Domestic Adoption Program

Due to an increased number of requests from Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs) for information concerning adoption of a baby born in the United States, Illien Adoptions International, Inc. is offering a Domestic Adoption Program. We have developed, and are continuing to develop, a network of reliable resources throughout the US who work only in domestic adoption. There are some in the network who come to Illien with birth mothers or special situations where they are seeking qualified families for a baby for whom they do not have a waiting family. The most common reason is that the birth mother may be using drugs or may have some special health reason or some special restriction or requirement such as religious or ethnic preference. We have found that many prospective adoptive families are aware of the issues and they have done their research and feel capable of parenting these domestic babies. However, we also have waiting families seeking to adopt domestic babies that do not have these issues.

Who May Adopt
 
This program is open to US citizens living in the United States or living anywhere in the world, serving in the US military services or US citizens working abroad, temporarily or permanently. We can also assist some non-US citizens to adopt US born children (Outgoing adoptions) if they qualify in the country of their citizenship. 

Concurrent adoptions: Because of the increased time and cost of intercountry adoption, and especially because the availability of very young children is extremely limited in intercountry adoption, many Prospective Adoptive Parents are now electing to pursue two adoption programs simultaneously in order to have the opportunity to parent a newborn while waiting for their second desired child from another country. The domestic baby is likely to arrive first due to the long delays in intercountry adoption. Illien Adoptions permits applicant families to pursue two tracks simultaneously, either both with Illien Adoptions or one track with Illien Adoptions, and another track with another agency.

It is important to understand that the Domestic Program is a wholly separate program from any intercountry program. If you decide to do the Domestic Program along with any one of our other international programs, the fees for services will not overlap, meaning, each fee schedule operates independently. The fees paid for one program do not cover the services needed for a second concurrent program.

Moreover, Illien Adoptions has a policy which applies to these concurrent cases, as well as to families who become pregnant during the adoption process. First, Illien must be notified immediately if the PAPs receive a referral from another agency or if they become pregnant. Neither event cancels the adoption in process. However, it will now be the time to consider and plan for the age and timing of the arrival of the second child. Illien Adoptions requires 10 months age difference between any two children in the family. In addition, Illien Adoptions requires that each child has time alone with his/her parents before the second child arrives. The parents need the time to settle in to the new child and vice versa. The time required to be spent with the first child is not a fixed amount, but a good guideline is a minimum of 6 months, when possible. Illien is flexible and considers each situation individually.

Time frame for Domestic Adoption: If the PAPs are very flexible about the health conditions and medical risks, ethnicities of the birth parents, and financial risks, then these factors determine the amount of time it will take for PAPs to select a situation which is suitable for them. From the time the PAPS have a completed home study, the most flexible families can expect to be presented with possible matches within 6-12 months. There is no set time.

General observations: It is important for the Prospective Adoptive Parents to understand in advance that the cost of this domestic program may be higher than the cost of an intercountry adoption and that the risk factors are definitely higher. Illien Adoptions’ service fees for a domestic case are $14,000. The fees and costs for the services for the birth mother are not included in this figure, and they vary depending upon the situation of the birth mother herself and the other entity handling the direct services to her. These secondary fees and costs can vary from $10,000 to $30,000 and up. The primary risk to the Prospective Adoptive Parents is that the birth mothers have the legal right to change their minds about an adoption or they may revoke the surrender of their parental rights within a time period specified by state law. In addition, named or unnamed birth fathers may suddenly appear and decide that they want to parent the baby. If the alleged father(s) succeeds, all expenditures made to assist the birth mother during her pregnancy will be forfeited, and fees for services already rendered will also be non-refundable. The majority of cases do result in an adoption and the parental rights of both birth parents are usually successfully terminated. However, before any Prospective Adoptive Parents apply to this Domestic Adoption Program, they must be fully prepared to handle the worst possible consequences and deal with the loss of the baby they were anticipating, not to mention the loss of their expenditures. This track is not for everyone.

The financial and legal risks in this program are very high for the Prospective Adoptive Parents.

If you are interested in pursuing Domestic Adoption, contact Debbie Thornton by email at debbie@illienadoptions.org, or call her at 941-729-0325; or call Illien Adoptions at 404-815-1599.