couple holding a boy's and girl's shoe

How Can I Adopt a Gender-Specific Child?

Maybe you have always dreamed of meeting your daughter for the first time, or perhaps you have a long list of potential boys’ names hanging on your refrigerator. If it is important to you that you adopt a baby girl or a baby boy, you may want to create a gender-specific adoption plan.

If you are considering making gender preference a part of your adoption plan, there are some things to keep in mind about adopting a baby boy or girl.

Making a Gender-Specific Adoption Plan

As a family, you will make many choices about the types of adoption situations you are interested in, including the races, substance exposure, medical history and amount of contact you are open to with the child’s birth family. These choices are often referred to as your adoption plan. Some adoption agencies also allow adoptive parents to designate gender as part of their adoption plan.

Gender-specific adoption can be a great choice for families who feel strongly about adopting a girl or boy. However, there are some potential drawbacks to this option. Most notably, choosing to be gender-specific can impact two major aspects of your adoption: wait time and budget.

Adoption Wait Time

The choices you make in your adoption plan determine the pool of prospective birth mothers your profile will be shown to. The more expectant mothers who view your profile, the more likely you are to be chosen for an adoption opportunity. This means that you should be as flexible as possible in your adoption plan to limit your adoption wait time.

By choosing to be gender specific, adoptive parents are effectively removing half of prospective birth mothers who are pregnant with a child of the gender the family is not interested in, as well as many more mothers who do not know the gender of their baby. This means that if you choose to be gender-specific, your profile will be shown to fewer prospective birth mothers, and you will likely have to wait considerably longer to be chosen.

In general, more gender-specific families are interested in adopting a baby girl than a baby boy, which may further increase wait times for families who are waiting for a baby girl.

Adoption Budget

Adoptive families who choose to be gender specific should also prepare for a higher overall adoption budget. Because your wait time will be longer in a gender-specific adoption program, the amount of advertising to find a birth mother increases, and additional screening is needed to locate birth mothers who know the gender of their baby.

Some adoption professionals charge a flat gender-specific program fee, while others charge additional advertising fees based on the amount of advertising required for the adoptive family. When choosing an adoption agency and creating your adoption plan, you should talk with an adoption specialist to understand their gender-specific adoption program and fee structure.

Adoption is about fulfilling your dreams of starting a family. If your dream includes a baby of a particular gender, speak with your adoption professional for more details about their gender-specific options, costs, and the impact a gender-specific program could have on your adoption wait time.