I’ve had a lot of questions from families lately about the different options for adopting and what the differences are between them. It issucha great question because it’s 2017 and families really do have quite a few ways they can go about their adoption journey. Over the next few weeks, I plan to highlight one type of adoption each week for my “Think About It Thursday” series. Today we are starting withprivate adoption, which is sometimes also calledindependent adoption.
Private adoption is generally when an intending family who is hopeful to adopt connects with a birth parent/family who is looking to find a best-fit placement for their growing baby. The two parties work through their feelings, hopes, and wishes and come to their best transition and adoption plan in a way that (hopefully) meets the needs and wishes of the birth family as well as the intending family. An adoption lawyer is generally the only adoption professional aiding in a private adoption.
A private adoption can often be a lower-cost option for families as there are less professionals involved who require payment. Families around the country have reported paying anywhere from $8,000 to around $30,000 for their private adoption. Intending families could be asked to pay for things such as separate legal representation for the birth family, housing during the pregnancy, and potentially medical expenses for the birth. These expenses really depend on the situation and the agreement an intending family reaches with the birth family and are greatly impacted by individual state regulations on what is legal and what is not.
To complete a private adoption, an intending family must…
Complete a homestudy in their home state
Spread the word that they are seeking adoption
Connect with a birth family and reach an agreement
Meet with a qualified adoption lawyer for advice on moving forward with the adoption
Pay for the expenses your state requires for the birth family
Meet your baby
It is important to note a few more things about private adoptions….
First, they tend to carry much more risk for an intending family as you are working directly with a birth family who could potentially change their mind about the adoption. This change of heart could be after you have already paid out significant money with no means of getting it back. While we hope this doesn’t happen, it can and does happen as adoption is a difficult and emotional thing for birth families.
Additionally, it can be difficult to connect with a birth family. It is illegal to place ads in newspapers and alike. Many families create blogs, Instagram accounts, and even Facebook pages to chronical their family, how they hope to adopt, and hopefully attract and connect with potential birth families. There are also numerous websites and apps available now for intending families to post profiles to (usually for a monthly fee) for birth families to search through.
Lastly, while private adoption can be a riskier financial option, it can also be less expensive (if all goes well) and it can allow the intending family and the birth family to connect on a deeper level than if they were using outside services to facilitate their adoption. This option allows both families to decide how much contact they would like, how open the adoption is after the birth of the baby, and allows the families to stay connected long-term more easily if they wish.
It is also noteworthy that there is no reason you can’t decide to pursue private adoption while you are a waiting family with an agency. In this case, you’d be working with an agency and waiting for a match but you’d also be a “free agent” of sorts and whoever found a family match first would be the option you pursued further.
Private adoption doesn’t make sense for every family but it is an important option to consider when making your choices on how you plan to journey towards your adoption. If you have any questions or would like more information regarding private adoption, please don’t be shy! I would love to chat and help with your adoption journey! Shoot me a message or email me at TheAdoptionDoula@gmail.com anytime!