Independent adoptions are performed without the help of a public or private adoption agency. In an independent adoption, you and your partner search for a prospective birth parent on your own. Once you have located a child for adoption, a contract is drawn up by an adoption lawyer.
In some countries, adoption facilitators are allowed to bring together potential adoptive parents and birth parents. These adoption facilitators are often knowledgeable in adoption law, but may not be as experienced as adoption agencies are.
Types of Adoption
Before deciding on adoption, it is important to understand the different types of adoption that are open to you.
Domestic AdoptionIf you are interested in adopting a child from your own country, you will want to pursue domestic adoption. Domestic adoption allows you to adopt a child from your own state, and sometimes, from across state lines. Domestic adoption can be performed independently or with the help of a public or private agency. Because state laws tend to vary greatly, it is important to keep up to date with domestic adoption legislation in your area.
If you choose to pursue domestic adoption, you will also need to decide between open and closed adoptions:
- Open Adoption: In open adoptions, the birth parents typically work with an agency to choose the appropriate adoptive parents. The birth parents then meet with the adoptive parents to exchange personal information. After the adoption, the birth parents maintain communication with the adoptive parents and can receive information about their child in the form of pictures, emails, and telephone calls. Many birth parents engage in regular visits with their child after the adoption.
- Closed Adoption: Closed adoption allows for complete confidentiality between the birth parents and the adoptive parents. Typically, the birthparents allow an agency to choose adoptive parents on their behalf. Only non-identifying information is exchanged between the two parties. After adoption, there is no communication between the birth and adoptive family.
International adoption allows you to adopt a child who is not a citizen of your country. International adoptions are becoming more and more popular because they are often associated with shorter wait times.
International adoptions are typically performed through an international adoption agency; however, they can also be performed independently with the help of an adoption facilitator. International child adoption laws vary from country to country and may change without notice, so it is important to make yourself aware of the adoption laws in your country of interest.
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