When people think of adoption, they often imagine a newborn or infant adoption. But this isn’t always the case. In fact, there are many instances of older children being adopted into new, loving homes. If you are reading about toddler adoptions for the first time, you may be wondering, “Who can I contact about adopting a toddler or placing a toddler for adoption? Are there toddler adoption agencies that can help me?”
It is never too late to place your toddler for adoption. And just like newborns, toddlers are certainly never “given up” for adoption. Toddlers that go through the adoption process grows up knowing how loved they are by their adoptive family and their biological parents.
On the other hand, many adoptive families understand that they don’t have the ability to parent a newborn or an infant at this time in their lives, but still want to become parents. For them, becoming parents to a toddler or an older child is a better option.
If you are an adoptive family that’s ready for a toddler adoption, or if you are a mother considering placing a toddler for adoption, read on to learn more about the process.
What are Toddler Adoption Agencies?
Toddler adoptions agencies are agencies that have programs dedicated to adopting or placing a toddler for adoption. Depending on the situation, you may be able to work with a private domestic, international or foster care adoption agency for your toddler adoption. Each of these agencies has its own benefits and disadvantages of working with them. Here is what it’s like to adopt a toddler from each type of agency:
- International adoption agencies: If you are interested in adopting a child from another country, there are many opportunities to adopt a toddler internationally. Many international adoption agencies allow adoptive parents to specify the age range of the child they would like to adopt, and you may also be able to choose races, gender, and more. Before you work with an international adoption agency, you’ll need to make sure they are Hague‐accredited. You’ll also need to make sure that they are licensed to work in the country that you plan to adopt from.
- Foster care adoptions: If you are hoping to adopt a toddler in the U.S., adopting from foster care might be a better option. The primary goal of foster care is to reunite a child with their parents, but there are cases where the biological parents’ rights are terminated and the child becomes available for adoption. If you are hoping to bring a toddler into your home through foster care, you might look into foster‐to‐adopt, foster parenting, or foster care adoption.
- Domestic adoption agencies: While domestic infant agencies are able to assist with toddler placements, they mainly specialize in newborn adoptions. If you are a prospective birth mother considering adoption for your toddler, a domestic infant agency will likely be the best professional to contact. As an adoptive parent hoping to adopt a toddler through a private domestic adoption agency, your options may be limited. For families that have their hearts set on a toddler placement, it might be better to work with a foster care agency or an international adoption agency, as they tend to have more experience with older child adoptions, and more availability depending on what you’re looking for.
How Much Do Toddler Adoption Agencies Costs?
Costs usually depend on the agency that you’ve decided to work with. Toddler adoption agencies will range from being very expensive to costing little or nothing at all. Here is what each type of toddler adoption agency normally costs:
- International adoption agencies: One thing to keep in mind is that international adoptions can often be as costly as — if not more than — a domestic adoption, usually up to $50,000. You’ll also need to make sure that you have the funds to cover your visa, your child’s visa, travel arrangements, and more. Before you get ready to travel, make sure that you are prepared for everything that comes with adopting a child internationally.
- Domestic adoption agencies: While domestic adoption agencies can be an expensive way to complete your toddler adoption, usually $25,000 to $50,000, they are one of the best ways to adopt a toddler. They offer many notable services in one place that can make your adoption much easier. If you are interested in placing your toddler for adoption, remember that the services offered by a domestic adoption agency are always 100 percent free to you.
- Foster Care: If you are looking for a less expensive way to adopt a toddler, foster care might be a better alternative. Many of the services are provided at little to no cost. There are even instances where you may end up being reimbursed for your expenses through a foster care subsidy.
What Services Do Toddler Adoption Agencies Offer Prospective Birth Parents?
If you are placing a toddler for adoption, it’s important that you make sure the toddler adoption agency that you’re working with can meet your needs for an adoption. As a prospective birth mother, here are some of the things that you should be looking for from toddler adoption agencies:
- 24/7 counseling and support
- Help finding the perfect adoptive parents for your child
- Financial assistance for your living expenses
- Legal representation
- Help mediating post‐placement contact
Of course, every adoption agency is different. Remember to speak with an adoption specialist before working with a toddler adoption agency to get a good understanding of their services.
Where Can I Find Toddler Adoption Agencies?
Many adoption agencies have the services that you need to complete a toddler adoption. Here are some great toddler adoption agencies and adoption professionals that you can start with: