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Military life doesn’t have to be a barrier to growing your family through adoption. However, the adoption process can be a complicated journey and goes more smoothly with a little guidance and information. Here are six adoption options that prospective military parents should know about:
1. Agency adoption
Adoption agencies can be public or private. Agencies are regulated by the state and licensed to place children with prospective adoptive parents. Public agencies are state run, and the children they place are predominantly foster children of elementary or high school age. Private agencies are often run by social service organizations. Private agencies usually have more infants available for adoption, and birth parents often have a say in who adopts their child.
2. Independent adoption
Independent adoption involves a direct arrangement between the birth mother/parents and the adoptive parents. This type of adoption is common and legal in most states but can be heavily regulated. Check your state laws before exploring this option. You may also want to seek legal advice. 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
Adoption through identification is a blend of independent and agency adoptions styles. Usually, prospective parents locate a birth mother and then both sets of parents request that an agency step in to provide counsel and handle the adoption process.
4. International adoption
International adoptions 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 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 and how much identifying information is shared before and after the adoption. Therefore, no two open adoptions are the same.
6. Foster care adoption
Children become available for adoption through foster care when reunification with the birth family isn’t possible and a court terminates the biological parents’ rights, usually due to abuse or neglect. There are two ways for prospective parents to adopt from foster care. The first is direct foster care adoption, where families apply to adopt a child who is in foster care with a fostering family. The second option is called foster to adoption, where families who have been fostering a child choose to legally adopt the child into the family.
Different options for adopting provide many paths to welcoming your child. Find out more about your options and the support available as you navigate the adoption process. Set up a live chat with Military OneSource or call 800-342-9647 to schedule an adoption specialty consultation. OCONUS/International? View calling options.