When determining the type of adoption you want to pursue, it’s necessary to understand the factors that set them apart. Beyond where the child originates, there are several distinctions that will impact your decision. Below, we examine the differences between domestic adoption in Florida and international adoption.
Domestic adoption is typically less expensive than international adoption. This is because you will likely travel to the country of origin several times. International adoptions often require more time away from home and work. Extended stays in the country of origin are often necessary.
Domestic adoption is the only way to adopt a newborn or very young infant. It takes time for international children to become available for adoption. In most cases, the child is one to two years old before immigrating to the U.S. If you want an older child, a more affordable option is to adopt a child from the U.S. foster care system.
The wait times are about the same for domestic and international adoption. There is a lot of paperwork involved in the international adoption process, which may cause it to be slightly longer than domestic adoption.
In domestic adoption, you may get a report of the child’s genetic and familial background. The adoption agency works with the birth mother to gather this information. International adoptions typically provide little information of this nature. Adoption agencies generally work with orphanages overseas, rather than directly with the birth family. So, it is more difficult to get the family history.
Domestic adoptions in Florida may require you to travel within the United States. Here at Destiny Adoption, our birth mothers live in Florida and Tennessee, so you may need to travel within those states. International adoption will probably require you to travel to the country of origin. Sometimes it is one trip, and other times it is several trips. Ask your international adoption agency to clarify travel needs for the country you are considering.
In America, adoption laws vary from state to state. So, domestic adoption in Florida is regulated by Florida’s state laws. If the birth mother lives in another state, Tennessee for example, adoption procedures must follow those state laws. Laws governing international adoption vary from country to country and change often. You may run into unexpected obstacles if laws change during your adoption process.
Adoptive Parent Requirements
Requirements and restrictions for adoptive parents also differ between domestic and international adoption.
Each domestic adoption agency has restrictions on the age of adoptive parents. Generally, older couples struggle to find a birth mother because they are competing with younger people. Birth families are less likely to select adoptive parents over the age of 40. In international adoption, age guidelines vary with each country. The general rule is there should be no more than 40 years between the child and parent. So, you may need to adopt an older child.
Marital status is not an obstacle to adopt domestically. As long as you are stable and can provide for the child, you can adopt. However, some countries have strict rules about marriage. Some require a couple to be married for a certain number of years. Others have restrictions based upon the number of divorces a person has experienced.
In domestic adoption, if there is a history of physical or mental illness, a doctor must establish that the person is well enough to care for a child. Some countries have further restrictions, making it impossible to adopt internationally if you have been diagnosed with certain illnesses. Some countries even refuse parents if they are taking psychiatric medications.
Some countries will not allow you to adopt if you have an arrest record, even if you weren’t convicted of a crime. Most domestic adoption agencies will work with you if you have sufficient proof that you weren’t convicted or that you have been rehabilitated (such as in the case of a DUI). Any serious crimes or felonies will result in rejection from domestic and international entities. Any crimes involving child abuse, domestic violence or sexual assault will prohibit a person from adopting anywhere.
Domestically, adoptive families must show the ability to provide for a child. Internationally, adoptive families need an income of 125% above the poverty line for the past three years. Families with fewer financial resources may choose to adopt from foster care, as it is much more affordable than private domestic adoption or international adoption.
Hire a Licensed Adoption Agency for Your Domestic Adoption
Knowing which type of adoption to pursue from the start makes it easier to select the right adoption agency. If you are considering a Florida domestic adoption, contact us anytime for more information and assistance at (727) 202-8966.
Author: Destiny Adoption Services
Destiny Adoption Services is proud to support and guide birth parents and adoptive families on the journey of adoption. We’re a state licensed nonprofit adoption agency with four decades of adoption experience, and our professional team of experts includes moms, adoptive moms and birth mothers who provide compassion combined with trusted resources and skills.