Domestic vs International Adoption: Here’s the best one.

Domestic vs International Adoption

What are the differences between domestic vs International adoption? Which of them should you choose now? If you are considering adoption and you are asking those questions, you are at the right place, and by the time you are done reading this post, you will know what to do next.

Without good guidance, it is always a challenge to make a full decision concerning your adoption journey: you need an expert to guide you, thankfully I am here to guide you, so pay close attention to all I will share with you about Domestic vs International Adoption in this post.

There are tremendous differences between the two types of adoption, you will read about all of them in this post in a few seconds from now but before them, let’s see what domestic adoption and International adoption Means.

What Does Domestic Adoption Mean?

Domestic adoption is a term used to describe the type of adoption where the adoptive parent, birth parents, and the adopted are all from the same country. In this type of adoption, the adoptive family doesn’t need to travel out of the country to adopt.

The whole process of domestic adoption, including the first placement, the consent, background checks, and the finalization are all done under a State law that is fully regulated.

Domestic Adoption is also referred to as private domestic adoption. In domestic adoption, the birth parent or the birth mother are always encouraged to select the family they like for their child. The birth mother or birth parents also have the privilege to decide the level of relationship they want with the adoptive parents, as well as the extent they will want their adoption process to be an open adoption

What Is International Adoption?

International adoption as the name implies refers to the type of adoption where adoptive parents from one country adopt a baby from another country entirely. International adoption is sometimes pretty complicated, because the adoption process, including the finalization, is dependent on both the laws of the country where the baby is adopted from and the adoptive parents’ country.

All International adoption is not open adoption, and this is because it can never be possible for a birth mother to have an open relationship with an adoptive mother very far away.

Domestic vs International Adoption.

Adoptive family and the adopted children.

There are many things to consider when you want to compare domestic vs International adoption, they are

  • Children available
  • Wait Time
  • “Legal Concerns”
  • Medical History.
  • Adoption Costs.

Don’t worry, I will discuss everything in detail, so you’ll be able to decide which will work perfectly for you.

Let’s dive in:

Children Available:-

Are there children available to be adopted internationally? That’s a serious question to answer. From statistics, there has been a steady rise in the number of private domestic agency adoptions to about 49,945 and the number rose to 52,042 in 2012. The fact is that while domestic agency adoption is increasing, there is also a swift drop in international adoption.

Take for instance in China; in 2016 the total number of children adopted was 2,231 and in 2020, the number of children adopted went down to 202, what a drastic fall. That shows that many countries are gradually dropping International adoption.

Note also that the age of the child you wish to adopt determines to a great extent the type of adoption you’ll go for. If you want to adopt domestically, you will be adopting either an infant or a newborn baby, but for international adoption, it must be an adult.

Wait Time:-

Wait time for adoption is another area to consider when you are comparing domestic vs International adoption. But frankly, the amount of time you wait for adoption opportunities depend on whether you are going for international or domestic adoption.

Both International adoption and private domestic infant adoption are other ways of building a family that takes time if not years. Although it depends greatly on the adoption professional you use, it nearly takes from 5- 6 months before you complete your adoption home study as well as the pre-placement requirements. After that, you will then wait to be matched with the right child.

The difference between domestic vs International adoption here is that in domestic adoption, you must wait for the birth mother to be to choose you as the child’s future parents; in International, you will have to wait for your adoption agency to find the best adoption opportunities for you. However, In both cases, you must be ready to wait.

Again, the wait time for international adoption is also different, depending on the family’s adoption plans and also the countries. For example, there were times when the number of people from the US who adopted children from China grew exponentially because there was a good relationship between the country, nowadays the number has dropped.

You must take the wait time fully into consideration before stepping out to adopt a baby, though it is not enough to either make or break your idea to adopt from domestic vs International adoption.

As adoptive parents who wish to go through international adoption, you must take time to research how each county handles its adoption processes. The reason is that every country has its set of legal mandates which all prospective adoptive parents must accomplish.

One major concern people have about Domestic adoption is about the birth of the birth parent coming back one day to reclaim her child. The belief is that since there is a contact that exists between the adoptive family and the birth parent, the birth mother can change her mind at any time about the adoption.

There is no such fear in international adoption because there is no contact with the birth family. The truth is that once the adoption is finalized legally in court, the adoptive parents have become the recognized child’s owner.

If you have heard about post-adoption revocation, it is rare and it happened because of some unsafe legal practices. Well, don’t be afraid it won’t happen to you, and if you are adopting internationally, you are well covered.


The cost for international adoption range was $30,000 before but has jumped to around $80,00 as of the time of writing this post. Domestic adoption is around $25,000 to $50,000. Don’t be surprised if you incur other expenses as you go through either of the types of adoption.

For example, you will need a visa for international adoption but not for domestic adoption: the visa fee is not included in the adoption cost, so that’s an extra cost you’ll see.

Again, anybody adopting from another country must be ready to travel to the country they are adopting from and stay for a few weeks and they may be required to make such trips many times before the adoption is completed. That is why you should investigate thoroughly before deciding the adoption type that is right for you.

If you choose to adopt from the US, you’ll need to prepare to travel to the birth families country to witness the babies birth and after the child’s birth, you will also wait for approval from ICPC.

It is ICPC job to make sure that all the children placed in any home outside their birth mother’s state get good support. All these are not expected in domestic adoption.

“Medical History”:

Another important fact to consider in domestic vs International adoption is the medical history availability. When you adopt a child from overseas, you may not have the opportunity to have the child’s and the family’s medical history which is very important in adoption, or you may have just a little of it.

The birth family medical history, like possible drug and alcohol exposure of the parents, is often not seen at all, and the effects of the exposure can be hidden from you until after you have adopted the child in question

Note also that if you are adopting a child from overseas, you should prepare for ” attachment disorders.” In domestic adoption, the adoptive family usually have all the medical information they need about the child they wish to adopt, and the parents too.

The medical history of both the baby and the north family will be handed over to the adoptive family to go through before they agree to match and they have the right to decline or accept after seeing the history.

Domestic vs International Adoption:


If you are at the crossroads of deciding between International vs domestic adoption, then this post will help you make the right decision at last. Go through the post carefully to know their differences before deciding your next steps.

There is a wealth of information you can get from the internet, so if you have other questions that need to be answered, go ahead and do a search. You will be marveled at what results in you will get.

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