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Is Your Family Ready for Adoption?

Three Requirements Before Pursuing Adoption

A family’s decision to pursue adoption is one that rarely happens overnight.

Many couples take weeks, months and even years to transition from infertility treatments to adoption, while other couples have been aware of their infertility for years and have prepared themselves for adoption.

Regardless, every couple must make sure they are ready to adopt before they begin the adoption process.

There are three basic requirements you must meet before becoming an active family with an adoption professional:

1. You Have Moved on from Infertility

In order for an adoption to be successful, it must be a decision that is fully embraced by both spouses.

Individuals grieve and handle difficult situations differently, including infertility. Therefore, it is common for one spouse to be ready to adopt while the other remains uncertain.

Each spouse should allow the other to fully grieve and move through the grief and loss process at his or her own pace. If you or your spouse are not ready for adoption, it can often lead to complications within the adoption process itself. Neither you nor your spouse should feel pressured into pursuing adoption simply because the other one is ready.

Couples who struggle to move on from infertility are encouraged to see an infertility counselor or a marriage and family counselor.

2. You and Your Spouse Have Similar Adoption Plans

Just as each spouse must be ready to adopt, they also must be on the same page for how they are going to adopt and whom they are going to adopt.

Your adoption plan will include whether you want to:

  • adopt domestically, internationally or through the state foster care system.

  • adopt a newborn or an older child.

  • adopt a baby of a particular gender.

  • adopt a baby of a particular race or races.

  • have contact with the birth parents, and how much.

Speaking with an Adoption Specialist will help you and your spouse better understand certain aspects of the adoption plan and may help you ultimately agree to pursue the same adoption plan.

3. You Are Financially Prepared for Adoption

Whether you pursue a domestic or an international adoption, there are adoption costs you must prepare for, including medical, legal and travel expenses.

You should carefully research all of your options and compare those costs to your budget to determine if your family is financially ready to pursue adoption.

And don’t forget about your financial future. If pursuing adoption will compromise your finances, you may want to wait until your financial situation becomes more stable.


When deciding whether or not you are ready to pursue adoption, the key is to openly communicate with your spouse. Discuss all aspects of adoption, including each other's feelings regarding infertility, acceptance of an adopted child, adoption goals and financial security.

If you are both ready to adopt or have any questions about moving on from infertility, call an Adoption Specialist at 1-800-ADOPTION or request free adoption information.

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. 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 accepts a limited number of families into our gender-specific program. Please contact us at 1-800-ADOPTION to learn whether we are currently accepting families into this program. With this option, families pay an additional Gender-Specific Fee to help our agency locate and work with birth mothers meeting this additional criterion. This fee is in addition to other program fees and covers additional advertising. The fee is not considered part of your adoption budget. Please note that gender specificity will likely increase your wait time significantly.

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