Children available for adoption

Families of all kinds adopt children of all kinds, from newborns to teenagers, of every race and ethnicity, and from many countries around the world.

U.S.-born Infants

Many prospective parents seek to adopt healthy infants, often of a background similar to their own. In the United States, a relatively small percentage of healthy, Caucasian infants are placed for adoption. Most Caucasian infants are placed through agencies and independent adoptions.

African-American, Hispanic, and mixed-race infants are available both through public and private adoption agencies. The adoption of American Indian children (of all ages) by non-Indians is strictly limited by the Federal Indian Child Welfare Act (P.L.95-608). Fees and waiting times for infants vary tremendously, depending on the type of adoption involved.

Children with Special Needs

Many children with special needs are available for adoption. These children may be older (grade school through teens); may have physical, emotional, or mental disabilities; or may be brothers and sisters who should be adopted together. Usually, these children are in the care of a State foster care system. Both public agencies and some private agencies place children with special needs.

In addition, national, regional, and state adoption exchanges will assist in linking prospective parents with these children. Adoption exchanges and agencies usually have photolistings and descriptions of available children, and many now provide information about waiting children on the Internet. In many cases, financial assistance in the form of adoption subsidies is available to help parents with the legal, medical, and living costs associated with caring for a child with special needs.

Intercountry Adoption

Many children from other countries are available for adoption. Russia, China, Korea, India, and countries in Eastern Europe, Central America, and South America are the source countries for most foreign-born children adopted by Americans. More than 700 U.S. private agencies place children from foreign countries, and a few countries allow families to work with attorneys rather than agencies.

There are strict immigration requirements for adopting children from other countries, as well as substantial agency fees and transportation, legal, and medical costs. It is important that you choose a licensed, knowledgeable organization, because the intercountry adoption process is lengthy and complex.

As a prospective parent, you should carefully consider the emotional and social implications of adopting a child of a different nationality. Just as in transracial adoption of a U.S. child, you are adopting a culture as well as a child. Agencies seek families who will help a child learn about and appreciate his native culture because it is part of who he or she is.

Source: National Adoption Information Clearinghouse

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