How Long Is the Adoption Process?

Choosing to grow your family through adoption is a beautiful and wonderful decision. Many hopeful adoptive parents are eager to begin the process and bring home their child. Every adoption process is different, and the circumstances can significantly vary. However, while we would all love for adoptions to happen quickly, that rarely is the case.

There is a reason why many adoption journeys take time. The adoption process involves many moving parts, and it takes time for everyone involved to complete the work. Not only do you have to prepare yourself for the addition of a child, but the legal aspects of the process also need to be completed and recorded. Learn more about how long the adoption process is based on the type of adoption chosen.

Under 6 Months

Most adoptions that take place within six months are known as family, or kinship, adoptions. These adoptions are those where the adoptive parents are somehow related to the adopted child. Sometimes this can be a spouse who adopts a child after marriage or a distant relative to the child. While most kinship adoptions happen quicker than others, it all depends on your local agency and the courts’ process. Some kinship adoptions take just as long as others, however.

6-18 Months

Domestic adoptions, or those that happen within the United States, usually can be completed between 6-18 months once matched with a child. This means that it may take longer if you are still looking for a child or have not been matched with a birthmother. Oftentimes, the waiting before a match prolongs the adoption process. When adopting an infant at birth, you could also match with a birthmother at any point in the pregnancy. This can add a lot of time to your adoption journey if chosen by a birth mother in her first trimester. 

Again, there are some cases where a child is adopted either faster or slower than this time frame. Many times the process is delayed by paperwork, a home study, or birth parents that come back into the picture before finalization. Even when a child is finally placed in your home, the actual adoption isn’t finalized until a few months later.

18-36 Months

For many international adoptions, the length of time extends from 18 months up to three years. These adoptions often take more paperwork and require time to travel to the other country. When adopting internationally, the other country may have additional requirements and ask adoptive parents to make multiple trips during the process. International adoptions rarely finalize sooner than this time frame. There are also cases when an adoptive family has waited longer, around 5 years or longer, to adopt a child.

No matter what kind of adoption you choose, there will be a period of waiting during the adoption journey. We all hope that the process is quick, but that usually isn’t the case. Again, every adoption case is different and could go quicker or slower than others. It is essential to stay positive during your adoption process and understand that your child will come to your home at the perfect time. 

Waiting to be matched is often where many families spend the bulk of their time in the adoption process. Keep a positive attitude and do all that you can on your end to turn in paperwork and complete the steps that you can to ensure that the process is completed sooner rather than later. 

To learn more about the adoption process, contact Gift of Life Adoptions on how you can grow your family through adoption!