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Adopting a child has countless benefits and can bring joy to everyone involved, but the process is complex and, often, stressful. There is a lot to understand, including federal, state, and sometimes even international laws. States and the court system are typically heavily involved in deciding who can adopt and what is in the best interest of the child throughout the long and daunting process. Knowing what to expect can help make the wait a little more bearable.

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1. Types of Adoption

There are two primary types of adoption. Open adoption is when the birth mother or birth parents choose the child's adoptive parents. Depending on the state and jurisdiction, birth parents may retain some contact or visitation rights in an open adoption. In a closed adoption, the mother signs away all rights to the child, and state agencies are responsible for selecting the adoptive parents.

Open Closed Adoption DjelicS / Getty Images
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