If infertility is a problem for you, another option may be adoption. Adopting a baby or child can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. So many babies, children, and adolescents in the United States and around the world need a family. Some of these are healthy infants, and many are children with special needs, including physical, emotional, or mental disabilities. If you do adopt a child with special needs, there are both federal and state sources of financial assistance available to help you afford the child's care.
There are two types of adoptions:
• Open adoption – The birth mother, and possibly the birth father, know something about the adoptive parents. They might even meet and exchange names or addresses.
• Closed adoption – The birth mother and adoptive parents do not meet each other or know each others' names.
The laws of each state differ on whether, after a period of time, the files of a closed adoption can be opened later to reveal this information. State laws also differ on whether adoptions can be handled by an adoption agency or independently (such as through a doctor, lawyer, counsellor or independent organization). Most adoption agencies carefully screen and study the adoptive parents. You can learn more about adoption through the resources at the end of this section.