Adoption Journey


The goal is to determine what the typical adoption journey looks like, reasons people want to adopt, and issues that arise after adoption in the US.

Early Findings


  • Approximately 135,000 children are adopted per year.
  • In 2018, 63,123 children were adopted from foster care in the US.
  • More than 1/3 of adults have considered adoption, but only 2% have actually adopted a child.


  • The first step in adopting is deciding whether to adopt through foster care or a private agency.
  • One must also consider whether they want to adopt internationally or domestically, what age they want to adopt, and if they want an open or closed adoption.
  • Foster care adoption costs average at about $2,000.
  • Private domestic adoptions range from $25,000 to $50,000, and international adoptions range from $30,000 to $80,000.
  • When working with a private adoption agency, it is important to research what each agencies' "fee" includes. Not all agencies include the same things and there may be additional costs.
  • No matter how one adopts a child, a home study is required before a placement can be made. This involves a social worker investigating both the potential family and their home.
  • In private adoptions, the adoption still needs to be finalized even after the baby is brought home. It can take up to 18 months to finish the final paperwork.
  • Many agencies conduct a Post Adoption Supervisory Report to see how the family and child are adjusting to the adoption.
  • Once all the paperwork is completed, the family attends a final hearing to gain official legal custody of the child.

Proposed next steps:

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