Simply put, independent
adoption is an adoption completed without the help of
an agency (private or public). It is arranged
through personal knowledge, third party referral, or
networking where the birthparent selects the family.
The third party referral often comes from an intermediary
such as a doctor, attorney, facilitator, or school.
Often the terms independent adoption and private adoption
are used interchangeably, but private adoption can also
include private agencies. Independent adoptions
are not legal in all states, but they are almost always
domestic adoptions from the United States.
Because you as prospective parents make all the arrangements
for this type of adoption, it is often surrounded by
many fears and misconceptions. You are orchestrating
the actions, but you are not alone. You will be
hiring several professionals to assist you – advertising
help, attorneys, counselors. You will be getting
help from friends, family, clergy, doctors, and others.
Some may say the motto for private adoption is “paying
and praying” but “working and faith”
is really more accurate. Bottom line is that if
you are willing to wait, then there is no need to compromise
on your dream child.
If you are looking for a healthy infant, there are two
possible paths –
can sit and wait for a year or two just to get on agency’s
wait list or lottery, or
can shorten the wait by trying to locate a child yourself
Looking at the option of signing up with an agency means
that $15,000 of your $30,000 fees go to that agency
at the beginning of the process to lock in your slot.
You then have no money to pursue any other options.
And if your next door neighbor all of a sudden hears
about a birth mother through their church, the money
you paid to the agency still is gone. Gone. And Agencies
are not bad, they are just expensive. The good agencies
offer counseling and the kind of birthmother support
that increase the chances that the adoption will succeed.
But, the good agencies represent only about 15% of them.
How much time, effort and creativity are you willing
to put in? Are you willing to put yourself into
it and find yourself a situation, or are you willing
to just wait it out for someone else to do it for you?
In independent adoption you may be lucky in 1-2 contacts,
or you may have to weed through 15-100 possible situations
before one is right for you. There is no privacy
as your life and thoughts and plans are exposed.
On the other hand, the agency goes through all this,
too, you just aren’t involved in that part and
that is why you are paying them for those services.
Most families pursue adoption independently because
they want to:
* Bring more information to their child’s future
* Not involve a bunch of strangers
* Have more control over the birthmother relationship
* Attempt to cut costs
* Attempt to cut wait time
* Be more selective in their child
* Be able to turn down situations if they aren’t
* Do it their way, without restrictions, required classes,
and sharing with other couples and families
* Avoid competing with other couples and families
* Have the chance to talk more with a birthmother and
get more information
* Avoid regulations and restrictions of agencies
* Want a closed relationship post-adoption where most
agencies require full or partial openness; or just be
able to mandate your type of relationship.
Here to learn more about The Process of Independent