Is Adoption right for you?

Attorney, Michele Jackson, a founder of HARDEN JACKSON, LLC where she serves as Chair of the Adoption & Reproductive Law Practice Group and concentrates her law practice in adoption, surrogacy, and international family law gives information about the different ways to adopt and considerations for each type.
There are several types of adoption that you may want to consider. The following is general information about adoption that may assist you making a decision regarding whether or not to pursue an adoption for your family.

Domestic Agency Adoption:

  1. Agency finds birth mother and matches you with her.
  2. Agency assist in counseling and preparations for the adoption.
  3. You will need an adoption attorney to assist you with the legal aspects of the adoption.
  4. Generally you have a relationship prior to adoption and possibly post adoption with the birth mother/family.
  5. You generally have good social and medical history on the child.
  6. Birth mother can only consent to adoption post birth and her consent is vital for the success of the adoption.
  7. Cost is between $20,000-40,000 all expenses.


  1. Child is a ward of the state and the state must qualify you to adopt and match you to child.
  2. Child has been a victim of abuse or neglect.
  3. There is typically some type of contact with biological family pre-adoption and possibly post-adoption.
  4. Child may not be an infant.
  5. Child may not qualify for adoption and be reunited with their birth family, depending upon when in the process you decide to be involved.
  6. You generally have good social and medical history on the child.
  7. Cost is minimal and there could be subsidies to assist with any of the costs.

Private Domestic Adoption:

  1. You have found your own birth mother.
  2. You need an adoption attorney to complete your adoption.
  3. Contact with the birth family may happen pre-adoption and post-adoption.
  4. You generally have good social and medical history on the child.
  5. Cost is between $5,000-16,000.

International Adoption:

  1. Your agency matches you with a child in another country.
  2. You need an agency to complete your adoption (which includes legal services of an attorney).
  3. You have little to no contact with birth family.
  4. Country qualifications and requirements must be met for adoption to be completed.
  5. You may know little to no information regarding social and medical history of the child.
  6. Cost is between $25,000-40,000.

Costs are typical and not specific to your agency or adoption. In addition, this is general information and should be considered legal advice or specific to your situation. It is important to know that an adoption should always be completed in Court and you should not assume you have adopted your child without a Decree of Adoption from a Court. I highly recommend using an experienced adoption agency and adoption attorney.

Find out more about Harden Jackson Law’s adoption services here.

At Harden Jackson LLC, our practice is devoted to servicing clients throughout the Indianapolis area and the state of Indiana in all areas of family law, including divorce, custody, child support, property division, adoption and surrogacy.

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