Baby Adoption


There are many ways a family can adopt a baby, including working with an adoption agency, an adoption attorney, and even through foster adoption.

Private domestic adoption through an agency or attorney is the most common way for families to adopt a newborn baby. Adopting internationally or through the U.S. foster care system usually involve adopting an older baby.

According to an U.S. government report, only 1,053 of the 50,644 children in foster care who were adopted in 2014, were babies less than 1 year old (which is about 2 percent).

For international adoptions, only 283 of the 6,438 (4 percent) children adopted in 2014 were under 1 year old, according to the U.S. Department of State.

While there are no official statistics showing the number of babies for adoption in the U.S., there have been surveys and studies that suggest there are 15,000 to 20,000 babies adopted every year through domestic infant adoption.

Adopting a Newborn

In most newborn adoptions, the expectant mother will choose the adoptive parents for their baby. The following steps are generally the process involved with adopting a newborn baby.

Research your options 
Choosing the right path for building your family through adoption involves researching your options, including learning about the types of adoption professionals (agency, attorney, etc.) who can help you adopt a newborn.

Choose an agency or attorney

A big decision to make is choosing the right agency or attorney to help you adopt. You can choose an adoption attorney, agency, facilitator, or a combination of these. Finding the right professional is a HUGE part of having a fast, safe, and successful adoption.

Complete an adoption home study 

The home study is requirement of anyone who wishes to adopt. A licensed professional will conduct the home study, where they ensure you are legally eligible to adopt a baby.

Create an adoption profile

The profile is something you create so a prospective birthmother can learn about you. It usually consists of a letter to her along with pictures describing your life as a family and what you can offer her baby.

Waiting to be matched 

When your home study and profile are complete, you will wait to match with an expectant mother. In most domestic adoptions, she chooses the adoptive parents, so you will have to wait to be chosen.

Match with an expectant mother 

A “match” means that you and the expectant mother who wants to make an adoption plan for her child mutually agree you are the right family to parent her child.

Having the baby placed with you 

The placement period is where you have the baby legally placed with you. The expectant parents have signed documents to relinquish their parental rights, and the baby is now in your care.


When you finalize the adoption, it means you become the permanent, legal parents of the baby. Based on state law, there will be several months between placement and finalization. You likely need to appear in court to complete the legal portion of the adoption.

Resources for additional information on how to adopt a baby: