Blog// LGBT Adoptive Parents

The Domestic Adoption Process

The domestic adoption process is a long and often confusing process with prospective parents often unsure of where to start. What are the different types of domestic adoption? How much does it cost? What are the steps? In this article we’re going to learn the basics of the adoption process. 

The Different Types of Domestic Adoption
Domestic adoption is an adoption which takes place within the country you live in. There are several different types of domestic adoption, as well as some of the costs involved, which include:

  • Agency Adoption ($20,000-45,000)

  • Independent Adoption ($15,000-40,000+)

  • Identification Adoption

  • LGBT Adoption

  • Embryo Adoption ($7,500-19,500)

  • Foster Care Adoption ($0-5,000)

  • Single Parent Adoption

  • Stepparent Adoptions

  • Kinship Adoptions


Most of these adoption processes can be undertaken in three different ways; open (where the birth family has contact and visitation with the child), semi-open (where contact is available but more limited), and closed (where the contact between the child and the birth family ceases when the child is successfully adopted).


The 10 Key Steps of the Adoption Process
Knowing the process and what to expect is important before undertaking domestic adoption, we’ve outlined the basic steps of a standard domestic adoption below.

  1. Research: Do your homework! Learn about the different kinds of adoptions. Research the process in-depth and use social media to connect with other prospective adoptive parents as well as parents who have already adopted. This will give you a unique insight into the process and help you decide whether or not you want to proceed.

  2. Adoption Type: Next you’ll need to decide which type of adoption is suited for you. Of course here we are focusing on domestic adoption, but you may find that international adoption calls to you more. 

  3. Considerations with your Partner or Support Network: Most commonly parents adopt as a couple, but you may be a single parent looking to adopt. Either way there are some considerations you should discuss with your significant other or support network such as:
    - How to pay for the adoption?
    - Open, semi-open, or closed adoption?
    - Are you open to adopting a special needs child?
    - What age, ethnicity, and gender are considering?
    - Birth order (if you already have children)

  4. Agency/Attorney: Next you need to decide on the agency or attorney you’ll use to adopt. Consider licensing, fees, placement rates, wait times, wait list size, birth mother portofolio, and networking when making your choice.

  5. Fundraise:  Adoption can be costly, so you’ll need to start raising funds. Research the types of grants and funding which may be available to you.

  6. Apply: Complete your application and submit it.

  7. Approval: Read the agency/attorney’s contract before you sign. Pay attention to fees, agency and family responsibilities, policies, and so on.

  8. Home Study Prep: Home studies are quite a lot of work. You’ll need to undertake background checks, give a brief outline of your life, undertake some training hours, and make preparations for a house inspection.

  9. Home Study Visit: Your home will be visited by a social worker several times, who will interview you and learn more about you as prospective parents.

  10.  Final Documents: Put together your family’s profile book, as this is what will be shown to potential connections. 


Often times, these steps can be completed out of order or at the same time to expedite the process. Speak with your adoption agency or lawyer to learn more about what your next steps should be.


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