Do You Know the Four Types of Adoption?

Every adoption story out there is different from the rest, but most of them (at least in the US) can be categorized into four different types of adoption: International, Foster Care, Private Domestic, and Embryo. Let’s explore all four.
Four Types of Adoption

International Adoption

As it’s name indicates, international (or intercountry) adoption is the practice of adopting children from different countries. International adoption is, in most cases, the most expensive adoption route. The rules for adoption vary widely between different countries open for foreign adoptions from the United States. A lot of controversy surrounds international adoption as people worry that a western “demand” for adoptable children increases the risk of child trafficking. However, approximately 8 million children live in institutional care with no hope of being adopted within their own country. Statistics indicate that of the children who graduate from institutional care, the majority turn to crime and prostitution. Approximately 1,530,000 orphans are available for adoption by American citizens. For these children, international adoption may be their only hope of finding permanent families. International adoptions can take anywhere from 1 to 10+ years to complete and cost an average of $30,000.
Learn More
CAFO Articles on International Adoption
Both Ends Burning/Stuck Documentary
Intercountry Adoption | Bureau of Consular Affairs
Becoming Home
The Global Orphan Crisis

Adoption from Foster Care

Around 400,000 children live within the United States foster care system. Of those children,over 100,000 are waiting to be adopted. Adoption through foster care is the most affordable way to adopt, though it also results in the highest level of governmental involvement. It generally takes a year to have a a child placed in a family adopting through foster care and costs between $0 and $1,000.
Learn More
CAFO Articles on Foster Care
Adopt Us Kids
Small Town, Big Miracle

Private Domestic Adoption

Private domestic adoption usually occurs when a birth mother decides she cannot adequately provide for her baby and chooses to create an adoption plan.  These adoptions can be closed (the adoptive family knows nothing of the birthmother and vise versa), semi-open (some information is exchanged between the two parties), and open (long term contact is maintained between the birthmother and adoptive family). While the birthmother sometimes asks an agency to select an adoptive family for her, often the birthmother looks through prospective families’ files and makes the choice herself. Voluntary newborn adoption generally costs between $10,000 and $30,000. The typical wait is one to two years.
Learn More
Open Adoption
Other Types of Adoption
My Name is Sonya & I’m a Birth Mom

Embryo Adoption

I don’t know much about this one, and I’m still trying to decide what I think of it. If you have opinions, I’d love to hear them! Leave a comment. I first learned of it on the Nightlight Christian Adoptions website while putting together the Resource page for TIO. If you want to learn more, you can visit Nightlight’s Snowflake Embryo Adoption page.
NOTE: Younger teens, please check this with your parents before clicking. Thanks!

Originally posted on May 30, 2014 as Understanding the Four Types of Adoption.

Where on Earth Has Leah Been?

Where on earth...The more appropriate question might be, “Where in the US hasn’t Leah been.” Over the past four months, I’ve been doing a full time internship in Texas which was polished off by a family vacation to several national parks. As you may have noticed, blogging fell by the wayside during the whole experience.

I’d like to extend a huge thank you to Monica for faithfully writing the Advocate & Pray posts in my absence. She does an amazing job keeping on top of those and finding children who can really benefit from our prayers. Please don’t forget to sign up for those prayer chains.

Getting back to a regular posting schedule is on my to-do list for settling back into life in Connecticut. Please be patient as I try to get that rhythm back. It’ll be starting out with a wonderful Teens in Action guest post tomorrow morning.

Here are a few pictures from my time in Texas and the National Parks we visited.

My beautiful roommates

My beautiful roommates


The biggest petrified tree we found in Petrified Forest National Park

Cliff jumping. (Leah, are you crazy?!)

Cliff jumping. (Leah, are you crazy?!)

It’s been a great few months. I’m looking forward to seeing what adventures are next and reconnecting with you all. What did you do this summer?

Fatherless to Fatherfull

Happy Father's Day

This video is adorable and perfect in light of Father’s Day coming up. Enjoy everyone! 🙂

2014 in review

Teens Interceding for Orphans has had a fantastic first year of existence. It’s hard to believe it’s only been around for a little over a year. Please keep praying that the Lord will guide TIO and help it be the greatest blessing and service possible. Have fun looking at the report! 😉

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


His Name Shall Be Called

The Power of Possessions

The Power of Possessions

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. –Matthew 6:21

This is Part Three of the Matthew 6:21 Series. We’ve been contemplating different types of treasure in our lives and how they can be recognized and utilized to help others, especially orphans. Things like personal knowledge instead of distance acquaintance and the value of time. This post is about the power of possessions.

Possessions are a more obvious treasure, similar to the most obvious treasure–money. My first thought when I began this post was of the man who built bigger barns in Luke chapter 12.

And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. —Luke 12:16-21

As with all the treasures God gives us, the purpose of possessions is not to hoard them for ourselves. This can be hard for any of us to remember. We enjoy our comfortable lives. There is nothing wrong with that. When my brother and I went on a missions trip this summer, one of the missionaries encouraged us not to feel guilty when we went home.

God placed you where you are for a purpose.

So, yes, don’t feel guilty about what you have. Whether you have much or very little, God gave it to you for a reason. Your job is to be a wise steward. Look at what you have and determine how you can use those possessions to serve God.

Most of the time when I contemplate that question, my first thought is getting rid of stuff and giving it away. Sometimes that’s an accurate conclusion. If the rich man had given away his grain with a heart of service, his story would have had a much happier ending. When Jesus showed the rich young ruler where he lacked, he asked him to sell all that he had and give to the poor, and by so doing lay up treasure in heaven. However, being a good steward of your possessions does not necessarily mean getting rid of them. Instead of limiting yourself to disposal, challenge yourself to find creative ways to employ your possessions for service.

Recently, I’ve been able to share books from my small-but-growing library of orphan care books with a family beginning the adoption process. Some unused stocking stuffers from last year went into Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. Stationary and stamps can be used to write letters of encouragement.

No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light. —Luke 11:33

Just like the purpose of a candle is to shed light, the purpose of treasure is to be used for service. When it is stored away, hidden for only one person to enjoy, it’s potential is wasted. Don’t let the things you own become a candle under a bushel!

Can you think of and share some creative ways to use what you already have to serve others? What are some other ways we can learn from the man who built bigger barns and the rich young ruler?


I Am Grateful

ON NOWI was going to just post a “Happy Thanksgiving” image today and leave it at that. But as we drove to our Thanksgiving Dinner this afternoon, I started coming up with things I am grateful for that stem from being involved in orphan care. So here’s the list. 10 Things I Am Grateful For.

1. I am grateful for the lives of all the orphaned, fatherless, and vulnerable children in the world. Despite the often horrible situations they are stuck in, each and every one is made in the image of God, and therefore valuable.

2. I am grateful that God has allowed me to play a small part in helping these children.

3. I am grateful that God has given us the capacity to love, and that the Holy Spirit allows us to open our hearts even to the least of these.

4. I am grateful for the families that have made room in their families for adopted children. And I am especially grateful for the families who carefully research to understand the pitfalls and dangers of adoption, and act accordingly when entering their adoption journeys.

5. I am grateful for the Christian missionaries, social workers, aid workers, and more who dedicate their lives to serving orphaned and vulnerable children.

6. I am grateful for the resources to become educated about this topic.

7. I am grateful for the growing community of young people who care about orphans and aren’t waiting until they’re adults to get involved.

8. I am grateful for the opportunities each of us have to get involved.

9. I am grateful for short term trips that allow so many people to learn from experience instead of just having book knowledge.

10. I am grateful that we don’t have to depend on our own, finite understanding to understand issues bigger than ourselves. Praise God for being a God we can trust with everything and surrender our burdens to.

What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving? Are any of those linked to being involved or becoming educated about orphan care?

Book Club: The Global Orphan Crisis (Week 1)

Global Orphan Crisis (bookclub)Hello everyone! Yesterday marked the beginning of our second book club read over on Goodreads. As a result of some feedback I’ve received, we’re going to try to include those of you who read the blog but don’t have a Goodreads account by posting here on the blog as well.

This week we’re reading the introduction and chapter one. If you don’t already have the book, you should be able to read chapter one by sample off Amazon.

After you read the chapter, post your thoughts in the comments. This week we’re specifically focusing on question #2 from the “questions to ponder” section. That question says,

When you think of an orphaned child, what do you picture in your mind? What is the setting? What does the child look like? What is the child’s situation?

Even if you don’t read the chapter, join the conversation by sharing your thoughts on that question.

BONUS POINTS! Put some action to the learning. Do a search for child sponsorship programs, children available for adoption, kids in foster care, etc. Chose one or two children and print their picture and story. Put the picture(s) in a place of prominence (one your computer, bathroom mirror, etc) and commit to pray for them each time you see their faces. You can even ask your friends and church to pray with you. Share the links to their profiles here so we can pray with you as well.

Again, you don’t need to be reading the book with us to do the action point or reply to the question. Just get involved however you can.

If you are joining us for the group read, start your engines! The book club starts now! 🙂

P.S. If you have a Goodreads account, you can join us here.