Domestic Adoption from The United States

Photo of New York City by Jason Jenkins

Adopt from The United States

Explore Adoption to begin the journey through the process of helping a child find a forever family.

United States Adoption


Infant Adoption in the United States through International Family Services

We, in the U.S. find ourselves facing increasingly hard economic times and this has impacted the ability of single birthmothers to parent their children. Sadly, there are situations where the birthmother may need to make adoption plans for the baby she is carrying. Our Cross-Cultural Program is for families who are interested in adopting newborns.

Our desire is to work with families who are thrilled to adopt children of a different culture and race than perhaps that of their own.  Many of the babies will be Black, mixed race, Hispanic, Asian, East Indian, and any other culture that may be different than that of the adoptive family.  The name, “Cross-Cultural Program” is meant to embrace and celebrate the child’s heritage while also celebrating the culture of the adoptive family.  IFS will provide training and support to help guide our families in the celebration of cross-cultural adoption.

Baby girlEvery year, more than 25,000 newborn babies are adopted in the U.S.  Access to biological relative history and birth records are often more readily available to adoptive parents than that of children born overseas.  Over the course of the last 20 years in international adoption, IFS has seen overseas costs steadily rise to the point where they now meet or exceed that of domestic adoption costs.  We know that the domestic adoption process can seem as overwhelming as an international adoption.  Our IFS team has linked with some of the most experienced social workers, agencies, attorneys and domestic adoption centersin the U.S.  Most of the hundreds of infants placed per year through these resources are not Cross-Cultural but a great need now exists to provide services for those birthmothers and their newborns.  We are thrilled to be a part of meeting the needs of birthmother and baby through this program.

One of the major concerns in adopting domestically is the possibility of the birthmother changing her mind after the adoption or before placement.  Because of the amount of adoption planning and counseling the birthmothers participate in, the placement rate on average is over 90%.  Please know that adoption consents in the U.S. are typically irrevocable in less than a week. Should the birthmother change her mind, we will be with you and will help with a new match as soon as possible.  The other concern is regarding fees paid and we have an innovative approach to protect our adoptive families. 

Cross-Culture adoption must be your heart’s desire.  You must know in your heart that you will love your baby unconditionally and you will commit to celebrate your family’s new cross cultural heritage.

Every domestic adoption falls into one of these three categories;  open, semi-open and closed.  As each adoption is Cara&Terriunique, the decision regarding which type of adoption all parties agree to will reflect the kind of relationship they will want to have in the future with the child and each set of parents.  An open adoption will include the sharing of identifying and non-identifying information about each other.  This usually includes contact information.  Sometimes the birth and adoptive family know each other and the relationship is ongoing. A semi-open adoption will typically include the meeting of the birth parent with the adoptive parents at the hospital.  Last names are usually not shared and neither are addresses and other identifying types of information.  The sharing of photos and updates are agreed upon and are handled through the agency serving as the intermediary.  Closed adoptions are still used today wherein the birth parents do not choose the adoptive family.  Identifying information and communication are not exchanged before or after the placement of the child. The adoptive family will receive non-identifying health and perhaps other background information about the baby and the birth family before placement is made. The birth parents may also receive non-identifying information about the adoptive parents. The adoption files will be sealed after the adoption and are usually never made available to the adopted child. 

We have broken our fee structure into a series of payments meant to ease the burden of domestic adoption expenses as best we can.  In an effort to make each component of the domestic process affordable, we have a dedicated, flat fee structure for the social services in addition to encouraging each family to develop a budget they are comfortable with to cover the legally allowable expenses of the birthmother.  In most cases you will be matched with a birthmother once she has reached her last trimester so your portion of the expenses can be kept as low as possible.  Some birthmothers will have more expenses than others, usually with regard to the city they live in and the cost of living. Your profile will be presented to birthmothers who match your criteria. When you are chosen you will review your birthmother profile that will typically provide background and medical information along with the gender of the baby if that has been determined. You will decide if you would like to be matched to this birthmother or if you would like to wait for another birthmother profile. When you decide to be matched we will guide you though your match (phone call) meeting with your birthmother. From this point on everything will be case specific.

Requirements for Adopting Parent(s)

  • It is required that at least one of the married couple be 25 years old
  • Couples must be married for at least 2 years.
  • At least one applicant must be a legal resident of the U.S..
  • Singles over the age of 25 may adopt.


We will be conservative in our estimate of timing because each case is different. You should be matched with a birthmother within approximately six to twelve months of submission of your family profile book. However, your match might come much sooner (much!) so we will need you to be prepared should that be the case. If your desire is to adopt a baby from any culture and any gender, the referral will be sooner than if you desire to adopt a child of a particular gender from a specific culture. The more specific your request, the longer the wait. If you feel comfortable taking things a little slower, that is fine with us. We will work together with you so that building your family through adoption will be an experience you will look back on with great fondness.

Fees & Expenses

IFS Application Fee:


IFS Agency Coordination Fee:

$4550  Fully transferrable to one of our international programs at any time

Expatriate (clients living out of the U.S.):

Additional $1,000

Domestic Program Fee:

Contact IFS for the latest information regarding program fees. Costs associated with this program are similar to, or less than, most international adoption fees including our Ethiopia and India adoption programs.

Additional Expenses:

  • All travel related expenses for placement
  • Adoption finalization in your state or the state where your baby is born
  • Birth parent placement consents and termination if necessary
  • Possible legal fees associated with the above
  • Adoptive Family Profiles – Your profile books are an important part of the domestic adoption process. Family profile books are created by you or by a professional adoption profile service that we can recommend to you. Adoption profiles are usually 12 pages in length and are full of pictures and your story (with no identifying information provided) that tells a birthmother about your adoption hopes and dreams. It is your opportunity to tell her about you and your passion and desire to adopt. You will need to provide at least 20-30 books.

Subsequent domestic or international adoption anytime after the initial adoption:


For more information about Adoption Tax Credits and other tax planning information see NOTE: IFS does not provide tax-planning advice. Prospective adoptive families should consult with their tax or financial planning professionals for additional information on the adoption tax credit.

Adopt from The United States


Explore Adoption to begin the journey through the process of helping a child find a forever family.


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Since our beginning in the early 1990s, International Family Services (IFS) has helped nearly 4500 orphaned children find forever homes.

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