I’ll be moderating the adoption panel at a major meeting in New York this weekend, Fertility Planit (FertilityPlanit.com) talking to people considering adoption. I often get asked about where and how to start the adoption process. Here are some of the basics that everyone should know.
Did you know that thirty percent of Americans consider adopting a child? That’s millions and millions of hopeful parents each year considering adoption as their path for creating a family. Despite all the interest, it remains an area of fragmented information, confusing choices, high costs and even higher anxiety and emotion.
What do people considering this path to parenthood need to know this year?
- Interest in domestic adoption is rising. International adoptions have fallen dramatically over the past decade, but the number of people considering adoption has not. The good news for domestic adoption is that online technologies are actually helping speed and improve the process so that the years-long wait times are coming down. In addition, international adoption is still a strong option for many, as long as you carefully consider how to pursue it.
- Most U.S. adoptions are open. In the U.S., open adoption is now the norm and research shows open adoptions are healthier for everyone involved, especially the adopted child. But many adopting parents worry over what open adoption really means – misperceptions and anxieties abound.
- Online and social media has completely altered the process. Social media has altered the path to parenthood for many adoptive parents and opened up new resources for both adoptive and expectant parents.
- Scams are a serious risk – choosing the right agency or attorney is a must. The explosion of online resources has created many more opportunities for scam artists. People who are adopting need to know who to trust and how to protect themselves.
- Adoption costs are high, but the tax credit can help. The costs for adopting in the U.S. can average $25,000-$35,000 but vary widely. Just this year Congress made the adoption tax credit permanent – which could mean a credit back of more than $12,000 to people who adopt.
If you are in the New York City area this weekend and want to join me, along with Marni Denenberg (Director of Domestic Adoption Programs, Alliance for Children and adoptee), Gabriel Blau (Director, Family Equality Council and adoptive dad) and Jacqui Stafford (Fashion Editor, Style Expert and adoptive mom), email me for free tickets! [email protected], only a few left!