When you decide to adopt a child, you then must decide how you wish to go about doing it. Per AmericanAdoptions.org, your three basic options consist of the following: domestic adoption through a private agency, domestic adoption through the state’s foster care system, and international adoption through a private agency. 

Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages. Consequently, the one you ultimately choose must be the one that works best for your situation and goals. 

Child’s age 

Should you wish to adopt only an infant or a very young child, private domestic adoption likely represents your best option. Private agencies have more adoptable infants and toddlers available than your state does. In fact, the median age of children adopted through state agencies in 2017 was 7.7 years old. 

Cost 

If, on the other hand, adoption costs are your primary consideration, a state agency adoption will cost you the least. Generally they cost very little, while a private adoption will likely cost you at least $25,000 and could run as high as $50,000. You can expect to pay even more for an international adoption. 

Certainty 

If you find it difficult to qualify for a domestic adoption due to your age, marital status, health issues, etc., you may have better luck adopting internationally. Not only will you almost assuredly receive a child, but you also will not have to worry about the birth mother later changing her mind about the adoption or the biological father later attempting to assert parental rights to your child. Downsides of international adoptions, however, include not only their cost, but also the length of time it takes to complete the process.