Independent - Private Adoption
In many states, AAAA Fellows assist their clients in family building through the private placement independent adoption process, also referred to as non-agency adoption. It is estimated that more than 50% of all domestic newborns placed for adoption nationally are placed through the independent adoption process and not through an adoption agency.
Many state laws allow prospective adoptive parents and birth parents to connect directly with each other through the internet, print media, social media and other people, such as relatives, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and community members. These actions are defined as private networking when prospective adoptive parents and birth parents seek each other with no adoption agency involvement. Attorneys experienced in guiding their clients through private networking assist in developing networking strategies based on state laws and their individual clients’ visions, as well as gathering background information about the prospective birth parent and adoptive parent so each can decide whether they will create an adoption plan. A key part of the attorney’s role is obtaining the birth parent’s medical history and prenatal medical records for evaluation by the adoptive parents’ doctor. Creating an adoption plan involves the specific prospective birth parent and adoptive parent developing a communicative relationship as their respective attorneys legally coordinate the adoption, based on relevant laws. Often these are interstate adoptions as the prospective birth parents and adoptive parents may reside in different states.
Prospective adoptive parents and birth parents get information about their options and how to begin the adoption process in ethical and safe manners by consulting with experienced adoption attorneys. Certain state laws allow attorneys to assist prospective birth parents in selecting an adoptive family. Attorneys specializing in adoption can also assist prospective adoptive parents and prospective birth parents with their search for a loving home for a child in other ways, as authorized by law. Adoption attorneys will assist their clients with other aspects of the adoption, such as: providing information about the relevant laws; preparing and reviewing legal documents; filing and obtaining interstate compact approval; and filing and obtaining adoption decrees in adoption finalization court proceedings.
An experienced adoption attorney will help prospective adoptive families find resources to get the Homestudy process started. The attorney will also prepare legal documents so when a match is made with birth parents, the adoption can proceed in a safe and efficient manner. If you are interested in learning more about the private placement adoption process, please contact one of our Fellows in the area where you live for a consultation.