Myth #3: It Takes Years to Adopt a Newborn in the US

Another myth that is often believed by people is that they think that it takes a number of years before you are able to adopt a newborn baby in America. In truth there is a very wide range in the amount of time it takes to adopt a baby and much of it has to do with the agency you choose. Some agency’s average waiting times are about nine months while another agency the average time may take two – three years, maybe longer.

One must also take in consideration that these are average times for people who are looking to adopt a healthy Caucasian baby. As Anna will certainly agree there are many older and special needs children who are in need of loving homes now.

However, if you are looking to adopt a Caucasian baby many factors need to be considered when looking at waiting times.

• In general the more you pay for the adoption the shorter the waiting time. This is primarily due to the fact that those agencies that cost more are spending a majority of their money on advertising, marketing, and outreach to birthmothers. They may also offer more counseling and services for birthmothers making it a more attractive option for a birthmother. For example they may offer scholarships for school for birthmothers. The more birthmothers that an agency is able to help then the lower the ratio of birthmother to families looking to adopt. Some agencies actually have a 1:1 ratio of birthmothers to adoptive families. When this is the case the lower the waiting times.

• It also makes a difference if you choose an agency that allows the birthmother to pick the match to the prospective adoptive family, or if you choose an agency that puts you on a waiting list. A couple may end up on a waiting list for years depending on how many families the agency has a member and how many birthmothers are signing on with the agency.

• Also, some agencies are going to ask you to complete a questionnaire about what you feel is acceptable in terms of a mother’s cigarette, drug, and alcohol use during pregnancy. They may also ask you what you will accept in terms of the mental and physical health history of the birthparent and the birthparent’s family. To give you a better understanding of this in terms of waiting times I will give you an example. About 60% – 70% of birthmother’s smoke. If you decide that you do not want to have the birthmother smoking during pregnancy who will be making your waiting times longer since the majority does smoke.

The above examples are just some of the primary factors when looking at waiting times to adopt an infant or newborn. There are a number of other factors as well. Always research the agency well and consider what your options are. Not everyone can afford to spend a large sum of money when adopting a baby so deciding on a longer waiting time could be better for some couples. When adopting you must always do what is right for your family now and then for your baby and family in the future.

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About Kathy Sheldon

My name is Kathy Sheldon and I live in Northern NJ with my husband, Jeff, my 15 month old son, Connor, two cats, a bird, and the newest addition our 10 week old Bernese Mountain puppy. I graduated from Buffalo State College and then went on to earn a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology from Pace University. Prior to my son being born I worked for 7 years in a Domestic Violence Shelter in New York City with women and their children. I counseled women and their families individually and in groups. For the last five years at the shelter I was in administration and management. I resigned from my position as Director of Client Services after Connor was born because my commute into New York City was too long from where we live. When my son Connor was 4 months old I decided to start my Direct Sales Business with the Traveling Vineyard. I chose In Home Wine Tastings because I really enjoy wine and wanted to learn more about it. It was then that I started to write my first blog, "Traveling Wine Adventures." Since my son was adopted and my husband, and I had such a wonderful experience with our adoption and American Adoptions, I inquired with them about doing Adoption Home Studies and was hired contractually in September. I also have started to do Adoption Seminars locally for prospective adoptive parents. In August of 2005 I started my second blog "Working Moms Wanted". I started it because I found myself in place like many new Moms, needing to find work but not knowing if it would be better to work out of my home or get an outside job. My husband and I are socially active people and enjoy spending a lot of our time with families in the neighborhood and our own families. In addition we enjoy many hobbies. I enjoy running, reading, writing, cooking, and of course spending time with Connor.

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