Adoptions With Love Blog

What is Independent Adoption?

Adoption can be a wonderful option for all involved – adoptive families, their children, and birth parents who are not yet ready to have or raise a baby. Many adoptive families and birth parents choose to go through private adoption agencies for this momentous life step. Full-service adoption agencies like Adoptions With Love take care of adoptions and you every step of the way. They offer a wide range of services for both the birth mother and the adoptive family. While working with a licensed adoption agency is a requirement in many states, this is not the only path for adoption.

Independent Adoption

Independent adoption is a private, domestic adoption without the use of an adoption agency. This approach is sometimes taken when a pregnant woman already knows the family she wants to adopt her child. The adoptive family and birth mother may be drawn to this approach because it is thought of as “free.” For an independent adoption to work, however, several outside professionals must be hired to handle the various steps of the adoption process, including:

  • An Attorney – A lawyer who specializes in adoption is required to legally terminate the birth parents’ parental rights and to finalize the adoption in court.
  • A Counselor – While not required, a counselor is highly recommended for the birth mother to have professional help in working through the emotional process of adoption.
  • A Home Study Provider – A home study is required to ensure the adoptive family can provide a safe and stable home for a baby. This licensed professional must complete a home study process to legally finalize the adoption.

With an independent adoption, there is no organization overseeing the entire process, like there is with a private adoption agency. Of course, there is middle ground for a birth mother who already knows who she wants to adopt her baby. This is formally known as an “identified adoption.” With an identified adoption, birth parents can still rely on a trustworthy adoption agency to help see them through every step of the adoption process – free of charge.

If an expectant/birth mother decides to take the path of an independent adoption, she must first get in contact with a reputable adoption attorney that works in her home state. This person can go over her rights, the rights of the birth father, and review the legal steps needed to proceed with the adoption. Should she need help finding an adoptive family, the adoption attorney can refer her to an adoptive family client that he or she is working with, or refer her to an adoption agency for the sole step of the matching process.

For adoptive families, the matching process can be the most challenging part of the adoption journey. A licensed adoption agency has a network of expectant/birth mothers that have already started making an adoption plan and are seeking families for their babies.

Fully-licensed adoption agencies work with expectant/birth parents and adoptive families every day. They have a team of social workers and counselors who can help guide each family through the adoption process. They also work with knowledgeable adoption attorneys and medical professionals, so the care for any legal aspects of adoption, and medical aspects of the birth, is typically high-quality.

Which is Right for You?

There are more than two thousand adoption agencies out there today, and even more types of adoption service providers. Some of these services are legal, and some are not. Some of these agencies are for-profit, while other adoption agencies work very hard to help build loving families, find the best possible homes for children, and care for birth mothers with kindness and compassion. It is extremely important, therefore, to do your research before choosing your potential adoption agency.

Of course, there is also the importance of listening to your heart. Who can you rely on for this important step in your life? With whom do you feel comfortable? Who will be there for you to support you throughout this emotional journey? The right adoption agency will fully commit to you, not only for this phase of life, but for many years to come.  Many birth parents and adoptive families have questions in the future.  You can turn back to your adoption agency for support; this is an important consideration.

A non-profit adoption agency is a social service agency. They will put the life and safety of both birth mother and child first, no matter the cost. While a for-profit agency may match birth mothers and adoptive families based on availability and ease of match, the caring workers at a non-profit like Adoptions With Love will not rest until the perfect match is made, and the adoption plan that makes everyone comfortable is set in place.

You can learn more about the adoption process and adoption plans with Adoptions With Love. Reach out to us any day of the week, any time of day by calling us toll-free at 800-722-7731.