2. What are the different types of adoption? What are the pros and cons of each?
Adoption typically falls into 3 categories: domestic adoption (typically infants), international adoption, and foster-adopt. Kinship adoption is also a topic that occasionally comes up, in which a family member is adopted, often after a short time in foster care.
There are no real pros or cons for any type of adoption, just what is right for your family. Factors to consider include
Domestic adoption:Children are usually adopted at birth (this may be your path if you want to experience parenting from the newborn phase on)Most domestic adoptions in the US has some level of openness with the birth familyFees can range from the low $10K(ish) on up, depending on a host of factorsDomestic adoption can be done via private avenues, law firms specializing in adoption, facilitators (if allowed in your state), or adoption agencies
Children are usually adopted at toddlerhood or olderAdoptions tend to be closed, as there may or may not be information about the child's birth familyFees are in the $40K(ish) range, depending again on a host of factors (including how often you would travel to the child's country of birth during the process)This may be an option for those with a particular "pull" toward a country that has adoption agreements with the US
Children may be placed at birth up until when they would age out of the foster care systemAdoptions may be open or closed, depending on a host of factorsFees are generally lowSome children are still at legal risk (parental rights haven't been terminated), while others are legally free for adoption (parental rights have been terminated)Some families choose to be foster parents only (with no plan to adopt), while others have a goal of adopting the children they foster