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Domestic Adoption Vs International Adoption in Arkansas: A Comparison

While your first step in your adoption journey is deciding adoption is right for you, soon after you’ll need to decide your path to family growth. There are three kinds of adoption available, and many hopeful parents decide between domestic vs. international adoption in Arkansas. 

Only you can decide whether international vs. domestic adoption in Arkansas will be part of your adoption experience. But to do that, you’re going to need solid advice from experienced adoption professionals when considering your options.

If you’re debating whether domestic adoption vs international adoption in Arkansas is right for your family, please know we’re here to help. At American Adoptions, we want you to find the answers you need. Call 1-800-ADOPTION 24/7 or complete our free online form to connect when you’re ready to begin.

Next, we’ll define the two types of adoption above, and we’ll also discuss five important points of comparison that distinguish domestic vs foreign adoption in Arkansas: cost, requirements, wait times, medical background information, and legal concerns.

Domestic vs International Adoption in Arkansas: Which is More Common?

We’ll be diving deeper into the primary differences between international vs. domestic adoption in Arkansas later in this guide, but right now we should discuss trends in the two types of adoption and how they may be changing.

Recent research performed by the National Council for Adoption demonstrates private domestic agency adoptions are increasing, rising from 14,549 children in the early 1980s to a peak of 25,737 domestic infant adoptions in 2019. Conversely, international adoptions have declined in recent years. There were only 1,622 adoptions in 2020 and 2,971 adoptions in 2019, which is a decrease from 4,099 in 2018, 4,714 in 2017 and 5,370 in 2016.

This trend in international adoption can be attributed to many factors, such as the logistical and political complexity of international adoption. Millions of children worldwide are still in need of loving families, but unfortunately, international adoption is more difficult now than it was at its peak in the mid-2000s.

It’s wise to consider these domestic vs. international adoption in Arkansas stats when choosing between the two types of adoption. The numbers may not influence your decision, but these stats do demonstrate an increasing preference for domestic private adoption.

International Adoption vs. Domestic Adoption in Arkansas: 5 Key Differences

If you’re contemplating whether domestic adoption vs. international adoption in Arkansas is right for you, it may help to evaluate their differences in relation to five key points. Read on below to learn more about these important distinctions separating the two adoption types.

1. Expense Associated with Adoption

For many hopeful parents, the cost is always an important consideration. When comparing international adoption vs. domestic adoption in Arkansas, the cost of each process is an important factor in determining whether an adoption type is viable for your family.

In your research into international vs. domestic adoption in Arkansas, you may have already learned that both kinds of adoption are costly. In fact, the overall expense can fall between $30,000 to $60,000 dollars for either type.  

Though many of the associated fees and costs are similar, each type also has costs that are unique. You should consider that when using the potential financial impact of international adoption vs domestic adoption in Arkansas as a point of distinction. Some of those costs include:

  • Travel expenses: Private domestic adoption may involve travel if the birth mother lives in another part of the U.S., but travel for international adoption is international, meaning it’s more costly and usually lasts longer.
  • Visa costs: International adoption costs are influenced by the need to get a travel visa to the adoptee’s home nation.
  • Financial protection: American Adoptions protects you financially from adoption disruption, which is something that’s unique to domestic adoption.
  • Birth mother financial assistance: In private adoption, you may be asked to provide financial assistance for the birth mother to covers expenses like housing assistance or healthcare costs. Again, that’s unique to domestic adoption.

You may want to explore other costs when comparing adopting in the U.S. vs. international adoption in Arkansas. At American Adoptions, we’re committed to cost transparency, and we’d be happy to explain the cost of adopting with American Adoptions.

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

Assessing Arkansas adoption in the U.S. vs. international adoption also requires you to think through the requirements for adoption involved in each type and how they may impact your experience. Those requirements vary based on factors like your location, adoption type, and the adoption professional you’re using.

In domestic adoption, you observe the requirements of your home state, the home state of the adoptee, and your adoption agency. In international adoption, the requirements include an extra layer and are usually more rigorous. They can sometimes include:

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

Are the differing requirements involved in adopting in the U.S. vs. international adoption in Arkansas a concern? They could be. It’s something to consider when deciding which one is right for your family. Of course, the requirements for international adoption are usually stricter, which could impact your decision.

3. Average Wait Time to Adopt

Your potential wait time for an adoption opportunity is also worth considering if you’re trying to decide between adoption in the U.S. vs. international adoption in Arkansas.

In domestic adoption vs. international adoption in Arkansas, your wait time is shaped by several factors, including:

  • Your willingness to be flexible and open up your adoption preferences
  • Whether you choose a national or local adoption agency
  • The amount of marketing your agency offers
  • The method your agency uses to market your adoptive family profile

In domestic adoption, hopeful adoptive parents do have some control over variable that impact wait time. By remaining flexible regarding the variety of possible adoption situations you’ll accept, you can find a match sooner. You may also choose an adoption agency that extends its reach nationally and has an aggressive marketing program.

American Adoptions is recognized as an industry leader because we offer reduced wait times, comprehensive services, and more marketing than other agencies. We’ll promote your family to birth mothers across the U.S. through multiple avenues to shorten your wait time. American Adoptions offers 12x more exposure than competing agencies, so many families that partner with American Adoptions adopt in an average of 12 months.

It’s tougher to forecast wait times for international infant adoption vs. domestic adoption in Arkansas. International adoption wait times may be influenced by additional factors including:

  • Your adoption plan
  • Continuously changing adoption policies in other nations
  • Country-specific restrictions and travel bans
  • Volatile political climates 

If you’re deciding between adopting domestically vs. internationally in Arkansas, it’s wise to think about the ways these uncertainties may result in extended wait times for an adoption opportunity. Be sure to research wait times and current U.S. relationships with nations you’re considering to ensure the adoption process will be stable.

4. Availability of Information on the Child’s Medical Background

Another thing to consider when comparing domestic adoption and international adoption in Arkansas is the availability of the medical and social history information for the child and birth parents.

You’ll need some medical history for the child you’re adopting, but it’s not always available in international adoptions. There may be no medical records for adoptees at all, and the same can be true of the social history of the child's birth parents. That means adoptive parents may lack key details about their child’s family medical history or exposure to drugs or alcohol.

It’s also important to recognize that many older kids in international adoption have gone through significant adversity that can include neglect, abuse and trauma. That can result in challenging behaviors requiring further care and attention. There are available resources for parents who are facing these challenges, but it’s difficult to deal with in most cases.

In domestic adoptions, adoptive parents usually have access to complete records for adoptees. That includes both medical and social histories of the birth parents. Since most domestic infant adoptions are open or semi-open these days, adoptive families and birth parents have continuing communication and share information.

5. Legal Concerns and Adoption Finalization

Our last point of comparison regarding the differences between domestic adoption vs. international adoption in AR is the unique legal concerns of each type of adoption.

Some people think international adoptions are "safer" because there’s less chance the birth parents in will try to get their child back. But once an adoption is finalized in the U.S., the adoptive family becomes the adoptee's permanent family legally. Post-adoption revocations only occur if proper legal practices aren’t followed.

Prospective parents considering international adoption vs. domestic adoption in Arkansas should research the adoption process in every country they’re considering. International adoptions are complicated, and finalization must comply with both U.S. law and the laws of the country of origin. Things like visas and immigration policies increase the complexity.

Why Hopeful Adoptive Parents Should Partner with American Adoptions

Still trying to determine whether international adoption vs. domestic adoption in Arkansas is right for you? It may help to know that partnering with American Adoptions gives you your best chance for a smooth private infant adoption experience.

American Adoptions is considered the industry leader for many reasons, including our long list of top-notch comprehensive benefits such as:

  • A comprehensive financial protection program for adoptive parents, so you won’t be financially impacted by a disrupted adoption.
  • 12x more marketing and promotion than the average competing adoption agency, so your adoption wait time will be shorter.
  • 24-hour, 7-day a week support from trained adoption specialists, so you can get answers to important questions anytime you need them.
  • Expert counseling and guidance through every part of the adoption process, so everyone involved will know adoption is the right choice.
  • Help with building a compelling adoption profile, so you can find the perfect match more quickly.
  • Arranging for birth mother financial assistance when necessary, so you can be sure the birth mother and your child are healthy and well.
  • Setting and moderating contact between birth mothers and prospective adoptive families, so you know the lines of communication will be open.
  • And much, much more

These advantages of working with American Adoptions make our agency your best choice when choosing to adopt an infant domestically. Every year, hundreds of families complete adoptions with our agency, and we’ve helped more than 13,000 families grow through adoption over the last three decades.

If you’re still deciding between domestic vs. international adoption in AR, please know that working with American Adoptions will ensure you get the industry-leading support you deserve throughout your adoption experience.

Parting Thoughts on Domestic vs. International Adoption in Arkansas

Choosing between international adoption vs domestic adoption in Arkansas is a critical step in your adoption journey. This guide has been packed with information that we hope has contributed to a better understanding of these two adoption types, how they differ, and how those differences may shape your adoption experience.

We also understand if you still have questions. We’re here to help you get answers. For more information on private domestic adoption with American Adoptions, you can read about what separates us from other agencies. Our adoption specialists are also available to speak to you around the clock. Simply call 1-800-ADOPTION or complete our online form to get started. 

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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