The adoption process and how to adopt a child


How does the Pact adoption process work?

To learn all about how we work with pre-adoptive parents, please see placement services. If you reside in the state of NY please email consult@pactadopt.org for more information about how Pact can support your adoption journey.

return to top ^


Who are the children Pact places?

At least 95% are healthy newborns; 94% are African American and 40% of those are multiracial; 5% are Latino and 1% are Asian or Native American.

return to top ^


Who are the expectant parents Pact works with?

Twenty percent of the expectant parents we work with are teens; 80% are under the age of 30; 90% are experiencing economic stress. Many feel isolated and unsupported. Sometimes, Pact is their sole source of emotional support.

return to top ^


Who are the adoptive parents Pact works with?

You may be...

  • married, divorced, or single.
  • a parent to other children.
  • a working mom or dad.
  • a tenant or a home owner.
  • living on a modest income, as long as you can support a child.
  • over 40 as long as at least one parent is under 50 at the time of placement.
  • LGBTQ-identified.

You can see profiles of some of the families currently working with Pact in Families Looking to Adopt.

return to top ^


What is a typical expectant mother's situation when she connects with an adoptive family?

  1. She is in the last trimester of pregnancy.
  2. She may be living anywhere in the United States.
  3. She is most often in good health.
  4. She has had some prenatal care.
  5. She may have used drugs during pregnancy, although she may not have. If she does continue to use during the pregnancy she is usually trying to do so sparingly, or she has stopped using altogether.
  6. She does not test positive for HIV.
  7. She is probably between 20 and 30 years of age.
  8. She often is parenting at least one child already.
  9. She is usually under financial or emotional stress.
  10. She is afraid her child will hate her if she chooses adoption.
  11. She is terrified at the thought of foster care for her baby.
  12. Her goal is to find a family to love and support her baby.

return to top ^


How long does a Pact adoption take?

Domestic adoption typically takes 2-3 years from the time you are legally clear to adopt a child (home study complete, etc.). The process can be faster for families with at least one African American/Black parent, but all pre-adoptive parents should prepare for the 2-3 year time frame. If you are seeking a Latino or Asian child exclusively, you can expect the process to take longer. Because many expectant parents wish to place their children of color with families who share the child’s racial identity, white parents looking to adopt across racial lines get placements more slowly than parents of color through Pact’s placement program.

return to top ^


Will any expectant/birth parents choose us?

Every family will appeal to someone. If you work to pursue adoption, you will become parents. Waiting for the right placement can take longer if:
  • you already have many children;
  • you are active in a religion which is not mainstream;
  • you have an extremely limited adoption budget;
  • you will be a single parent;
  • you are LGBTQ identified. Not always true, but some expectant parents are hesitant to place with LGBTQ parents..

None of these factors will rule you out. They will simply make the adoption process take longer.

return to top ^


What is an open adoption?

Open adoption means there is direct contact between the adopting family and the birth family. This term covers a range of variations. The birth and adoptive families may speak only once before the placement of the child and have no further contact, or they may engage in extensive, ongoing contact. “Contact” can range from an annual exchange of letters and pictures to regular phone calls or in-person visits.

For more details: Openness in Adoption (56KB | )

return to top ^


Is the typical adoption open or closed?

A full disclosure of identifying information is almost always provided. Expectant and adoptive parent(s) are in charge of their own decisions. Most parties want to speak by phone and meet at least once before the birth. Typically, arrangements are made for planned written contact over time, with many families hoping for ongoing visits and others choosing none. Pact believes that adopted people have a right to know their own birth history and family. We work to ensure that connections to birth family are maintained and that access to birth information is available to adopted individuals. Open adoption is NOT co-parenting. is NOT co-parenting. It does allow adopted people to have access to their personal history and family information. Since 2015 around 95% of the expectant parents contacting us are seeking some level of openness and ongoing contact with their child’s adoptive family.

return to top ^


How much will it cost to adopt?

The Pact placement process begins with an individualized consultation, either face-to-face or by telephone. Content is tailored to the client's particular needs. The fee for a general pre-adoptive consultation is $400, and the fee for a transracial pre-adoptive consultation (Building Connections Across Cultures) is $500. Families who are accepted as clients in Pact's placement program pay fees on a sliding scale based on income. Fees range according to the following sliding scale:

All Pact's services are free to expectant/birth parents.

return to top ^


Can I receive a refund for any of the fees I pay to Pact?

Potential clients have the right to a refund, without penalty, except for any reasonable fee actually earned by Pact, for seventy-two hours after signing any contract. After the seventy-two-hour period, Pact is not obligated to provide any refund for services completed, including in the event that no child is adoptive by the client family. Refunds, when applicable, are generally issued within 30 days of request.

return to top ^


How will my fees be used?

Pact is a non-profit organization that strives to keep adoption affordable for families at all income levels. The fees Pact collects cover part — but not all — of the cost of the services we provide each year on a steep sliding scale to hundreds of adopted children of color and their adoptive and birth families. We rely on generous donations from Pact community members to cover the gap between the fees we collect and the full cost of the services we provide.

return to top ^