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Domestic Adoption Timeline

National Adoption Agencies vs. Local Adoption Agencies

Once you’ve decided to grow your family through domestic adoption, the next step you’ll take is finding an adoption professional to work with.

  • There are two types of licensed domestic adoption professionals you can choose from.

  • Each type of adoption professional will result in different wait times.

  • Your choice in adoption professional can make or break your adoption experience.

When you’re pursuing domestic infant adoption, you can choose a national adoption agency or a local adoption agency. But what’s the difference between the two? What does the domestic adoption time frame look like for each? Below, we’ve created this guide to compare the domestic adoption timeline between national and local adoption agencies.

If you have any questions about the domestic adoption timeline, then you can fill out our contact form to get connected with one of our experienced adoption specialists.

Comparing Domestic Adoption Wait Times

One of the deciding factors for families choosing an adoption professional is the amount of time it takes to find an adoption opportunity. Although many factors influence the private adoption wait time, one of the most important is the professional you work with.

At American Adoptions, we do everything we can to keep wait times minimal. Below, you can find everything you need to know about national adoption agencies vs. local adoption agencies and how we provide the shortest domestic adoption wait times possible.

National Adoption Agencies

As one of the best national adoption agencies in the country, American Adoptions is proud to offer some of the lowest wait times out there. Our average domestic adoption wait times are 9-12 months once you’ve become an active family.

National adoption agencies tend to have more adoption opportunities because they work with prospective birth mothers across the country. Our staff at American Adoptions goes above and beyond to help you find the right adoption opportunity within a short domestic adoption time frame through:

  • Advertising and marketing: At American Adoptions, we widely market our agency to prospective birth parents. When you’re researching adoption, chances are we’re at the top of your search results. You’ll need to join the waiting list for 25 other adoption agencies in order to get the same kind of exposure. Also, we advertise in crisis pregnancy centers, yellow pages and hospitals, just to name a few. This helps prospective birth mothers find our agency and, in turn, shortens the domestic infant adoption wait times.

  • Networking and national exposure: At American Adoptions, we can connect you with various adoption professionals throughout the country to find you more adoption opportunities. For example, if an adoption attorney in Georgia is working with a prospective birth parent, they may call our agency to find an adoptive family. Our national exposure also means we can work with expectant mothers all across the country, resulting in more adoption opportunities and shorter private adoption wait times.

  • Balance: To ensure domestic infant adoption wait times are accurate, we carefully monitor the number of adoptions we complete and the number of families that join our agency. Some professionals take on too many families at once, which results in longer wait times. Because of licensing, our wait times are constantly monitored by state authorities, ensuring reliability and consistency.

  • 24/7 availability: We also offer 24/7 availability for prospective birth parents meaning, they will never go to voicemail when they contact us. They will speak directly with one of our trusted adoption specialists instead of reaching out to another professional. 

Because we’ve been serving families for more than 30 years, we know just what it takes to create short private adoption wait times. Family is forever, but your wait time doesn’t have to be.

Local Adoption Agencies

Compared to national adoption agencies, local adoption agencies are smaller and work within a state or region to provide adoption services. Because these agencies are smaller and have fewer team members, their wait times can be longer and less accurate than a national adoption agency’s.

When you work with a local adoption agency, their smaller scope can also lead to a longer domestic adoption time frame because they aren’t able to work with birth mothers across the U.S. Also, because smaller agencies may not complete a consistent number of placements yearly, their wait times may be less reliable.

Although a local adoption agency can result in longer domestic infant adoption wait times, there are some advantages of working with a local adoption agency, such as:

  • Potential for in-person interaction, which can help build a relationship

  • Potential for lower adoption costs, adoption fees can be less overhead, but this also comes with fewer services (for example, most local agencies do not provide professional marketing services)

  • Less travel required because birth parents will be located in your state or region

If you have any questions about how American Adoptions minimizes adoption wait, then you can call 1-800-ADOPTION now or fill out our contact form to get more free information now.



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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Frequently Asked Questions

Do we need to retain our own attorney?

No, American Adoptions has established relationships with some of the best adoption attorneys in the nation. Because adoption laws vary from state to state and between counties, it is important to utilize the services of an adoption attorney who specializes in the state where the adoption will finalize, which is unknown until you match with an expectant mother. You have the right to retain your own attorney, but doing so may be an additional, unnecessary expense.

Can we choose the gender of our baby?

American Adoptions does not allow gender specificity in adoption. Any family who wishes to be gender-specific in their adoption should contact us at 1-800-ADOPTION and ask about the possibility of an exception waiver before taking any other steps toward adoption with our agency. Any families who do receive an exception to be gender-specific may also incur an additional fee, which helps cover the additional advertising costs of such a request.

Please note that gender specificity will likely increase your wait time significantly.

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