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If you want to adopt a child in North Carolina, you have three basic options: private infant adoption, state a/k/a foster care adoption, and international adoption. If you decide against international adoption for whatever reason, that leaves the other two. But which one is better? That depends on your desires, goals and objectives. 

AmericanAdoptions.org counsels that both private and state adoptions have their own advantages and disadvantages, but the major differences between them include the following: 

  • Age of child 
  • Length of wait 
  • Cost 
  • Uncertainty 

Age of child 

If you have your heart set on adopting a newborn or infant, private adoption probably represents your best choice. Why? Because private adoption agencies specialize in these types of adoptions while the state has far more older children than newborns and infants available for adoption. In 2017, children in state care nationwide had a median age of 7.7 years. 

Length of wait 

How long you must wait to receive a child depends on several factor, one of the most significant being the age of the child you want to adopt. If you want a newborn or infant, you could wait up to five years before one becomes available from the state. Private infant adoptions usually take from 1-12 months. On the other hand, should you wish to adopt an older child, the state may approve you for one more or less immediately. 

Cost 

If adoption cost is your main consideration, a state adoption wins hands down. State adoptions cost very little, but you can expect a private adoption can cost you somewhere between $25,000 and $50,000. 

Uncertainty 

Unfortunately, no adoption is absolutely certain until a judge signs off on it, but in general, your uncertainty level will be considerably lower in a private adoption. Remember, reuniting children with their parents or other family members constitutes the main goal of the state foster care system. Nationwide, only 24% of foster care children became adopted in 2017, while 49% became reunited with a family member. Conversely, private adoption agencies take every possible precaution to make sure that a prospective birth mother lives up to her adoption agreement. 

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.