Domestic, international, or special needs?

Families choose adoption for a variety of reasons and there are a lot of decisions to be made throughout the entire process. One of the first choices to make, is the type of adoption you would like to pursue and what your first steps would be after deciding.

TypesOfAdoptionCCYFBelow are the three most common types of adoptions and an explanation of what the initial or next step might look like for each one:

  • A domestic infant adoption takes placewhen a birth mother and/or birth father have individually or jointly made an adoption plan for their child. Often, birth parents will be able to work with a private adoption agency and get to choose the family they wish to have adopt their child. Other times, the agency will do the matching when a birth parent has elected not to be a part of the family selection process.

    First steps: In Wisconsin, families wanting to pursue a domestic infant adoption would first be required to select a private adoption agency licensed by the State of Wisconsin to complete their adoption home study.

  • An international adoption is when a couple or individual from the United States adopts a child from another country. Each country has its own rules for whether they will allow single people, unmarried couples, people of a certain age, etc. to adopt.

    First steps: In Wisconsin, families wanting to pursue an international adoption would first be required to select a private adoption agency licensed by the State of Wisconsin that is able to complete your international adoption home study and be your placing agency or able to work with a placing agency of your choice. (Please note that some private adoption agencies will be able to both complete your home study and be your placing agency, while others will only be able to complete your home study and work with your selected placing agency, based on the country you wish to adopt from.)

  • Special needs adoption, also known as adoption of a child from foster care, is when a family adopts a child who is in foster care and who cannot be successfully reunited with his or her birth family for a number of reasons.

    First steps: For Wisconsin families who have decided to adopt a child who is in foster care in Wisconsin, your first step would be to contact the regional Department of Children and Families office for your county and register to attend a mandatory two-hour informational meeting with the State Special Needs Adoption Program.

    For Wisconsin families who wish to adopt a child who is in foster care in a state other than Wisconsin, your first step would be to connect with a private adoption agency licensed by the State of Wisconsin to complete your adoption home study.

There are several other types of adoption not mentioned above, including, but not limited to, independent adoptions, relative adoptions, stepparent adoptions, and adult adoptions.

For more information about adoption in general, please contact us and ask to speak with a Resource Specialist. You can call us at 1-800-762-8063, locally at 414-475-1246, or reach us via email at info@coalitionforcyf.org. In addition, you can also gather more information from our website, where you can download an informational packet on a specific type of adoption.

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