Locating a Child Available for Adoption: Top 10 Ways

There are many factors in finding a child for adoption. The type of adoption will narrow the prospective adoptive parent's options, but it is always good to have a few options.

Anyone considering adoption has to make many decisions. They have to decide which type of adoption to pursue, get their paperwork in order, and prepare for the adoption process. Prospective adoptive parents must also consider locating a child for adoption.

This article explores the top ten ways protective adoptive parents can find a child and other helpful information about different types of adoption.

1. Private Adoption Agency

Private agencies match birth and adoptive parents. They also allow birth parents to preview the prospective adoptive parents' family information. The birth parents then select their child's new family. If the child is an infant, the adoptive parents can receive the child shortly after birth. These factors make private agencies an appealing option for finding a child for adoption.

2. Public Adoption Agencies

The adoption of children in the foster care system goes through public adoption agencies. Social workers in a local Department of Human Services or Family Services help prospective parents adopt. Some states have websites with profiles of children available for adoption. There are pictures of prospective adoptees and some information on their personalities.

3. Foster Parenting

Being a foster parent can lead to successful adoption. Potential foster parents should understand that 50% of foster children go back to their birth parents. Family reunification is one goal of foster parenting. Yet, there are children to adopt in the foster care system.

Foster parents get support from the local Department of Social Services and social workers assigned to their foster child. This support can help foster parents seeking the permanency of adoption. Foster parents get acquainted with local child welfare professionals. Some foster care programs even host social events where children and prospective adoptive parents can get to know each other. These relationships can lead to permanent adoption.

Some foster care programs even host social events where children and prospective adoptive parents get to know each other.

4. Online Directories

Numerous online directories of children are available for adoption, organized by state or other filters. Prospective parents must determine the reliability of the information and its source.

If they find a child in a different state, they can pursue that adoption through the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.

Below are a few popular online directories of available children:

5. Friends, Relatives, and Coworkers

The people closest to the prospective parents, including family members, are one way to find a child available for adoption. They know the prospective parents and are in a great position to recommend them to birth parents. Private agencies only know some of the children available for adoption. Using their existing social network to find waiting children is an excellent option for locating an available child.

6. Churches and Other Places of Worship

Religious organizations often have ties to other organizations, both domestic and international, that seek adoptive families for children in need. In addition, many national and international faith-based organizations also help facilitate adoptions.

7. Attorneys

Lawyers working in adoption and family law, in general, are excellent sources of leads. Adoption attorneys have established solid connections. These connections can help identify a child available for adoption. They can also connect to birth parents even before a child is born.

Once prospective parents find a birth mother, an adoption attorney can help them. Adoption attorneys can help file the petition and secure a new birth certificate.

8. Surrogate Parenthood

Another option for locating a child to adopt is through surrogacy. Surrogacy involves contracting with another woman to carry a child to term. The birth mother relinquishes custody of the child immediately after birth. Sometimes, the surrogate has a child conceived with sperm from the prospective father. In this case, he is the legal father, and the second parent can adopt the child.

If there are no biological ties, both parents must adopt the infant.

9. Doctors

Your doctor and others you know are good sources of adoption referrals. Obstetricians and family practitioners have frequent contact with birth mothers. They may know a birth mother who wants to place her child for adoption.

10. Support Groups

Organizations like the North American Council on Adoptable Children maintain a list of support groups and services in almost every state. While most of these groups focus on the parents of an adopted child, there are resources to find an available child. Groups like the Casey Family Program help match foster youth with adoptive families. Most young adults leave foster care at 18 years of age. Some young adults can remain in foster care after they turn 18 under specific circumstances.

Types of Adoptions

The location of a child depends on, in part, the chosen type of adoption. Prospective parents can choose between open adoption and closed adoption. In an open adoption, the biological parents and the adoptive parents remain in contact. Often, the birth parents select their child's new parents and decide to stay in touch after the child's birth.

In a closed adoption, the court seals the adoption records.

Private adoption agencies are another choice. While expensive, they offer a broad range of adoption services, which may include a matching service. Some prospective parents open their hearts to children in the foster care system. Children enter the foster care system for varying reasons. Some have a history of child abuse and neglect.

Prospective parents who choose international adoption seek to adopt a child from a different county.

An adoption cannot move forward if parental rights are not terminated.

Adoption Agencies

Many prospective adoptive parents work with licensed adoption agencies. Licensed agencies specialize in placing children with special needs or disabilities. These adoption professionals do more than complete an adoption placement. They often work with the birth family throughout the process. They often offer counseling and other types of support. They also help prospective parents with the home study and visit the adoptive home.

Get Legal Help

A local adoption attorney can help you through the legal process. This includes interpreting adoption laws and locating a child for adoption.

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Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • It is a good idea to have an attorney for complex adoptions
  • An attorney can ensure you meet all legal requirements and that your adoption is finalized appropriately
  • An attorney can help protect the best interests of adoptive children, adoptive families, and birth parents
  • For simple adoptions, you may be able to do the paperwork on your own or by using an agency

Get tailored advice at any point in the adoption process. Many attorneys offer free consultations.

 Find a local attorney

Don't Forget About Estate Planning

Adopting a child is an ideal time to create or change your estate planning forms. Take the time to add new beneficiaries to your will and name a guardian for any minor children. Consider creating a financial power of attorney so your agent can pay bills and make sure your children are provided for. A health care directive explains your health care decisions and takes the decision-making burden off your children when they become adults.

Start Planning