There are several types of adoptions if you came into my office 25 years ago I would have told you for domestic adoption there only a couple of agencies in North Carolina and there were handful of countries. Now you have international adoption and you have domestic adoption within the continental United States.
Within domestic adoptions you can adopt at by using an agency or you can use a facilitator to help find a child or you can network or you can do totally an independent adoption and find a child on your own or just get very fortunate and find a child on your own.
If you’re considering adoption I would suggest that you do a lot of information gathering not just talking to other people but look at the 23 or 24 licensed North Carolina adoption agencies they’re on our website and contact those agencies and go in for information sessions and make your decision about whether you want to adopt internationally or whether you want to adopt domestically.
The biggest difference between international and domestic adoption is that in an international adoption the children that are placed are older they are not newborn so there are 10 months on up.
The second biggest difference between international and domestic adoption is that an international adoptions you have to travel to that country to receive the child. Some people just aren’t comfortable with the travel but then some people are not comfortable with domestic adoption whereas you have to network and put yourself out there and be chosen by birth mother.
In international adoption one of the advantages is that a child is chosen for you and you have a home study INS clearance and then you go with the set time to have a child placed with you. People often say, “Why do I have to have a home study?” If I were to get pregnant my wife and I were to have a child the state isn’t involved in it. Well, the state requires that you have what’s called a pre-placement assessment commonly known as a home study. Now it doesn’t mean that a social worker is going to come to your home and do a white-glove test. It’s simply a process that the state requires that you fill out an application and provide documents that show who you say you are. If you’re applying as a married couple they look at your divorce judgments they see if you’re financially solvent by looking at your tax returns usually there’s some way to check on criminal backgrounds and then there’s a lot of education in the process. A social worker will meet with you two or three times and then write up a report and that’s your home study it’s a state approving you to adopt.
People often ask me how relevant age is an adoption. And I have to be honest and say, it’s very relevant. And you will find, when you do an agency adoption, that each agency has its own rules about age. Generally speaking what I see in domestic adoption agencies in North Carolina is that 45 is the cutoff although there are some agencies that will work with couples or singles who are slightly older. You see more stringent requirements about age in international adoption and each country has its own requirements.