Independent adoption works sans agency, facilitated by an attorney instead of a case worker. Adopters seeking infant placement independently will hire an adoption attorney to mediate the adoption negotiations with birth parents. Through independent adoption, couples submit adoption profiles and ads seeking a birth mother. Sometimes, a couple may find a birth mother before an attorney through ads. It is legal in most states to have an adoption mediated by an attorney as well as to place advertisements. However, every state has its own laws that may make this form of adoption tricky. For example, it is illegal in some states to not adoption via agency. That doesn't mean a couple can't start the adoption journey independently and transfer the finalization process to an agency. That adoption process is called an identified adoption.
While it may seem that agencies are the most popular option for adopters, the National Council of Adoption estimates that about two-thirds of infant adoption in America is done independently. This is attributed to birth mothers' preference to cut out the middle man of an agency case worker. Birth mothers feel they are in more control of their placement decision if there are fewer people involved. Many women feel agencies are full of too many pressures. Adoptions handled by an attorney tend to work faster than agency adoptions and may be less expensive, too. States usually have restrictions on the kind of expenses adoptive parents can cover for a birth mother. However, independent adoptions range between a few thousand to over $30,000.
A proficient adoption attorney will ensure the adoption fulfills the state requirements. They charge attorney fees, medical and delivery fees and may also advise the birth mother of her counseling options. Birth mothers are particularly involved in independent adoptions. Therefore, it's important to seek out a personable adoption attorney.
Independent adopters may also consider working with a facilitator, who searches for an adoptable child in- and out-of-state. Facilitators are often not licensed by their state nor do they necessarily have social work training and are a more risky choice in independent adoption.
Adopters should beware of scams, which are more likely to occur without the intensive screening process agencies employ during their birth mother selection. Birth mothers who work independently may also change their mind about placement, which can be financially devastating for independent adopters who are over-invested in the process.
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Agency/Attorney Recs for DFW
January 28, 2014, 10:02 pm
Hello! My husband and I are beginning to gather some info on adoptions here in Dallas. Does anyone have any recommendations for either agencies or adoption attorneys? We are not religious, which eliminates a good deal of agencies right off the bat. So far we have a meet and greet set up with...
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