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An agency adoption of an African-American or biracial child will be handled much the same way all other adoptions are handled. However, the agency policy may require you to attend classes so that you can understand some of the issues related to adopting transracially. Also, many agencies have different standards about matters such as age or length of marriage for those adopting transracially.

Private agencies want to place the babies born to birth mothers who come to them. They do not want to send a birth mother away and are usually more than willing to place transracially.

Most private agencies, like all attorneys, permit the birth mother to select the couple. One agency reports that most of their birth mothers expecting biracial children want to place the infant with an interracial couple. Many other birth mothers do not care about the parents' ethnic background. Sometimes a birth mother will specify that she wants to place the child only with an African-American or Caucasian couple. In these agency adoptions, the birth mother's wishes are respected. Sometimes it is difficult, however, to find the match that she desires since there is often not a large pool of prospective adoptive parents.

Some agencies have a different fee scale for those adopting African-American and biracial children, especially agencies of a religious affiliation that raise support. A private adoption agency without outside support will generally charge you its standard fee plus birth mother living expenses, though it may reduce the application fee to increase the pool of applicants.

There are not as many African-American and biracial newborns available as there are Caucasian newborns, but there are also far fewer couples seeking to adopt these newborns-although the number is growing very quickly. The best way to adopt quickly is to make as many contacts as possible. Join an adoption support group and let people who are in adoption circles know of your desire. It often happens that a couple is sought out suddenly to adopt a new baby, and you could be that couple.


The materials for this course have been reprinted with permission from the book The Complete Adoption Book, Third Edition, Copyright 2005, 2000, 1997, by Laura Beauvais-Godwin and Raymond W. Godwin. Used by permission of Adams Media, an F+W Media, Inc. Co. All rights reserved. The complete book is available at bookstores on and offline.


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