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The Adoption Process

You deserve to know the love and joy that comes with holding a newborn baby in your arms. At the end of the adoption process, that’s what you’ll experience. We can be your guide to make sure you feel safe, confident and hopeful all along the way.

You deserve a family. That's why we've created a safe and efficient adoption process and guide you every step of the way.

Here’s how the domestic infant adoption process works for adoptive families:

Step 1: Contact an American Adoptions Specialist

  • Your adoption specialist will guide you through every step of the process of adoption.
  • American Adoptions is a fully-licensed adoption agency. This means we offer honest and accurate wait times and contracts that do not expire to give the best chance of success.
  • Compare and understand the costs and services of each type of professional. Advertising-only programs, small agencies, or consultants and facilitators might advertise low prices, but these are not always accurate. And they come with limited services.
  • Click here to read more about how to make sure you choose the best adoption professional.

Step 2: Benefit From Full Services


  • Families actively pursuing an adoption opportunity experience an unmatched and proven success rate with American Adoptions. This is because we are a licensed agency with accurate wait times and non-expiring contracts. We’ll stay with you until your journey is complete. This differs from other adoption professionals who drop off in the middle of the process.
  • You’ll feel secure during your adoption because of our financial protection. If an adoption opportunity doesn’t work out, you won’t lose the money you have already invested. No other adoption professional provides this protection, which has saved our families more than $4.6 million since 2009.
  • More complete service means a better experience for you and a higher chance of success. Unlike many other professionals who can only do one part of the process, we’re there for you through it all.

Why Choose Us
Over Other Agencies?

  • Short wait times
  • We protect your budget
  • A licensed, regulated agency

Learn more about the advantages of choosing American Adoptions here.

Step 3: Experience a Short Adoption Wait Time

  • Most women who are considering adoption find adoptive family profiles online, which means marketing is directly correlated to a short wait time.
  • American Adoptions has a larger marketing reach than 25 other adoption professionals combined, so our families experience lower average wait times.
  • Family is forever, but your adoption process wait doesn’t have to be.

"I was talking to my sister, 'You know, they tell everyone it could be a year or longer… but I don't know if I am prepared for that, if I've really come to terms with how it could be a long process’ — but literally, two hours later, we got the call. "

- Adoptive Mother Jenna, on our short wait times. More on her story here.

Step 4: Accept an Adoption Opportunity

  • When a prospective birth parent connects with your family profile, you’ll receive one of the most exciting phone calls of your life.
  • This is the moment your future hinges on — when dreams begin turning into realities.
  • You deserve this because everyone deserves to have a family.

Step 5: Get to Know the Birth Parents

  • Most adoptions today are open, which is a great thing.
  • Open adoption helps prospective birth parents feel confident in their decision. It also means you’ll have access to important background information, like medical history, about your child.
  • Most adoption professionals “match and release,” which leaves you to navigate this new relationship on your own. But with our agency, your Adoption Specialist will be there to guide you through the open adoption relationship.

Step 6: Welcome Your Baby into the World and into Your Family

There’s no way to put into words what it means to hold your baby in your arms for the first time. This is what you’ve been waiting for, and you’re finally here. All of the effort, overcoming challenges, and planning your future culminates in this one magical moment.

We have helped create more than 13,000 families. We would love to help create yours next.

Start Your Adoption Process Today

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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Adoption Home Study

Adoption Home Study Process

Learn what a home study is and why you need one to adopt a child.

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Home Study Questions and Answers

While adoption home studies vary slightly from agency to agency and state to state, there are several key elements that are almost always included in every home study.

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Home Studies: State by State

Find a qualified professional in your state to complete your home study.

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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.

Additional Resources

Adoption Newsletter

Did you know that American Adoptions offers a free bi-weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today to keep up-to-date on the latest in adoption news and information.

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Famous Adoptions

Learn which famous Hollywood actors, sports stars, politicians and other icons have been touched by adoption.

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Adoption Glossary

Do adoption terms and phrases leave you feeling confused? Learn the meaning to key adoption words and phrases with our comprehensive adoption glossary.

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