Different Types of Adoption


Official Adoption Picture


We often talk about adoption as if it were a single entity, done the same way by everyone every time. The truth is that adoption can take many different forms. Not only that, the type of adoption that occurs often has a number of other implications, including resources available to the adoptive parents, length of time for approval and more.

According to the Adoption Institute, there are a number of different ways that adoptions can be classified:

  • Foster care adoption. This is an adoption that occurs when a child, who is in the care of the state, can’t be reunified with the birth parents. Foster parents will, in some cases, choose to adopt children in this situation. This can occur with relatives who have been caring for the child in a kinship foster are arrangement or with other parents that only know the child via the foster arrangement. Federal mandates have helped to increase foster care adoption in the past several years.
  • Private agency adoptions. These occur through an adoption agency that isn’t run by the state. In this scenario, the state places children via an agency (usually non-profit, but some are for-profit) that finds adoptive parents.
  • Independent adoption. Independent adoption occurs when a child is place directly with adopting parents via an attorney or some other legal facilitator.
  • International adoption. In some cases, people choose to adopt from countries outside of their own. These often happen via international adoption agencies. The adoptions are usually finalized in the country of adoption, though for some countries they finalize domestically.
  • Transracial adoption. This is an adoption when a child is place with an adoptive family of a different race or ethnicity. This can occur with both domestic and international adoptions, of course. It’s considered a separate category because of the many social challenges that can exist, both within our culture and within the cultural differences between adopted child and adoptive parents.


So, what about you? Have you adopted, or looked into adoption? What kind of adoption are you considering, and why is that type appealing to you?




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