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Domestic Adoption vs. International Adoption in Missouri

At the beginning of your personal adoption experienceone of your first important decisions will be to decide how you want to grow your family. There are three types of adoption, but many hopeful parents find themselves focusing on domestic vs. international adoption in Missouri.

Each family’s adoption journey is unique. Only you know whether international vs. domestic adoption in Missouri is the right way to build the family you’ve always dreamed of having. But that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from sage advice offered by experienced adoption professionals who can shed light on your situation.

If you’re comparing domestic adoption vs. international adoption in MO, please know that we’re here to help. The professionals at American Adoptions can get answers to your questions about your adoption options. Call 1-800-ADOPTION 24/7 or complete our free online form to connect when you’re ready.

For now, let’s discuss the popularity of both kinds of adoption and five key points of comparison regarding domestic vs. foreign adoption in Missouri: cost, requirements, wait times, medical background information, and legal concerns. 

Domestic vs. International Adoption in Missouri: How Common Is Each Type?

Before we get into the specifics of international vs. domestic adoption in MO, it’s a good idea to examine the current dynamics in both types and how they appear to be changing.

Recent research by the National Council for Adoption indicates private domestic agency adoptions are steadily increasing, from 14,549 children in the early 1980s to a peak of 25,737 domestic infant adoptions completed in 2019. However, international adoption are declining in recent years, with just 1,622 adoptions in 2020 and 2,971 adoptions in 2019, down from 4,099 in 2018, 4,714 in 2017 and 5,370 in 2016.

Many factors are driving this decrease, such as the logistical and political aspects of international adoption, but there are still millions of children in the world who need a loving family. Unfortunately, international adoption is just more complicated now than at its peak in the mid-2000s.

In Missouri, domestic vs. international adoption stats won’t necessarily help you decide between the two adoption types. But having this knowledge illustrates trends that indicate an increasing preference for domestic private adoption.

How Do I Compare International Adoption vs. Domestic Adoption in MO? [5 Distinctions]

If you’re considering the differences between domestic adoption vs. international adoption in Missouri, there are five points that illustrate the ways the two types differ. Keep reading below to learn more about what distinguishes the two adoption types.

1. Adoption Cost

When comparing international adoption vs. domestic adoption in MO, one of the first areas of concern that potential adoptive families explore is the cost of each process.

The bottom line is that both types of adoption have high costs. If you’re researching international vs. domestic adoption in MO, you’ll find that both feature overall costs that can range from $30,000 to $60,000 dollars.

However, despite the similarities, there are unique costs to consider when evaluating international adoption vs. domestic adoption in Missouri. Some of these costs include:

  • Visa costs: A travel visa to the adoptee’s home nation can impact the cost of international adoption.
  • Travel expenses: Though there may be domestic travel involved in private adoptions in the U.S., travel for international adoption is more costly and may last longer.
  • Birth mother financial assistance: Assistance to the birth mother for things like housing assistance or living expenses are unique to domestic adoption.
  • Financial protection: American Adoptions provides families with a risk-sharing program to offer financial protection in the case of adoption disruption, and it’s unique to domestic adoption.

There are other costs you may want to explore when comparing adopting in the U.S. vs. international adoption in MO. At American Adoptions, we believe in cost transparency, and we’d be happy to share more with you about the cost of adopting with American Adoptions.

2. Requirements for U.S. Adoption vs. International Adoption in MO

Another important point of comparison when researching Missouri adoption in the U.S. vs. international adoption is the requirements for adoption. They may vary depending on your location, adoption type, and your adoption professional.

In domestic adoptions, you must meet the requirements of the state you reside in, the state the adoptee is born in, and your adoption agency. However, the requirements for international adoption can be far more rigorous. They can include:

  • Marriage requirements
  • Higher age limits for prospective parents
  • Prohibitions on LGBTQ adoption

Are the requirements greater for adopting in the U.S. vs. international adoption in MO? Every situation is unique, so it’s difficult to say with certainty. However, there’s little question that the requirements for international adoption are often stricter.

3. Wait Times

Another key consideration for prospective adoptive families is the wait time for an adoption opportunity in Missouri adoption in the U.S. vs. international adoption.

In domestic adoption vs. international adoption in MO, your wait time will be influenced by your willingness to accept a variety of adoption scenarios and the way your agency promotes your adoptive family profile. If you’re open to a wide variety of situations, you’re more likely to find a match quickly.

Also, your agency plays a substantial role in your wait time. For example, American Adoptions advertises to birth mothers nationwide in a variety of venues, which can shorten your wait time dramatically. To get the same exposure, you’d need to work with 25 other agencies at the same time. Most families working with American Adoptions adopt in an average of 12 months.

The wait times for MO international infant adoption vs. domestic adoption are more difficult to predict. International adoption wait times can be impacted by things like:

  • The adoption plan
  • Country-specific issues and travel bans
  • Sudden changes in adoption policies for other nations
  • Volatile political climates that can impact families and children

When considering adopting domestically vs. internationally in MO, it’s important to note that these uncontrollable factors can conspire to produce much longer adoption wait times. Be sure to carefully research wait times and current U.S. relationships with nations you may be adopting from to ensure the adoption process will be stable.

4. Medical Background Information

Many parents comparing domestic adoption and international adoption in MO want to know about the availability of the medical and social history of the child and their birth parents.

In some countries, medical documentation for adoptees is minimal, and there’s often no social history for the child's birth parents. That means adoptive parents won’t have important info about the child’s family medical history or exposure to drugs or alcohol.

Some older adoptees in international adoption may also have experienced neglect, abuse and trauma early on, which can lead to challenging behaviors that must be healed. There are resources for parents on this journey, but dealing with these situations is rarely easy.

When adopting domestically, adoptive parents generally have access to medical records for the child and the social history of the birth parents. The majority of domestic infant adoptions are at least semi-open, so adoptive families and birth parents have continuing communication.

5. Legal Concerns

There are also unique legal concerns to consider when comparing domestic adoption vs. international adoption in MO.

Some adoptive families view international adoptions as "safer" since there’s no contact with the birth parents in international adoptions. The truth is that after adoption finalization in the U.S., the adoptive family becomes the child's permanent family by law. Post-adoption revocations are extremely rare and usually stem from flawed legal practices.

Hopeful parents considering international adoption vs. domestic adoption in MO should fully research the adoption process in each country. The legal mandates that must be satisfied prior to adoption finalization differ. International adoptions are more complicated because they must be finalized according to U.S. law and the international laws of the country of origin. Things like visas and immigration policies make it even more complex.

The Benefits of Working with American Adoptions

If you’re still not sure whether you want to pursue international adoption vs. domestic adoption in MO, it may help to know that working with American Adoptions can make your experience go smoothly. As the best national private adoption agency, American Adoptions offers industry-leading benefits such as:

  • 9-12 month wait times 
  • 100% financial protection for our active families and transparent, accurate fees
  • Full range of in-house needed adoption services from licensed adoption social workers
  • Bigger marketing and advertising budgets so that you don’t have to wait to become a mom and dad
  • A bigger staff that is accessible around the clock.

These benefits (and many others) are part of the reason that hundreds of families complete adoptions with our agency each year. If you’re still deciding between domestic vs. international adoption in MO, it may help to know that working with American Adoptions will provide industry-leading support to your adoption experience.

Final Thoughts on Domestic vs. International Adoption in MO [The Choice is Yours]

Deciding between international adoption vs. domestic adoption in MO is an important step on your personal adoption journey. It’s our hope that the information above has helped you gain a better understanding of the two adoption types and how they can impact your future.

However, if you still have questions related to your decision, we’d be honored to help you work through them. To learn more about private domestic adoption with American Adoptions, read about what separates us from other agencies. You can also reach one of our adoption specialists any time, day or night, by calling 1-800-ADOPTION or completing our online form

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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