Although the majority of people who undergo infertility treatment are successful in growing their family, those who are not often turn to adoption. Many families say that helping a child in need, while enjoying all the special moments of parenthood, is extremely rewarding.
Adoptions can be arranged in a variety of ways. Families can choose to adopt using a public or private agency, or independently. Public agencies often have a foster care component. The goal in the foster care system is to rehabilitate the child’s birth parents and reunify the child with them. Therefore, there is typically a longer wait time, to give birth parents ample time to work out their issues, and the children range in age from less than one year old to 18 years old. Wait times are typically shorter when adopting through private agencies, and the majority of children are newborns and infants. Independent adoptions allow the birth mother and the adoptive parents more control over the process, however an attorney’s help is almost always necessary.
Learning as much as you can about the adoption process, and having appropriate expectations up front, will help things go as smoothly as possible. There are numerous resources, from websites to seminars to books, available to arm you with valuable information. Many people also choose to interview several adoption providers prior to making their final decision.
The following is not a complete list and does not constitute a recommendation. For a complete list, see WSAC’s Adoption Information Exchange below.
Resolve: The National Infertility Association
Introduction to Adoption, Resources and Podcasts
American Fertility Association
Child Welfare Information Gateway (formerly the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse)
The National Adoption Information Clearinghouse’s website has been combined with the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect. This website is recognized as the most comprehensive listing of adoption resources in the U.S.
Center for Adoption Medicine at the University of Washington Medical Center
Julie Bledsoe, MD, Julian Davies, MD, Cynthia Kertesz, MD
4245 Roosevelt Way N.E., Seattle, WA 98105, (206) 598-3006
The Center’s specialist physicians will review medical records prior to an adoption, provide post-placement evaluations and provide ongoing medical care with knowledge of the special problems of children who were adopted, including a specialty in fetal alcohol syndrome. The Center works with all types of adoptions, international, foster/adopt, and domestic.