While celebrities have been making international adoption a hot news topic, domestic adoption, mostly of newborn babies, continues to thrive. And rather an adoption agency, attorney or a foreign government matching a baby with adoptive parents, the opposite is true: The birthparents choose the family for their child.
Waiting families complete criteria for the child they seek, including everything from race to the prenatal environment (how comfortable they are with a birthmother's level of prenatal care or her history of drug or alcohol use, for example), and this helps match waiting and birth families. Because of this setup, adoptive parents have no way of knowing how long they'll wait for "the call". According to a 2007 survey done by Adoptive Families Magazine, most waiting families match with a birthmother in less than 12 months.
In about half of domestic adoptions, the adoptive parents and birthparents have the opportunity to develop a relationship before the baby is born - one that typically builds throughout the child's life. This type of adoption is called 'open adoption' and is increasingly popular in domestic adoptions, although the level of relationship and contact between families varies from little to no contact to daily interaction.