If you want to add to your family, you may want to bring a baby or older child who is not related to you into it. Adoption can be an option worth exploring for many people who can't or prefer not to have biological children of their own but still want the joy of parenthood. When you adopt a child, they legally become your daughter or son and you legally become their parent. At that point, you and they are a family, free to share the joys of life together.
There are different kinds of adoption. Closed adoptions typically involve an agency that select who gets to adopt each child. Most closed adoptions involve no further contact between the child and his or her biological parents. Many adoptive parents want this because it ensures a clean break with the biological parents.
On the other hand, there is also open adoption. It lets the biological parents select who will adopt their child, which many adoptive parents find to be a more personal approach that they can influence by meeting with the biological parents. Open adoptions may very well include ongoing contact between the child and the biological parents after the adoption is finalized. Contact can be something as simple as phone calls or can be full-fledged visits. The specifics in each case are agreed upon between the biological parents and the adoptive parents.
Your eligibility to adopt depends on the laws of the state you live in. Your marital status and employment status are amongst the factors that affect your eligibility. If you qualify to adopt in your state, you will need to compile very comprehensive paperwork and go through a series of procedures, which a qualified professional can help you to do successfully.
Source: Cornell University Law School: Legal Information Institute, "Adoption," accessed June 17, 2015