In the United States alone, over 100,000 children are waiting for a permanent home. Many of them are school-age with brothers and sisters and have been handed back and forth between the group and foster homes various times.
For many couples and single individuals who want to start a family, adoption is a great option. Similarly, adoption provides parentless children with the opportunity to grow up in a loving, supportive, and permanent household. In a world of 7.5 billion people and counting, adoption is also a very environmentally friendly choice.
However, the Houston law firm Holmes, Diggs, Eames & Sadler warns on their website that the adoption process is not an easy one to navigate. The process has many steps and, due to the high emotional stakes, can result in many disappointments before an adoption can be successfully secured. Despite nearly 35 percent of Americans having considered adoption at one point, only about two percent are successful.
The speed of the adoption process relies on multiple factors, the race, gender, and age of the child being the most influential. In the United States, white female infants are the most popular adoption request. Parents could wait up to five years for a healthy, white baby. On the other hand, African American children, especially boys in their adolescence or teens, are the least popular and can be available for adoption in just a few weeks. The cost for babies of color is also much lower due to their low demand.
Especially when parents adopt infants and young children, open adoptions–in which the birth mother or birth parents maintain contact with the child–are very common. On the other hand, in certain cases adoptions are closed, meaning that the identity of the birth parents is withheld from the adoptive parents and the child (this option is usually only possible when the child is surrendered to the state at infancy).