When you search “adoption” the internet provides billions and billions of results. All of them really boil down to a few options; International, private, agency or foster to adopt. All have the same end result but the methods and cost are very different. We listed the pros and cons of each which made our choice very obvious to us.
When my husband and I started to talk about adopting we didn’t do much research on international adoption. Dealing with government agencies, orphanages, and foreign languages was quite daunting to us. We focused on adopting in the U.S.A. exclusively for those reasons and we don’t feel allegiance to any other country. We just had to figure out what path we would follow; private, agency or foster to adopt.
Private adoption seemed less expensive than other paths but we had to do our own marketing. We have both worked in marketing at some point in our careers but this would be marketing ourselves. My husband has many great qualities and he thinks I do too but to market this to the masses is quite challenging. We also didn’t see any support for the birthparents which we thought was very important. We thought making a decision to place your child for adoption would be unbelievably difficult and having someone to talk to who is familiar or has actually placed their child for adoption would be greatly beneficial. While some attorneys have relationships with doctors, clinics, other attorneys we were not sure where to focus our marketing. We had no idea where a woman goes when she decides to place her child. Does she tell her doctor who reaches out to his or her resources or does she go directly to an agency or attorney?
Agency adoption was a bit shocking to us in regards to cost. The fees for most things were higher than we could justify. There were many positives though; they handled all marketing for us. We would create our profile with their input and they would take it from there. Which sounds wonderful but this comes at a cost. Most, if not all, agencies have partnerships with other agencies, attorneys, women’s clinics, etc. to find their clients babies. Most had support services for the birthparents which was wonderful. Some flew the birthparents to the state the agency resides which we didn’t agree with but understood. The women would be supported and the adoption law is not as complicated in some states so it was a faster process for the adoptive parents, kind of a win-win.
Foster to adopt was not high on our list. The little research we did was scary as reunification was primary and having a baby that could be taken from us was too much to consider. When we were ready for actual details we attempted to attend an information session but entered the directions incorrectly and didn’t make it. Years later I had a friend that adopted an older child through foster care successfully. But she had to market her family to state agencies, foster parents, Facebook groups, etc. This cost is very low as the state covers most of it but we viewed this as a very “gray” area and not one that was meant for us at this time, maybe in the future though.
When we listed out the pros and cons it was clear that private was the path for us. We were fine with marketing ourselves and felt the attorneys we would work with would be a great help. Our case worker offered counselors we could provide to the birthparents which was a great service to offer. We wanted to be sure the birthparents of our children had all they needed both physically and mentally. The costs involved may or may not have been less but the process worked for us; especially the second time.