Appleton/Central Wisconsin
(877) 335-6750

(888) 686-0443

​3 Hearts, 2 Journeys, 1 Family

Domestic Agency Adoption

Agency Requirements for Domestic Agency Adoption Program

An Agency adoption can cost between $16,000 - $21,000 in agency fees.

National Average: $15,000-$25,000  

        (Domestic/Independent Infant Adoption. (2016, May 31). Retrieved from )

> Couples must be married a minimum of one year.

> Couples/individuals must be of an age range acceptable to birthparents.

> Couples/individuals must be in reasonable good health.  Individuals with past remissions from cancer or if they have received alcohol and/or drug therapy will be assessed on a case by case basis.

> Couples/individuals will have an income adequate to provide for the financial needs of a child. 

> Couples/individuals understand and will notify the agency immediately if they become pregnant.

> Couples/individuals understand a second adoption cannot be attempted until the adoption of the first child is finalized and the child is at least one year of age.

> Single individuals and married partners may apply with the agency.

> Criteria limits may be adjusted in the case of children with special needs.

> Couples/individuals will agree not to use spanking, or any form of corporal punishment, as a form of discipline.

You work with one agency.

As an agency we have certain requirements for perspective adoptive families looking to work with us on an adoption.

Although they are not always mandated by the state, they are based on years of experience and interwoven into our agency mission, that every child deserves a permanent family.

We are responsible for conducting your homestudy and any license updates, in-office and online profiles, matching you with potential birthparent(s), placement, termination of parental rights, post-placement, and finalization. 

Our clients and their families are important to us and that is why we take the time to carefully consider each perspective adoptive family. 

We do our best to individualize each experience and decision we make; above all, we always reserve the right to make exceptions to any or all of our requirements.

Do you work with a lot of birthmothers?
On average, we work with 10-15 birthmothers, at each of our locations, per year. Birthmothers vary in age and the circumstances that lead them to choose adoption for their child.

How does a birthmother know what we are like?
You create a profile that relays what type of parent and family you would be to your child. This profile contains information about yourself, your family, your desire to adopt, and your commitment to being a parent. It also contains photos of you and your family. Generally these profiles are 6-10 pages long, in a scrapbook format.

How long does it take to get chosen?
Adoption Services will work with a “pool” of no more than 25 waiting couples (per location) at one time. Taking this and the number of birthmothers we typically have each year into consideration, we would estimate it could take anywhere from one to two years to be matched with a perspective birthmother. This is a very general estimation; adoption is a personal matter and involves someone finding the perfect “match.” As with all “match-making,” there are always other factors that determine the outcome. Domestic adoptions are unpredictable since placements are determined by a birthparents’ choice.

What do birthmothers generally look for in an adoptive family?
Women typically choose adoption because they are unable to offer their child something that they wish them to have. 

Factors they often consider in an adoptive family are:

  • Marital relationship
  • Income stability 
  • Family relationships (immediate and extended) 
  • Home, lifestyle, and location 
  • Opportunities available to their child

Again, this varies for each woman, and often has a lot to do with her own life experiences.

What if we are working with a birthmother and she changes her mind after the baby is born?

In the State of Wisconsin, a mother has to legally terminate her parental rights in front of a judge. After a baby is born the court is petitioned and will have a court date within 30 days. A mother (even if she is thinking about adoption, and the baby is in foster care) continues to hold all legal rights to her child until that day in court. If, during this time, she changes her mind about adoption, she can decide to parent. There is a great deal of emotion that goes on when a mother finally sees the baby that she carried for nine months. It is hard to determine whether or not something like this is going to happen. However, there are some signs that a mother may be changing her mind about an adoption plan. Always talk to the Social Worker assisting the mother about any concerns you may have. You can be assured that at Adoption Services we will inform you if we are experiencing any ambivalence from your perspective birthmother. Even with that said, it is important to remember that the mother does have the right to change her mind, and it could happen to anyone. This is a risk for all domestic adoptions.

Do we need an attorney?

In Wisconsin, an agency approved, attorney must be retained by the adopting family to facilitate and petition the court to complete the Termination of Parental Rights.