5 Adoption Options

A female service member sitting outside with her two sons and daughter on her lap.

Adoption can be a wonderful way to start or grow your family. Married or single, new to parenting or seasoned, here are five options for prospective military parents to know about:

1. Agency adoption


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Agencies can be public or private. Public agencies are state-run and place mainly foster children of elementary or high school age. Private agencies have more infants available, and birth parents often have a say in who adopts their child.

2. Independent adoption

This type is common and legal in almost all states. You can use your own resources and networking skills to find a child, or work with an intermediary, such as a doctor or lawyer.

3. Identified adoption

A blend of independent and agency adoptions styles, prospective parents locate a birth mother, then the agency steps in to counsel the birth mother and adoptive parents.

4. International adoption

Adoptions of this type involve a citizen of one country adopting a child who is a citizen of a different country. Agencies specializing in international adoption can help you with this complicated, yet popular option.

5. Open adoption

This option involves some communication among the adoptive parents, the birth parents and the child. The adoptive and birth parents decide how much communication will occur.

Different options for adopting provide many paths to welcoming your child, and you should think carefully about what kind of support you'll need in the adoption process. Remember that birth parents' rights vary from state to state, and you must go to court to finalize an adoption. The process should generally go smoothly if you're careful to select an experienced, reputable agency and lawyer.


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