How Do I Start the Adoption Process?

There is an overwhelming amount of information about adoptions and the adoption process on the internet, in magazines, and books, etc. Which is the best way to go?

The best adoption plan for you is the one that will:

  1. Achieve your family goal for adoption
  2. Be within your family’s parameters financially, emotionally, and physically
  3. Finds the right child for your family and the right family for the child!

It is recommended that you meet with your adoption attorney at the very beginning of your journey into adoption. We typically have an initial consultation with Adoptive Parents to discuss the different types of adoptions, the legal process, legal risks, costs of the different types of adoptions, the time frames you can expect, the different options you can choose. Our goal is to equip Adoptive Parents and Birthparents with the clarity and information needed for them to make the decision about what type of adoption is best for their family and what direction to proceed in, so that they can navigate through this “overwhelming” body of adoption information and begin a successful adoption process.

Adoptions take many forms:

  • Adult Adoption – where an adult is adopted by a Adoptive Parent(s). An example would be a person who was a foster child of the Adoptive Parents, who, when they reach age 18, the Adoptive Parents and Foster Child want to have a legal Parent-Child relationship.
  • Agency – An adoption agency provides services to birthparents and adoptive parents and assists in the birthparents placing their child with an adoptive family. An adoption agency may be public or private, profit or non-profit, secular or religious.
  • Closed (or confidential) adoption or Open adoption – the birth family and adoptive family will choose what amount of contact they will have and what amount of information will be exchanged between them.
  • Domestic – Adoption of a child within the United States.
  • Foreign or International – Adoption of a child outside of the United States.
  • Interstate – Where the Adoptive Parents and Birthmother are from different states.
  • Private (also referred to as independent, identified or non-agency) – Adoptive Parents adopt a child who has been located through “private” channels and not through an adoption agency. For example, the birthmother may know a friend or relative of the adoptive parents, or the birthmother’s doctor may know the adoptive parents, or the birth parent may locate the adoptive parents through an internet site or newspaper ad, etc.  There are many different ways that private adoptions come about.
  • Same sex couple adoption – where couples of the same sex adopt a child.
  • Single parent adoption – where a single unmarried parent adopts a child.
  • Step-parent or Relative adoptions – where the adoptive parents are related to the child that is being adopted, either as a step-parent wanting to adopt the child of his or her spouse, or as a relative (grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, etc.) wanting to adopt the child.