Most of us know at least one person who has travelled to Asia to adopt a child. Many believe this is the quickest and best way to adopt and well worth the tens of thousands they invest. I've heard some heartwarming stories of those who have brought back precious children from overseas adoptions. But domestic adoption is just as viable an option, and often times a lot less costly.
There are hundreds of thousands of kids in the U.S. foster care system eligible for adoption (see February 2008 article in USA Today). And domestic adoptions aren't as expensive as some people believe them to be. Case-in-point: My wife and I adopted two girls while living in Florida, both of whom were born at local hospitals. The adoptions happened quickly with little expense and very few hurdles. The key for us was getting the word out.
If you are considering a domestic adoption, word-of-mouth can be just as important as hiring an attorney or contacting an agency. We were notified about both of our girls from friends and acquaintances who knew we were desperate to adopt. The key was getting word out through our network of family and friends. And in both cases, we used private practice attorneys whose fees were nominal. We spent less than $20,000 for both adoptions combined!
I cannot fully express the joy of having two adopted children. My girls are the best part of my day, even on bad behavior days. And I would encourage anyone who is considering adoption to look first locally. Spread the word through all the people you know at work, church, clubs, etc. You'll be surprised how many people will encourage you, support you by getting the word out and may even know of available babies/children.
November is National Adoption Month and there are plenty of online resources for those looking to adopt. There are support groups all over the country and on the web, too. I'd be happy to serve as a resource, so feel free to give my blog address to anyone who's considering adoption here or abroad.
Let's tackle our foster care issue together and see to it that American children find permanent, stable homes.