Child Welfare defines adoptions as the social, emotional, and legal process in which
children who will not be raised by their birth parents become full and permanent legal members
of another family while maintaining genetic and psychological connections to their birth family.
There are different types of adoption in the United States:
Adopting Through the Child Welfare System
These are children in foster care and their birth parents cannot take care of them, or their
parental rights have been terminated. Another type of adoption that falls in these criteria is the
Fost-Adoption; this is a form of adoption where children will be placed after receiving foster
care, and they will become legally free and available to be adopted.
International adoption is very common; even though it is more expensive, many families
pursue this option to provide opportunities for children living in poverty and insecurity. One
challenge step is filling the citizenship for the adoptee.
This option is typically done through an agency; this is one of the most common adoption
types. In a private adoption, the birth parent or parents voluntarily place their child for adoption.
The birth parent chooses the family with whom they will place their child.
Relative or Kinship Adoption
This adoption happens when people adopt members of their own family. According to the
Child Welfare Information Gateway, it is any instance where children cannot safely remain at
home with their parents. This procedure is the first type of adoption considered.
Closed vs. open adoption
American Pregnancy Association defines closed adoption as an adoption process where
there is no interaction between birth mothers and prospective adoptive families. This means there
is no identifying information provided either to the birth families or adoptive families. However,
non-identifying information such as physical characteristics and medical history may be made
available to those involved.
Open adoption occurs when potential birth mothers and prospective adoptive families
have a personal interaction with one another. In this type of adoption, the identities of all parties
are shared. Interaction can differ from one family to another and may include letters, e-mails,
telephone calls, or visits.
Research has shown that children do better in an open adoption because it allows them to better
understand how they came to be adopted. An open adoption also allows them to ask questions
about their family backgrounds as these questions come to mind throughout their lives.
Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2020) Adoption. Retrieved from:
Adoption Center. (2020) Types of Adoption. Retrieved from:https://www.adopt.org/typesadoptions
American Pregnancy Association (2020) Open Adoption. Retrieved from: