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New here and looking for info on private vs. agency adoptions

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi! My name is Betsy and DH and I are at the very beginning of the infant adoption process. We are looking at domestic newborn adoption at this point. We found an agency we are really  impressed with and are signed up for an 8 hour training seminar in a couple weeks. In the meantime, DH's parents talked with someone they know who just used a lawyer and did a private adoption. Can anyone give me the differences between the two options?

 

Going through a lawyer seems overwhelming at this point. I figure if it's too complicated to buy or sell your own house, it must be too complicated to adopt a baby on your own lol! I'm not sure how we go about finding a birth mother, who pays for medical expenses, etc. with a private adoption. Plus, the agency offers free lifetime counseling for the birth mom and the adopting family. That seems priceless in and of itself.

 

I'm sure we'll find out more after the agency's seminar, but I thought I would ask input from those of you here who have experience and info to share.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 13

We adopted our son through a local domestic agency but we also put our profile with a lawyer in town that was known to do adoptions and we put our profile out with our doctors.  We liked keeping all our options open.  I really like how our agency educates and counsels expectant mothers and fathers.  I also like that they are local and they do mainly open adoptions, by local I mean statewide.  Really look into your agencies reviews and talk with other families that have adopted from them.  Our agency has a sliding scale for the fees and it is regardless of race.  I don't feel that it is ethical to charge less or more due to the race of the baby.  I also didn't like that some agencies moved birthmoms to their state and that states law allowed the birthmom to sign rights away at 24 hours.  24 hours is so fast to make a decision like that.  Our state law is 72 hours and our agency tries to get birthparents to wait 10 days.  That really made me feel better about our agency because at first I didn't like what I was hearing from the agencies I called about.  We meet our son 8 months almost to the day that our profile went active.   Just my two cents. 

 

This is also an intesting site (if you are Christian):  http://www.christianadoptionconsultants.com/index.php?page=available-situations

post #3 of 13

There is only one agency in our state that works with non-religious families. We had so many problems with them that we separated. We then had the choice of using an agency in another state or doing a private adoption. We just could not afford out of state fees and travel. We were certified by a local agency that does not do matching. Then it was up to me. I advertised on www.parentprofiles.com, craigslist, www.cafemoms.com, and the university paper. I sent letters to 112 obstetricians around our state asking them to share our info with any moms considering placement. Five days later we got a call from one of those doctors about a just born baby. I started nursing her at 6 hours of age. She just turned 3. Our total costs were about $8,000 which we got back in tax credits. We were certified to adopt on May 8 and met our daughter on August 10. 

 

Not all private adoptions are that easy. Every night I looked at adoption listing. I looked for other places to advertise. It was a lot of work and we only had 3 months of it.

 

If you like your agency, I agree that you should stay with them and consider trying to do a search on your own. Just know that searching can be tough. For us it was well worth it (and really our only option.) 

 

Our daughter is a totally delightful person. Oh, and she looks just like me. 

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Wow, SundayCrepes, that is a pretty amazing story! I wouldn't have thought of sending letters to dr.s offices. I think we'll keep going with the agency but pursue some other options like that as well. Thanks for both of your input!

post #5 of 13

I've heard obstetricians get lots of those letters and it's a longshot, but it worked for us. (Typed while my adopted daughter nurses.)

post #6 of 13


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SundayCrepes View Post


 

Our daughter is a totally delightful person. Oh, and she looks just like me. 


I am adopted and did resemble my adoptive parents.... until I met my birth parents then It was apparent who I resembled.

 

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by SundayCrepes View Post

There is only one agency in our state that works with non-religious families.  



That's frustrating. We're not religious either. I've noticed that it becomes an issue in adoption. It's more of an issue than being "crunchy" or otherwise non-traditional.

 

post #8 of 13

On the religious note, we are not religious but we adopted our son through Catholic Social Services. They don't care what religion/how religious you are. We only had "religion" issues with a couple of agencies that insist all their families be in line with their religious beliefs; most of the others weren't so choosy.

post #9 of 13

I find it strange that we are Catholic and Catholic social services couldn't help us because they only allowed infertile couples with no children to adopt through them domestically?!

post #10 of 13

Ooops.... yeah.... Minor detail. bag.gif

I don't remember their explanation of why that is, but I think it was about being able to manage the number of adoptive families they had. We've kept in touch over the years, and it seems like they have an ebb and flow where there are times they are desperate for adoptive families and I know our local one at least considered (IDK if they ever did start) accepting applications from fertile families. They also have a limit of 2 kids in the family, which I found interesting, b/c most of the Catholic families I know are much larger than that, unless there are fertility issues.

 

I do remember finding it ironic that they would turn away a fertile Catholic couple but meanwhile a Jewish or nonreligious family had them as the only option besides foster care. (And in getting licensed for foster care, we are STILL having our options limited by licensing agencies who will only deal with evangelical families. I wonder if they only place kids from evangelical homes?

 

To the OP: Sorry to go OT... We chose to go through an (non-profit) agency b/c it cost less up front and seemed less risky. Plus, there is only one attorney in town who handles adoptions, so that didn't leave us room to shop around and compare to see if that was really what we'd like to do.

post #11 of 13


SundayCrepes,

 

Your story is very encouraging. My husband and I are hoping to adopt and can only afford an independent process due to the outrageous agency costs. I honestly believe that if it's meant to happen it will. We fostered for 3 years hoping to adopt, and actually had a beautiful little princess we still keep in touch with that was with us from birth to nearly age two. We are planning to use parentprofiles, and have spread the word among our friends and family hoping to identify an e-mom, but we had not considered sending letters to obstetrician offices (we'll add that to our plans). 

Any further advise from anyone in this forum would be greatly appreciated!!!

 

Thanks!

Mimi

Quote:
Originally Posted by SundayCrepes View Post

There is only one agency in our state that works with non-religious families. We had so many problems with them that we separated. We then had the choice of using an agency in another state or doing a private adoption. We just could not afford out of state fees and travel. We were certified by a local agency that does not do matching. Then it was up to me. I advertised on www.parentprofiles.com, craigslist, www.cafemoms.com, and the university paper. I sent letters to 112 obstetricians around our state asking them to share our info with any moms considering placement. Five days later we got a call from one of those doctors about a just born baby. I started nursing her at 6 hours of age. She just turned 3. Our total costs were about $8,000 which we got back in tax credits. We were certified to adopt on May 8 and met our daughter on August 10. 

 

Not all private adoptions are that easy. Every night I looked at adoption listing. I looked for other places to advertise. It was a lot of work and we only had 3 months of it.

 

If you like your agency, I agree that you should stay with them and consider trying to do a search on your own. Just know that searching can be tough. For us it was well worth it (and really our only option.) 

 

Our daughter is a totally delightful person. Oh, and she looks just like me. 



 

post #12 of 13

We adopted using a facilitator in Northern CA.  It is a fantastic program where they work with birth parents.  They have a small list of 10-15 families that birth parents get to choose from.  We were on the "list" for about a year when we were matched in June of 2009 and our son was born in August.  They helped us through every step, from the adoption service provider to the lawyer.  Total cost including travel and hotel, was under $15,000.  You an message me if you would like a link to their website.

post #13 of 13

OP - There are a lot of differences between using an agency and an attorney for your outreach (finding a birthmother).  Depending on the agency, they often have a larger pool of birthparents and adoptive parents, they usually offer many different classes related to adoption, many offer ongoing counseling, and, what I think is the biggest difference, they are often (but not all) non-profit organizations.  Attorneys are often working with much smaller pools of people.  Because their specialty is law, and not the relationship processes related to adoption, they don't usually offer classes and counseling (although, they may refer you out to counseling).  And, because they are a business, and not a non-profit, they are there to complete the transaction (and have a financial gain).  It's not to say that all adoption attorneys would push through a situation that didn't seem right, but I think the line can get bleary there.  Of course, in CA, even if you have an agency do the out reach and handle the adoption process, you will most likely need to have an attorney handle filing all of your paperwork, etc.  But, that is much different than having the attorney do the outreach and make a match for you (and there is a huge difference in those situations as well).  

 

I am not sure if they cover your area, but we loved Adoption Connection In SF.  They are a part of Jewish Family Services.  They were great to work with and have a wonderful reputation.  I would highly recommend them.  They will work with families regardless of religion (or no religion at all).  Other posters mentioned Catholic Charities, and said that you didn't have to be religious.  I contacted Catholic Charities in southern CA (we moved), and you had to be actively involved in some Christian religion, although not necessarily Catholic. So that must vary by region.  

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