Domestic Adoption (click here to download more information)
As with international adoption, there are many children in the United States in need of forever families. The children available for adoption in the United States include:
- Caucasian infants
- Medical special needs children of all ages
- African-American infants
- Multi-racial infants
- Older children
- Sibling groups
It is impossible to tell how long you will wait before being offered a placement. The more specific a family is about the type of child they wish to adopt, the longer the wait for a placement. The more accepting a family is with regard to background factors, racial issues, legal issues and post-placement contact, the likelihood is that their wait for a placement would be shorter.
There are several ways to adopt a child in the United States. These include:
Waiting children from the foster care system, Agency adoptions, Independent adoptions and Interstate adoptions.
To adopt waiting children (typically medical special needs, older children and sibling groups), contact your local Cabinet for Health and Family Services Waiting Children office. (This office is sometimes referred to as the Special Needs Adoption Program.) Typically, the expenses involved with the adoption of these children are subsidized by the State or agency who has custody of the child(ren).
An agency adoption involves a child-placing agency or agencies, the adoptive parents and the birthparents. An agency completes the homestudy for the adoptive parents and the pre-placement counseling for the birthparents. The infant will usually be discharged from the hospital into the custody of a child-placing agency and will be cared for in an infant foster home until a court hearing on termination of parental rights has occurred. The Mary Kendall Adoption Program can provide homestudy services for Kentucky families and can provide you with in-state and out-of-state placing agency contacts. At times, agencies may limit the number of prospective adoptive parents accepted based upon the type of child(ren) desired.
An independent adoption is an adoption where the child is placed directly with the adoptive parents after they have been granted temporary custody of the child by a judge. If the birthparents’ rights have not been legally terminated, this placement is an at-risk or legal risk placement. In most states, birthparents have a period of time in which they can revoke their consent to the adoption. Prospective adoptive parents need an Independent Home Investigation completed by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services or a licensed child-placing agency, such as Mary Kendall Adoption Program.
An interstate adoption involves two child-placing agencies; one in the prospective adoptive parents’ state of residence that completes the adoption homestudy and the second in the birthparents’ state of residence that conducts the birthparent counseling. The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) office of each state will be notified in writing of the intent to place a child from one state for adoption in another state and will issue a decision as to when a child is free to be placed with the adoptive parents and when the family will be allowed to return to their home state. This could involve a period of several days to several weeks and the child may be placed in an infant foster home until the approval is received. Each state’s laws vary as to when parental rights are legally terminated and the child is free and clear for adoption.
TYPES OF ADOPTION:
In a domestic adoption, there are three degrees of openness:
Confidential (or closed)