Domestic vs International Adoption

One of the first decisions you need to make when beginning the adoption process is whether to adopt a baby domestically or internationally. The processes of domestic and international adoption are distinctly different. Thinking about the issues outlined here may help you decide which adoption avenue is best for you.

Domestic Adoption

  • You can adopt a newborn baby.
  • You generally have some degree of contact with the birth mother (and often the birth father) during the pregnancy.
  • You can obtain background information and medical histories about the birth parents.
  • You can arrange for the birth mother to receive pre-natal care.
  • Most often, adoptive parents take custody of the child just after the birth, often directly upon hospital discharge.
  • Most state laws provide that a birth mother cannot formally consent to placing her child for adoption until after birth. A disadvantage of domestic adoption is that for a limited period right after birth, an expectant parent may decide not to place her baby for adoption.

International Adoption

  • Customarily, you adopt children who are living in orphanages and are waiting to be adopted. On occasion there are infants eligible for adoption in orphanages, but not newborns.
  • You are referred an eligible child and are frequently provided with a picture or video, and the child’s available medical records.
  • You usually don’t receive much background or medical information about the child and often receive no information about the child’s birth parents.

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As adoption and reproductive law attorneys, The Law Offices of Laurie B. Goldheim serve as a primary resource, counsel and partner to clients who seek to grow their families by contemporary means and methods, as recognized by the courts of New York and New Jersey.