Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s some questions we’ve collected from various sources about adoption.  If you have any other questions about adoption, please ask us using our contact us page – we love to share what we’ve learned about the amazing gift of adoption.

How long does it take to complete a domestic adoption?

The majority of families complete a domestic adoption in less than one year and almost all families complete their adoption in less than two years. However, the timeline varies based on how quickly the family completes their paperwork and if they work with an attorney/facilitator or if they seek a child through their own advertisements.

What is the likelihood of adopting an infant?

Many agencies have families adopt a newborn out of the hospital or a few days old. It is very possible to adopt an infant.

How much does a domestic adoption cost in total?

Costs vary considerably from based on individual circumstances and depend partially on the types of services you get. Our families report that they spend on average $15,000 to $25,000 to complete their adoption process from start to finish. However, some families report spending considerably less (under $10,000) and others report spending considerably more (over $30,000).

How can we afford to adopt?

Adoptions happen all the time and families from all income brackets are able to adopt. You have the benefit of the adoption tax credit up to over $11,000, employee benefits (up to $10,000), and other financial aid (special adoption loans, home equity loans, second mortgages). Some families have borrowed money from their life insurance policy, 401K or pension plan. Other families have done fundraising to cover all adoption costs. It is possible and affordable to adopt!

What is a home study?

A home study is a “family assessment.” It is usually a 5-10 page document that represents your family on paper, after completing all the necessary interviewing and supporting paperwork. TFN sees the process as a relationship building time where we get to know you so that we can best represent you on paper.

How long does it take to complete a homestudy?

On average the home study process takes 2-4 months. However, it mainly depends on how quickly the prospective parents are able to get paper work together. In the case of a need for expediation, TFN has completed homestudies in as little as a few weeks.

What paperwork is required in a homestudy?

TFN provides you with a list of required paperwork at your first interview. However, in general, it is typically to expect to complete an autobiography and obtain major documents, such as: birth certificates, marriage license, divorce decrees, tax returns, job verification letters, medicals, and references.

What are the homestudy interviews like? What might I be asked?

Some adoptive families find the unknowns of the homestudy interviewing to be bit unnerving… however, TFN sees its role is to help you build your family through adoption and by getting to know you better, through personal interviews especially, we can help do that. During the homestudy interviews, you will discuss the following with your social worker: personal and family background – upbringing, siblings, key life events, significant people in your life, marriage and family relationships, reasons for adoption, parenting and discipline plans, family environment, your physical and health history of applicants, education, employment, financial situation, and religious beliefs.

Example questions from Home study:

  • Describe what your childhood family was like?
  • What did your family do for fun?
  • What are your discipline plans/beliefs?
  • What are your ideas about parenting?
  • What are your childcare plans?
  • How do you think adopting will change your life?

How long does the home study remain current?

A home study is current for one year to 18 months after completion and if a child has not been placed with your family after that time period, your homestudy will need to be updated.

Can I pick the gender of my child?

Yes, although it is important to keep in mind that it could cause significant delays in the adoption process. With interstate adoption this could be difficult considering many pregnant mothers choose the adoptive parent(s) before the sex of the child is known. If the gender of a child is an important part of your adoption decision, international adoption may be more suitable because choice is more plausible.

Can the birth mother change her mind?

The birth mother is legally able to change her mind until she relinquishes her rights. A baby can’t legally be relinquished until after birth. The birth mother rights vary state by state – in some states, after relinquishment of her rights, the birth mother can’t change her mind and in other states, she will have 30 days to change her mind after the relinquishment (revocation period).  North Carolina has a 7 day revocation period.

What is an open adoption?

An open adoption varies widely. Basically, it is where the birth parents and adoptive parents have some sort of contact, either directly or through the agency, facilitator or attorney. Some open adoptions include sending annual pictures or letters to one another but not ever meeting one another. Other open adoptions include adoptive parents and birth parents meeting once a month or being in consistent communication. The majority of open adoptions are somewhere in the middle – with annual pictures, annual get-togethers, or a one time meeting with annual photos. The degree of openness varies widely depending on the wishes of the adoptive parents and birth parents.

Is it possible to have a closed adoption?

Yes, some of our families have closed adoptions and some of the attorneys and facilitators we work with will support closed adoptions. However, if you insist on a COMPLETELY closed process, you may wait quite a bit longer to become adoptive parents, since most adoptions consist of some degree of openness.

Please Note: GodSpotters has attempted to verify the information on this list. This is subject to change without notice.

Adapted from