What Is Private Adoption?

Many hopeful adoptive parents who start the adoption process are surprised to learn that there are many different ways to match with a child. While most of us know of adoption agencies and the foster care system, there is another way to bring your child home through private adoption. Learn more about what private adoption involves and what to expect should you choose this route to your forever family.

Private Adoption Connects Families Directly

This kind of adoption is the most direct link from a birth family and an adoptive family. Private adoption involves both sides of the family that connect via a newspaper ad, family member, or friend of a friend. Both the birth family and the adoptive family work together to meet and decide if the adoption should proceed. 

How Does Private Adoption Work?

While private adoption doesn’t involve a state agency like the foster care system or a private group like an adoption agency, it does have certain hoops to jump through. Private adoptions often involve an adoption lawyer who works out the paperwork and items needed for successful adoption. Adoption lawyers present the paperwork to the court system and are your main point of contact throughout the adoption process. 

Do Private Adoptions Still Need a Homestudy?

Yes, while private adoptions are different in some ways, they still often require a home study for the adoptive family. It is important to note that you will need a home study that is yours alone. Any previous home study completed through the foster care system or a private adoption agency may not be valid in a private adoption. 

Private Adoptions Aren’t Guaranteed

As with any adoption process, there is no guarantee that a private adoption will work. The risk with private adoptions involves the fact that there is no advocate if the birth family gets cold feet. Private adoptions rely heavily on the relationships formed between the families and trusting that everyone will follow through on the mutual agreement. When matched with a newborn’s birth family, any money spent to support the birth mother during the pregnancy and delivery could be lost if the birth family changes their mind. 

Private Adoptions Can Work Across State Lines

While every state is different, private adoption can work when the birth family and adoptive family live in different states. While matching from within your state would be easiest, many private adoptions occur across state lines. It is crucial to find an adoption lawyer in the state where the child lives or will be born during a private adoption. State-to-state adoptions require more paperwork and phone calls, but it isn’t unusual to privately match a birth family from another state.

While there are many ways to match with your child, private adoption does offer some advantages. Finding a match yourself or through another contact can be difficult, but it allows for a lot of shared communication between the families themselves. No matter how you grow your forever family, know that private adoption is an option.