Comparing Domestic Adoption vs. International Adoption in Florida
One of the initial steps in your adoption experience is choosing exactly how you want to grow your family. While there are three kinds of adoption, lots of prospective parents focus on domestic vs. international adoption in Florida.
Every adoption journey is distinct, and only you know whether international vs. domestic adoption in Florida is the right way to grow your family. But every hopeful parent can benefit from receiving solid advice from experienced adoption professionals.
When contemplating whether domestic adoption vs. international adoption in FL is the best choice for your family, you should know we’re here to help. At American Adoptions, we are committed to getting you the answers you need. Call 1-800-ADOPTION 24/7 or complete our free online form to connect when you’re ready to begin.
Here in this guide, we’ll cover the two kinds of adoption above and five key points for comparison between domestic vs foreign adoption in Florida: cost, requirements, wait times, medical background information, and legal concerns.
Domestic vs. International Adoption in Florida: Which is More Common?
Before we get into the major differences between international vs. domestic adoption in FL, we should discuss current trends in both adoption types and how they could be changing.
Some recent research conducted by the National Council for Adoption indicates private domestic agency adoptions are on the rise, increasing from 14,549 children in the early 1980s to a peak of 25,737 domestic infant adoptions completed in 2019. On the other hand, international adoptions have declined in recent years, with only 1,622 adoptions in 2020 and 2,971 adoptions in 2019, a decrease from 4,099 in 2018, 4,714 in 2017 and 5,370 in 2016.
Lots of factors are responsible for this trend, including the logistical and political aspects of international adoption. Still, millions of children around the world are still waiting for (and deserve) loving families. Unfortunately, international adoption continues to be more difficult now than it was at its peak in the mid-2000s.
These Florida domestic vs. international adoption stats may be helpful as you decide between the two types. Though you may not base your decision on these numbers alone, it does illustrate trends showing an increasing preference for domestic private adoption.
What are 5 Key Differences Between International Adoption vs. Domestic Adoption in FL?
It can be helpful when considering domestic adoption vs. international adoption in Florida to break down their differences across five key points. Keep reading below to learn more about these important distinctions between the two adoption types.
1. Cost of Adoption
Cost is always a key consideration when considering which type of adoption is right for your family. For many prospective adoptive families comparing international adoption vs. domestic adoption in FL, the cost of each process is important in determining whether adoption is even possible.
If you’ve researched international vs. domestic adoption in FL, you’ve probably discovered that both types are expensive. In fact, overall costs can range from $30,000 to $60,000 dollars for either type.
But beyond the general expenses involved, each type also has costs that are unique. That’s important to consider when forecasting the potential financial impact of international adoption vs domestic adoption in Florida. Those costs include:
- Travel expenses: Private domestic adoption can involve travel within the U.S., but travel for international adoption is more costly and usually lasts longer.
- Visa costs: Getting a travel visa to the adoptee’s home nation can influence international adoption costs.
- Financial protection: American Adoptions provides financial protection from adoption disruption. That’s unique to domestic adoption.
- Birth mother financial assistance: In private adoption, financial assistance for the birth mother covers things like housing assistance or living expenses. Such expenses are unique to domestic adoption.
You may want to explore other costs when comparing adopting in the U.S. vs international adoption in FL. At American Adoptions we’re committed to cost transparency, and we’d be happy to explain the cost of adopting with American Adoptions.
2. Requirements for U.S. Adoption vs. International Adoption in FL
Comparing Florida adoption in the U.S. vs. international adoption also involves accounting for the requirements for adoption involved in each type. Requirements vary according to factors such as your location, adoption type, and the adoption professional you’re using.
Domestic adoption requires you to observe the requirements of your home state, the home state of the adoptee, and your adoption agency. Requirements for international adoption are usually more rigorous and sometimes include:
- Higher age limits for prospective parents
- Marriage requirements
- Prohibitions on LGBTQ adoption
- And others
Should I be concerned about the different requirements involved in adopting in the U.S. vs. international adoption in FL? It’s definitely something to think about when considering which one is right for you. There’s little question the requirements for international adoption are usually stricter, and that may influence your decision.
3. Wait Times for an Adoption Opportunity
The average wait time for an adoption opportunity is something else you should consider when distinguishing between a Florida adoption in the U.S. vs. international adoption.
In domestic adoption vs. international adoption in FL, your wait time can be influenced by several factors. Those include:
- Your willingness to open up your adoption preferences
- Whether you’re using a national or local adoption agency
- The amount of marketing your agency provides
- The method used by your agency when promoting your adoptive family profile
You have some control over the length of your wait time in domestic adoption. For example, if you’re flexible regarding a wide variety of possible adoption situations, you’re likely to find a match more quickly. You can also select an agency with national reach and an aggressive marketing program, such as American Adoptions.
At American Adoptions, we’ll promote your family to birth mothers across the U.S. in multiple venues. Our marketing efforts will significantly shorten your wait time. American Adoptions provides you with 800x more exposure than other leading agencies, and most families working with American Adoptions adopt within 9 to 12 months.
It’s far more difficult to forecast wait times for FL international infant adoption vs. domestic adoption. International adoption wait times can be impacted by additional factors such as:
- Your adoption plan
- Ever-shifting changes in adoption policies for other nations
- Country-specific restrictions and travel bans
- Potentially volatile political climates
It’s wise when comparing adopting domestically vs. internationally in FL to consider that these unpredictable factors can lead to extended wait times for an adoption opportunity. Carefully research wait times and current U.S. relationships with nations you may want to adopt from to ensure the adoption process will be stable.
4. Availability of Medical Background Information
Another important point of comparison between domestic adoption and international adoption in FL is the availability of the medical and social history of the child and their birth parents.
It’s important to have some medical history for the child you’re adopting, and getting it is sometimes challenging in international adoptions. Medical records for adoptees may be non-existent, and it’s also challenging (or impossible) to get the social history of the child's birth parents. As a result, adoptive parents usually don’t have key info about their kid’s family medical history or exposure to drugs or alcohol.
You should also know that some older kids in international adoption have experienced profound neglect, abuse and trauma. The result is often challenging behaviors that require additional care and attention. You can get resources for parents on this journey, but it’s still difficult to deal with in most cases.
Adoptive parents generally get access to comprehensive records for adoptees in domestic adoption, including both medical and social histories for the birth parents. Because many domestic infant adoptions are open or semi-open, adoptive families and birth parents have continuing contact and share information regularly.
5. Legal Concerns
One final point of comparison when considering the differences between domestic adoption vs. international adoption in FL is the unique legal concerns of each type of adoption.
There’s a commonly held belief that international adoptions are "safer" because there’s less chance the birth parents in international adoptions will attempt to get their child back. But after finalizing an adoption in the U.S., the adoptive family becomes the adoptee's permanent family legally. Post-adoption revocations rarely occur and usually only happen if proper legal practices aren’t observed.
Prospective parents comparing international adoption vs. domestic adoption in FL should look into the adoption process in each country they’re considering. International adoptions are complex because finalization must be done in compliance with both U.S. law and the laws of the country of origin. Things like visas and immigration policies increase the complexity.
Why Prospective Adoptive Parents Should Work with American Adoptions
If you’re still deciding between international adoption vs. domestic adoption in FL, it could help for you to know that working with American Adoptions means you’ll enjoy a smooth private infant adoption experience. As the leading national private adoption agency, we offer top-notch comprehensive benefits like:
- All-inclusive in-house adoption services from licensed adoption social workers
- 9-12 month wait times
- 100% financial protection for our active families
- Transparent fee structure and honest cost estimates
- Larger staff sizes that are accessible around the clock
- Bigger marketing and advertising budgets so that you don’t have to wait to become a mom or dad
These benefits (among others) make American Adoptions your best choice when choosing to adopt an infant domestically. Each year, hundreds of families complete adoptions with our agency. We’ve helped more than 13,000 families grow through adoption over the last three decades.
If you’re still considering domestic vs. international adoption in FL, please know that working with American Adoptions gives you industry-leading support throughout your adoption experience.
Final Words on Domestic vs. International Adoption in FL
Deciding between international adoption vs. domestic adoption in FL is an important part of your adoption journey. We’ve covered a lot of information in this guide, and we hope you have a better understanding of these two adoption types, how they differ, and how those differences may shape your adoption experience.
If you still have questions, we want to help you find answers. To get more about private domestic adoption with American Adoptions, please read about what separates us from other agencies. Our adoption specialists are also available to speak to you around the clock. Simply call 1-800-ADOPTION or complete our online form to get started.
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