Adoption Agency Information
Agency vs. Independent Adoption
If you’re considering adoption, you may have some questions about the amount of assistance you need to complete the process. The type of adoption professional that will offer the most assistance is an agency. On the other end of the spectrum, an attorney in an independent adoption will most likely offer the least. Read on to find out which option may be better for your individual adoption situation.
What’s an agency adoption?Most often when we think of agency adoption, we think of the type of private domestic adoption that occurs when a baby’s birth parents voluntarily place their baby for adoption through an agency with a family of their choosing. This is correct, but an agency adoption could really refer to any adoption completed through a licensed child-placing agency. This includes international adoption, which families usually pursue through an agency that focuses on those specific adoption services, as well as foster care adoption, which is usually completed through the state department. Families who adopt through an agency are often people who have struggled with infertility, want to bond with their child from his or her birth, and want to have a continuing relationship with birth parents after the adoption. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily describe all families. Agencies work with a variety of both birth parents and adoptive parents who are considering adoption for many different reasons. Children adopted through private domestic adoption agencies are generally healthy newborns, of all races and genders, who were born in the United States. Children adopted through foster care or international adoption, of course, don’t necessarily fit that profile.
What’s an independent adoption?An independent adoption is a DIY adoption of sorts. It’s a non agency adoption in which the adoptive parents work directly with an adoption attorney to complete the process. In any type of adoption, an attorney must be involved. With an agency adoption, a trusted attorney will be provided to families along with all other adoption services — counseling and support, matching, advertising, etc. In an independent adoption, however, parents are completing a private adoption with only minimal assistance. Attorneys rarely provide matching or screening services, so families who choose to pursue a private adoption independently have generally already matched with a prospective birth mother. This option may also make the most sense if you’re pursuing a stepparent adoption, a relative adoption or another kind of identified adoption.
What are the benefits of an agency adoption?adoption fraud, since birth mothers are screened prior to being matched with adoptive families. And while agencies can’t necessarily detect and prevent all cases of adoption fraud, some offer financial protection so that you won’t lose your money in the even that it does happen. Adoption attorneys in an independent adoption, on the other hand, don’t generally offer any screening services to adoptive families. It’s up to you to do this on your own, to gauge a potential birth mother’s commitment to adoption and to obtain as much pertinent medical information as possible. Families who pursue independent adoption, and especially those who find prospective birth parents on the internet, are much more susceptible to adoption fraud.
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What are the benefits of an independent adoption?
- Lower cost
- More private
- Fewer people involved