There has been a seismic shift in domestic adoptions over the past few decades. Families having to wait years before being matched with a child are no longer the norm. What used to be a process in which very little information was disclosed between the biological and adoptive family is now often an open pipeline of communication through photos, phone calls, and time spent together.
In the U.S. more than 135,000 adoptions occur annually, with 13,000 to 14,000 being infants who are voluntarily relinquished domestically. About half of all infant domestic adoptions are done through an independent practioner, who facilitates birth parents' placing their children directly with potential adoptive parents. Another option is to go through an adoption consulting firm, which is a referral service, networking clients with licensed agencies and attorneys across the United States. Working directly with a licensed adoption agency is yet another option.
Domestic adoption fees can range anywhere from $15,000 to $50,000, with most adoptions averaging between $20,000 and $30,000 to complete.
The vast majority of adoption agencies and private practioners offer "open adoptions," in which identifying information about both adoptive and biological families is shared either directly or mediated through the agency.
Though numbers and stats are great, I think it's crucial for families considering adoption to hear from those in the process as well. Every family's experience is different, but I believe that connecting with other's stories and experiences can always provide fresh perspective and insight.
This month, I'm supporting the James family's domestic adoption with 20% of the profits from Rodan + Fields business. They are homestudy ready and currently fundraising in order to have their profile go active and be available for birthparents to consider. I asked Kara-Kae James, founder of Thrive Moms and blogger over at The Mom Diggity, to share a little about their adoption process.
1. Tell us a little bit about your family: We are a family of five with three girls ages 5, 3, and 2. Brook, my husband, works as the Creative Arts Pastor at a church in TX and I'm the co-founder and Executive Director of a ministry called Thrive Moms. We have always had a heart for orphans and for expanding our family through adoption.
2. What led you to the path of domestic adoption? We had originally planned to adopt internationally and God shifted our hearts and opened our eyes to the needs right here in our country.
3. What advice would you give to families just starting the process? Our advice would be to pray and wait for God's perfect timing. We waited 5 years before getting the "yes" from God and we know that He has already hand picked our child for us! Pray big prayers and be bold in the journey!
4. How can people pray for you family during this journey? People can pray that the remaining funds come in quickly and that our matching process goes smoothly!
5. For those reading this that aren't called to adopt, but want to come alongside families who are adopting, what are some ways they can help? We believe that everyone is called to do something, whether that would be to adopt or or help a family that is adopting. If you can't donate, you can pray and ask a family how you can help with fundraising! There's always some way to help! Encouraging an adoptive family is so incredible, because it's such a difficult and tiring journey.
Interested in learning more about domestic adoption? Want to learn more about what Rodan + Fields products are the right fit for you?
Shoot me an email at leslieharris77(at)gmail(dot)com. Let's talk!