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Pros and Cons of Private Adoption


Private adoption is one of the two ways to adopt a child in the United States. The other method involves an adoption agency certified or licensed by your home state. In most cases, a private adoption involves a lawyer, or other central party, who acts as a liaison between a birth mother looking to give up her child and parents looking to adopt a baby.

Benefits of a Private Adoption

  • Faster. While the time frame for an adoption from a public adoption agency varies, it can often take much more than a year. International adoptions can stretch on as long as 4 years, as various issues arise in the child's country of origin and officials travel abroad to investigate all elements of the adoption. A private adoption can often be completed in less than a year.
  • Adopt a baby. That is often the preferences for many adoptive families and one of the reasons that a private adoption is chosen. Public adoption agencies are regulated by the state and generally place older children who are in state custody and are looking for homes.
  • Contact with birth mother. The very definition of a private adoption generally means an open adoption process will be involved. While public agencies search for homes for children in state custody, private adoption involves babies that birth mothers choose to give up. This generally allows the adoptive parents to meet the birth mother and gain more information about the baby to be adopted and to decide whether to maintain a role for the birth mother in the adopted baby's life.

Disadvantages of Private Adoption

  • Uncertainty. Because a young, pregnant woman is usually at the center of the process of a private adoption, it isn't that unusual for the birth mother to change her mind at some point during the process. With an international adoption, on the other hand, the paperwork and other proceedings can not begin until it has been verified that the child is an orphan with no family. Similarly, state adoptions agencies have a pool of children whose parents have already relinquished custody.
  • Supply issues. Simply put, it can be difficult to find a birth mother who is willing to give up her child. So while the actual process of a private adoption is faster than cases involved public adoption agencies, finding an available baby usually takes much more time, considering that adoption agencies have a pool of usually older kids, often some with special needs, who are immediately available for adoption.
  • Less regulation. While there are rules for lawyers and other individuals and companies handling private adoption, there are more rules that dictate what adoption agencies can and cannot do.

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