New to Adoption?

Let us explain the ins and outs of adopting domestically or abroad.

Domestic and International Adoption Differences

The main differences between domestic and international adoption are typically the child’s age, health status, amount of available health and social information. And, of course, travel time.

Newborns are only available in infant domestic adoptions. Generally, older children and children with identified special needs are available for adoption internationally and through the U.S. foster care system.

Internationally, there is usually limited social and genetic history about the child’s birth parents. Domestically, prospective adoptive parents will receive all available social and genetic history about the birth family.

Children from the U.S. foster care system and children adopted internationally have many similar medical, developmental, emotional, and behavioral needs.

Domestic adoptions may require a 2-3 week stay in the state in which the child was born. Internationally, prospective adoptive parents may need to make several trips of varying duration; it is dependent on the country chosen.

Length of the Process

Typically, the home study process takes 6-12 weeks. Then the wait time is variable depending on the country you are adopting from. Most people’s adoption process takes 12-36 months.

Where is the Greatest Need

All children need a loving, permanent home to grow up in. Children living in overseas orphanages have the most critical needs. They often lack clean water, nutritious food, a bed to sleep in, and a nurturing caretaker.

The best country from which to adopt depends on your family’s needs, abilities, and preferences.

Common Things to Consider

Is your family in agreement to adopt?
Do you want to adopt from the United States or internationally?
Do you have a preference regarding the age and gender of the child you wish to adopt?
Are there any health conditions or special needs a child may have that you feel equipped to parent?
Are you restricted in the amount of time you can travel for the adoption of your child?
Compare costs across adoption types and programs.

Additional Reading

Top 5 Considerations as an Adoptive Parent

Top 5 things you need to consider as an adoptive parent

It Is Possible

Regardless of the program you choose, adoption is possible

Adoption Travel Tips

Tips for traveling to bring home your child

Get Started Today

We very much look forward to speaking with you. Schedule a free initial consultation.

View Adoption Stories

Wisdom’s Story

Did you know that, if your niece or nephew is orphaned, and they live in a different country, you have to complete the international adoption process to bring them to the United States? Each year, Hope International works with many families who are adopting relatives...

Haley’s Story

It is hard to imagine what kind of plan God has for each of us because never in my wildest dreams did I think that our journey to having a family would bring us to another country to find our beautiful daughter Haley. We thought Haley was the most beautiful child in...

Creedyn’s Story

Even in their 20s, Cody and Braukel knew God was leading them to grow their family through adoption. They contacted Hope International in 2019 with an interest in adopting a child who had Down Syndrome from Bulgaria. “We knew God had been opening and preparing our...

Luca’s Story

Dimitrios and Julie began the adoption process seeking to adopt an older child in China. With two biological sons, Nikolaou and Elias, they still felt their family was not yet complete. "We knew there were so many great kids out there that don't have families and we...

Alexis’ Story

  I’m reminded on a daily basis what a precious gift Hope International and the staff provided for Russ and me – a family.  Alexis is so full of energy and such a happy little girl and we are so very blessed to be able to call her our daughter.   Thanks for...

Margaux’s Story

Dawn Ford and her staff at Hope International made our dreams come true with Margaux. Hope worked with us for 27 months to prepare all our adoption documents. They held our hand throughout the entire process. While in Ukraine, we encountered numerous obstacles and...


They made me feel as if I was the only one they were working with and my question was the most important thing that they needed to deal with at that time.

Jeff and Joanne

The difference that Hope International has made in our lives is immeasurable.

Nancy and Robert

Haley has the personality that can cheer you up at any given moment and a smile that can light up a room. Haley is the absolute perfect fit for our wacky little family.


We just celebrated our 5th Adoption Day Celebration with Alexis! I can’t believe she is already seven and in first grade.

Beth and Russ

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