If you’ve been exploring the possibility of adopting a child, you’ve likely discovered that it’s not a simple process. You have lots of choices—domestic vs. international adoption, open vs. closed adoption, and agency vs. private adoption. This blog looks at the differences between private and agency adoptions.
With an agency adoption, you hire and pay an agency to handle all matters related to the adoption. You typically don’t retain your own legal counsel—that’s all handled by the agency. Your agency will ensure that you complete all required paperwork and that a home study is done. Agency personnel will either work to match you with potential birth mothers (in a domestic adoption) or ensure that you get on the waiting list and fulfill all the requirements for an international adoption.
With a private adoption, you have to take responsibility for all the things the agency would do. Most people who opt for a private adoption hire an adoption attorney early in the process. In many instances, that attorney has connections to help the adoptive parents find a potential birth mother. However, the adoptive parents may need to be creative about finding ways to notify potential birth mothers of their desire to adopt. In addition, the adoptive parents will have to hire someone (typically from an agency) to conduct a home study.
So why would you choose a private adoption over an agency adoption? It seems like a lot more work, doesn’t it? Most people who choose to the private adoption track cite two principal reasons for doing so. First, many agencies have fairly strict requirements for adoption, which can exclude some potential parents. For example, an agency may have a policy of not placing a child with a parent over the age of 50 (or even younger). In addition, many adoptive parents find that the agency process can be more cumbersome and that a private adoption can take less time.
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