How Can You Adopt a Toddler?


Quick Answer

Individuals and couples wanting to become the parent of a toddler through adoption have several options, including adopting through an agency. Working with an agency gives the prospective parents the option of international or domestic adoption. A third option is to adopt through the foster care program.

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Full Answer

While many parents working through private agencies want to adopt infants, these agencies also have access to toddlers, especially in their international programs. Because international adoptions take time for government clearances, both on the part of the child's native country and the United States, children are often in the toddler age range before they come home to their new family.

Children in the foster care system also tend to be older at the time of placement than children adopted through private agencies. In 2012, there were over 52,000 children in the foster care system waiting for adoption. One option is becoming foster parents and then adopting children the state places in their home after they become legally free. A second is directly adopting from foster care. Children in foster care wait an average of 7.8 years before a family adopts them. The state pays most of the initial cost of adoption, and if the child has special needs, it provides a monthly stipend that averaged $350 in 2014.

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