How to Adopt: The Building Your Family Infertility and Adoption Guide

Read Building Your Family - the Infertility & Adoption Guide




Readers Share: Why We Chose Adoption

Readers Share: Why We Chose ART


Search the National Infertility & Adoption Directory >

Submit your listing to the National Infertility & Adoption Directory >

Considering Adoption

Deciding to Adopt After Infertility

Many prospective parents wonder when they will know it’s the right time to stop trying for a biological child and begin the adoption process. This advice can help.

From Infertility to Adoption

Moms and dads describe the sometimes difficult journey to the family they were meant to have.

Domestic vs. International vs. Foster Adoption: Fast Facts

Should you pursue adoption to build your family? Look through these overviews of the three main routes, including cost and requirements, to get a preliminary idea of how to adopt and determine the right adoption route for you.

The Adoption Timeline

A general overview of the adoption process: how long it take, what you need to do at each step, and when you’ll incur expenses.

How Much Will Adoption Cost?

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about the cost of adoption.

Adoption Routes in Depth – Guidelines, Cost, Professionals, and More

More Than Skin Deep

My attachment is so fierce it takes my breath away | BY JUDY RADAR

“The Reluctant Spouse”

Don’t be surprised if your mate resists adoption, even as you are embracing it. | BY JILL SMOLOWE

“An Unmatched Set”

Before my adoption, I worried I couldn’t love a child who didn’t look like me. Now, my transracial family feels exactly right. | BY JANA WOLFF

The Basics of Open Adoption

Before starting the adoption process, many prospective parents worry about birth family contact. Read up on the basics of open adoption to ease your fears.

Home Study 101

Wondering what a home study is? You’re not the only one. Here, find answers to your most frequently asked questions about preparing for and enduring your home study.

Surviving the Home Study

While the home study process may seem invasive, remember that the goal is to make sure children are placed in homes where they’ll be loved and protected. | BY LUCIA MOSES

“It’s Home Study Day and I’m Not Perfect Yet!”

Do I need to be Martha Stewart to pass my home study? | BY JEANNE MARIE LASKAS


Tools and worksheets to lead you through the process, from choosing your route to budgeting to interviewing and hiring an adoption attorney or signing on with an agency.

“Adoption Advice I’d Give Myself”

Adoptive parents share the best adoption advice they would give themselves if they could go back five years, whether that would take them back to the adoption process or the early days of parenting.

Adoption Options

Domestic Adoption: Perception and Reality

Adoption in the United States has undergone a seismic shift in the last 40 years. How long will it take for popular perceptions to catch up with the new, healthier reality? | BY ELIZA NEWLIN CARNEY

Understanding Independent Adoption

Thousands of newborns are placed each year through independent adoption. You’ll need an experienced attorney to guide your way. | BY MARK T. MCDERMOTT, J.D.

How Do I Find My Domestic Adoption Team?

An adoption lawyer advises on deciding between independent and agency adoption, and on hiring the right professionals. | BY JANNA J. ANNEST, J.D.

“Glad You Called!”

After we placed an advertisement with our adoption profile, the phone started ringing off the hook. Here’s what I learned from speaking with expectant mothers. | BY BARBARA HEREL

Your First Meeting with an Expectant Mother

For prospective adoptive parents, the first meeting with a potential expectant mother can be anxiety-inducing. Being prepared can help calm those jitters. Use these tips for what to ask, and subjects to avoid. | BY CHRISTINE ADAMEC


How to Adopt from Foster Care

104,000 children in the U.S. foster-care system are waiting for permanent homes. Could you be the perfect parent to one of them? | BY KATHY LEDESMA, MSW

The Foster Care Adoption Process

The foster care adoption process can be difficult for parents to understand. Two legal experts break it down, step-by-step, to help you figure out if fost/adopt is right for your family. | BY DENISE M. BIERLY, ESQ., AND BOBBIE L. RABUCK, ESQ.

“Fostering Love”

The emotional risks were daunting. But foster adoption was still the best option for me. | BY ROSEMARY SHULMAN

“Adoption Day”

Seventeen of us crowded into the court as witnesses to my nephew’s finalization, bringing an end to 10 years spent in foster care—10 years of waiting for this day. | BY ELLYN GELMAN

Adopting Internationally

Every year, thousands of Americans adopt a child from another part of the world. | BY SUSAN FREIVALDS

Considering ART

ART Options at a Glance


ART Cost Breakdowns


Myth vs. Fact: Donor Conception & Surrogacy

A surrogate can decide to keep the baby? Egg donors are only in it for the money? Read on for the realities that disprove these and other myths.

After Infertility: The Emotions of Choosing Assisted Reproduction

You’ve spent endless energy and dollars in your longing to create a family without success. What’s next, you wonder: Do I have to give up my dream?

ART: The Legal Perspective

An attorney explains what laws apply when you build your family through assisted reproduction. | BY PETER J. WIERNICKI, ESQ.


Tools and worksheets to lead you through the process, from choosing your route to budgeting to interviewing and hiring an ART attorney or signing on with a clinic or program.

ART Options

Introduction to Donor Egg

Egg donation allows women without viable oocytes (eggs before maturation) to experience pregnancy and childbirth. Here’s what you should know.

Introduction to Donor Embryo

Embryo donation allows parents to carry a pregnancy and give birth to a child who will be theirs, though genetically unrelated. Here’s what you should know.

Donor Sperm: Real-Life Stories

Men are often shocked, and even ashamed, when they learn they will need to use a donor due to male infertility. They needn’t be. | BY MARGARET J. VEREB, M.D.

Introduction to Surrogacy

Intended parents share in a gestational carrier’s pregnancy closely, and may be able to have a child genetically related to both parents.

Working with a Surrogate

What can intended parents ask for and what are the boundaries of the relationship with the woman who will be carrying your baby for nine months? | BY MERYL B. ROSENBERG, ESQ.

Personal Essay

“Raising California”

The rise of nontraditional families — from LGBT to multiracial to donor-assisted conceptions — led this father to a new definition of “family.” | BY NELSON HANDEL

Thank You to the Guide’s Sponsors:

Children’s Connections, Inc.
Cryos International
Hannah’s Children’s Homes
National Background Check
National Fertility Support Center

The Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys
Dr. Jane Aronson
Building Arizona Families
Children’s Hospital at Montefiore – The Adoption Program
EVOLVE Adoption & Family Services
Jennifer Fairfax, Family Formation Law Offices
IAC Center: The Infertility and Adoption Counseling Center