When starting the adoption process, you have options. You can adopt a child from the U.S. foster care system, adopt an infant or child in the U.S., adopt a child from another country or adopt a stepchild.
Children waiting in the foster care system vary in age, from infants to young adults. The average age of a waiting child is 8, and many have brothers or sisters with whom they should stay. The majority are healthy children who simply need and deserve loving and supportive adults in their lives. Some children have medical challenges, but these disabilities or conditions are often treatable. It is important to understand that some medical and emotional disabilities are not easily corrected. But support and resources are available to help. Begin by contacting your state’s public agency.
If you would like to adopt a baby, contact your state’s public agency, a licensed private adoption agency or an adoption attorney.
Hundreds of thousands of children from around the world who are orphaned need families. Rules governing international adoptions can change quickly and can be complicated. If you are interested in adopting a child from another country, it is important to work with an experienced and ethical agency, group or individual.
A stepparent who adopts agrees to become the legal parent and be fully responsible for his or her spouse’s child.