Ministry for Adoption, Foster Care, and Safe Families


Domestic adoption refers to adoption in the U.S. through an adoption agency or through an  attorney/counselor.  Although adoption through foster care is a domestic adoption, it is usually referred to as foster care adoption.   Domestic adoptions typically are infant adoptions.

  • adoptive families are usually licensed by a private agency (adoption agency)
  • birth parents usually voluntarily relinquish their parental rights
  • an agency can take guardianship of a child or the birth parents can grant custody directly to the adoptive parents
  • adoption can be handled privately by birth parents, adoptive parents and an attorney
  • in private adoption, an adoptive family evaluation (home study) can be completed by a private agency, county probation department or court supportive services and can be submitted to the court at the time of adoption finalization
  • the court can allow some birth mother expenses to be paid by the adoptive parents

Source:  Adoption Information Center of Illinois