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Types of Adoption

When considering adoption, the wide variety of options can seem overwhelming. You will have a number of choices to make, so gather as much information as possible and ask lots of questions!

Adoption Information Booklet

The Adoption Exchange has compiled a helpful introduction to the world of adoption.  

Types of Adoption

There are several different types of adoption, including: domestic infant, waiting child (i.e., from foster care), international, independent, open, closed, private agency, and public agency. You will want to gather as much information as possible to help you decide what type of child you feel you can best parent, whether you prefer to work with a public or private agency, or if you want to adopt a child from another country.

Here are some general guidelines:

  • Generally, county and state departments of social services (sometimes called Child and Family Services) do not place healthy infants. To adopt a healthy infant you will need to work with a private agency.
  • To adopt a child from abroad, you must work with an agency that is specifically licensed to conduct international adoptions in the country you choose.
  • Departments of social services place children who are in the foster care system due to abuse and neglect and who cannot be returned safely to their birth families.