Two questions we get the most when talking to prospective adoptive parents is 1) how long they will have to wait before adopting, and 2) how much will it cost.
Wait times in domestic adoptions are directly related to the adoptive parents openness to the “issues” that you see in adoption. The more open the adoptive parents are to these issues the shorter wait time they will have.
The biggest issue is race, and the longest wait is for full Caucasian. The shortest wait is for African American. I’ve seen statistics quoted that for every full Caucasian baby available for adoption there are 45 to 50 couples that would be open to that situation. The reverse is true for African American. There are at any one time in the US at least 45 or 50 African American babies available for adoption.
The second biggest issue is gender. If you are gender specific then you are going to increase your wait. Girls are less available than boys.
Another issue is alcohol and substance abuse during pregnancy. Women with unplanned pregnancies may have consumed alcohol and substances that normally they wouldn’t consume if they had been planning a pregnancy. We advise adoptive parents to look at each situation and do research on the effects of alcohol and other substances.
Another key issue in adoptions is the identity of the birthfather and the willingness of an identified birthfather to sign consents to the adoption. Its not uncommon for a woman placing for adoption to name multiple birthfathers. Although each case should be examined for legal risk, as turning down adoption opportunities because there is uncertainty about the birthfather is going to increase wait time. An experienced attorney can help you evaluate the risk and make a decision on whether the opportunity is a good one for you.
Other issues in adoption include no prenatal care or irregular prenatal care, and mental and physical health issues in the birth parents or their extended families that can be passed on to the unborn child.
And the more open adoptive parents are to open adoptions, the shorter their wait time can be for a child. There is a definite trend towards openness in adoptions, and in North Carolina by law all adoptions are open by law. So if you limit yourself to a closed or semi-open adoption, you are going to have a much longer wait.