaints or legal action taken against the agency.  Here is some advice from childwelfare.gov on assessing adoption agencies.

The costs of a private U.S. adoption vary from state to state and case to case, but generally range from $15,000 to $30,000, plus the cost of legal fees, the Adoption Home Study and Post-Placement/Adoption Supervisory Visits,  and the birth parent’s expenses.  Most international adoptions are done through adoption agencies.  In addition to the costs associated with domestic adoption, international adoptions also include U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service applications and travel to and from the baby’s birth country.  International adoption costs range from $30,000 to $80,000.

Emotional Aspects of Adoption

Before beginning the adoption process, a couple should be sure they are both in agreement and on board with building a family this way.  Some people have strong feelings about wanting only biological  children, while others are more open and engaged with having children who are not biologically related to them.  Adoption can take months or years, and sometimes adoptions fall through.  Be prepared for a lengthy and rigorous process.  Every year thousands of families are made or added to through adoption.  If both heart and life can be open to a child in need of a family, adoption can be an emotionally satisfying solution for family building.

Why Adoption Benefits Matter

A number of companies have begun offering family-building benefits to LGBTQ employees, from coverage of IVF and surrogacy to help with adoption fees and parental leave.  Offering inclusive family-building benefits with adoption & surrogacy can show your company’s support for all employees.  A managed benefit such as WINFertility helps support employees with education and guidance in their family-building journey, and in turn can be a powerful tool in attracting and retaining top talent.