Ministry for Adoption, Foster Care, and Safe Families


Here are two good sources from Adoptive Families magazine on adoption to help you get educated on the process:

For a quick overview on adoption use the chart below:

Type of Adoption Definition Children Available Approximate Cost Who Can Adopt How Long It Takes
Public agency adoption (Domestic –

Foster Care)

an adoption directed and supervised by a state (DCFS) or local Department of Human Services (or Social Services, or Human Resources, or Health and Welfare, or Child and Family Services, etc.) children with special needs (kids who are harder to place due to emotional or physical disorders, age, race, membership in a sibling group, backgrounds); rarely infants from $0 to $2,500 (depending on the state, up to $2,000 of “nonrecurring” adoption costs for eligible special needs children may be reimbursed) flexible eligibility requirements for adoptive parents; on a case-by-case basis, will consider single parents, parents over the age of 40, parents who have other children, parents with low incomes, etc. starts slowly, but for those who have an updated home study, placement can occur as soon as a few months after selecting a child
Private agency adoption (Domestic – Agency) an adoption directed and supervised by a privately funded, licensed adoption agency sometimes handle special needs children; more commonly associated with younger children and infants $6,000 to $40,000; lower for special needs children; some agencies have sliding fee scales agencies may recruit parents based on race, religious affiliation, etc.; for infant adoptions, birth mother often chooses a few months to a few years (sometimes longer for infant adoption)
International adoption process of adopting a child who is not a U.S citizen, which may be accomplished privately through an attorney, or through an international adoption agency nearly 50 countries allow their children to be adopted by U.S. citizens; ages range from infant to teens; health conditions vary $9,000 to $30,000 (varies by country; travel and travel- related expenses may be additional) depends on agency and country requirements; some will accept single parents, most prospective parents are between 25 and 45 years old six months to several years depending on the child’s age and health, and the country’s political climate
Independent adoption(not legal in all states; also known as private adoption.  – Domestic) an adoption initiated by prospective adopters and completed with help from an attorney or adoption counselor generally infants $5,000 to $40,000 (includes prospective parents’ cost of finding a birth mother, certain birth mother expenses, and attorney’s fees) birth mothers typically choose the adoptive parent– preferences tend to run toward younger, affluent, married couples variable; as long as it takes to find a birth mother who will see the process through to finalization
Source:  North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC)