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