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Domestic or International

Adopting Internationally

We work as a "networking agency" or liaison with many child-placing agencies. We are prepared to assist you though every step of the adoption process while also providing adoption education, dossier guidance, Citizenship/Immigration assistance, and final court report of adoption. We provide support to families also during the waiting period, rejoice with you as you add a new member to your family, and offer guidance through the first few months/years of placement.

Adopting Domestically

There are many children in the United States in need of forever families including:

  • Medical special needs children of all ages
  • 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).

Types of domestic adoption include:
Confidential (or closed)

An agency adoption involves a child placing agency or agencies, the adoptive parents and the birthparents. An agency completes the home study 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 home study 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 adoptive parents and birthparents are connected independently of agency assistance and 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 The Mary Kendall Adoption Program.

Contact Adoption

Jeannie Howard, MAE, LPCC
Adoption Services Director
(270) 683-3723