How long does it take to adopt a child?
Let’s take a look at how long the adoption process takes from start to finish. The length of the adoption process really varies depending on factors such as whether someone is pursuing domestic or international adoption.
Let’s first take a look at domestic adoptions. There are a couple of different ways to go about a domestic adoption. Two types of domestic adoptions are word-of-mouth adoptions and agency adoptions.
Typically the first step in any adoption is a home study. A home study usually takes about three months to complete. It is intended to give a thorough background check on the potential adoptive parents. The home study is intended to find out the suitability of the potential adoptive family to adopt a child. One recommended idea, if you are looking to adopt, is to put together a profile book. The profile book includes things such as pictures of the potential adoptive family and tells things such as why they are looking to adopt a child. The profile book can be a major factor in which family the birth parents choose to place their child.
A word-of-mouth adoption works a little different. The potential adoptive parents in this situation market themselves in order to find a child. They may talk to friends, family, doctors, pregnancy centers or other individuals who may be able to help them find a child to adopt.
International adoptions can take significantly longer than domestic adoptions. The timeline can vary from country to country. The home study is still required. Adoptive parents also have a requirement to cooperate with the United States Citizenship & Immigration Service. Adoptive parents then have a complete packet of information sent to the home country from which they would like to adopt. A search for a suitable child then begins. Once a suitable child is located, it can be several more months before the family is ready to travel. The time frame a family is required to remain in country also varies from country to country. China typically requires a shorter stay, possibly only a couple of weeks, while other countries may require an adoptive family to stay six weeks or longer. One great resource to find the differences in each country is a link on the Lifeline Children Services website called “A Quick Look at International Adoption”.
In summary, typically domestic adoptions can be as quick as three to four months or as long as three years. International adoptions typically range anywhere from as short as two years to as long as five years from start to finish.