What is a Domestic Adoption?

Mary McMahon

A domestic adoption is an adoption in which the adoptee and adoptive parents are from the same country. There are a number of different kinds of domestic adoption available and in many countries there are numerous agencies which place children domestically and work with adoptive parents to help them find a child to adopt. The opposite of domestic adoption is international adoption, in which the adoptee is from a different country of origin than the parents.

Many domestic adoptions are newborn adoptions.
Many domestic adoptions are newborn adoptions.

Many people think of closed newborn adoptions when they think of adoption. In a newborn adoption, the adoptee has just been born, and may be only a few days or weeks old at the time of the adoption. Closed adoptions are adoptions in which the identity of the birth parents of the child is concealed and they do not have any contact with the child as she or he grows up. In some cases, it may be possible for the child to leave a letter for the birth parents with the agency at the age of 18 and if contact is desired, the agency can facilitate it.

However, there are other options. In an open adoption, the identity of the birth parent is known and the birth parent may have some contact with the child. The level of contact is negotiated when the adoption contract is drawn up. This can include everything from periodic updates and letters from the adoptive parents to provide the birth parent with information to opportunities to visit the child. In this type of domestic adoption, the child may even spend some time with the birth parent periodically.

Domestic adoption is also not just for newborns. Children in foster care can also be placed with adoptive parents. The age of a child in foster care can vary. In order for such adoptions to go through, the birth parents must relinquish parental rights so that the adoptive parents can file a petition for adoption to formally adopt the child.

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Before an international or domestic adoption can take place, the adoptive parents must usually pass a background check. In addition, they undergo a home study, in which a representative inspects the home to see if it is suitable for children. Adoptive parents are interviewed for the purpose of learning more about them and they may be asked to take parenting classes. This process is designed to ensure that children are placed with parents who are competent and prepared to care for them.

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