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Private Adoption vs. Agency Adoption: How Do They Differ?

If you are planning to adopt a child in the US, you have two major options: private adoption or agency adoption. Both exist to place a child with a family that will raise them as their own flesh and blood, but beyond that, they differ in several ways.

Agency Adoption

When you plan to adopt a child through an agency, you are typically competing with other families also looking to adopt the same child. The first step to agency adoption usually involves creating a profile with the adoption agency in question. When you create your profile, you will share several facts about your private life and your financial situation.

Typically, agencies want to know the following:

  • Your age
  • Whether you are married
    • How long you have been married, if applicable
  • The income of all potential parents
  • How many children you already have, if applicable
  • Information about other family members
  • Whether you own a house and how large it is
  • Where you live

All of that may be just the tip of the iceberg. Agencies often dig deep into the lives of potential adoptive parents, asking many invasive questions, potentially including some about your religious beliefs, if any.

The information is used for a few reasons. For one, the agency wants to ensure that you have the resources necessary to care for a child throughout their life. Additionally, in most cases, the mother of the child being put up for adoption will use the collected information to choose what family the child will join.

While using an adoption agency is easier and better ensures the legality of adoption, it doesn’t come without downsides. Typically, agency adoptions are quite expensive, potentially costing tens of thousands of dollars. Additionally, there is a lot of stress involved with competing against other families to adopt a child.

Private Adoption

Private adoptions usually involve a simpler process but are more difficult to pursue. In a private adoption, you make an agreement with the birth parents to adopt their child. The greatest difficulty is finding someone who is already seeking to give up a child. A search like that can take years in many cases, especially without the help of an agency.

Once you have found parents seeking to give up a child, though, the adoption is legally enacted with the assistance of an attorney, so if you are represented by a good lawyer who is very familiar with adoption law, the rest of the process can be completed very quickly.

While a private adoption is typically much less expensive than an agency adoption, it is no more certain. Birth parents can change their minds about the adoption at any time before it occurs and can even legally void it after the fact in many states.

Speak to Experienced Family Law Attorneys Before Adopting

Regardless of whether you choose to adopt privately or pursue an agency adoption, you should be represented by a qualified family law attorney at every step of the process. Even the smallest mistake can render your adoption illegal, potentially resulting in the child being taken away from you, among worse outcomes.

Ensure your adoption takes place without a hitch by contacting The Gucciardo Law Firm, PLLC, as soon as possible.

Too much information?

We focus exclusively on family law matters so we are always available to answer your questions and help.

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