How Does Private Adoption Work?

There are two types of adoption: private and public, but public adoptions are more commonly know. But how does private adoption work? What are the documents involved? What are its advantages? Let’s read more about it in the article below.

Private adoption is a process that allows the birth parents to select adoptive parents and put children directly in their care. 

Physical custody is transferred directly between parents rather than via an agent. Private adoption isn’t legal in certain states, such as Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, and North Dakota.

There are several benefits to private adoption, including more control over the adoption journey and greater flexibility in choosing an adoptive family. Sometimes the birth parents search the prospective parents by searching through personal ads, through an adoption agency, via word of mouth, or through an attorney. 

This type of adoption can be more affordable and time-efficient for both the adoptive family and the child, as there is less paperwork and no waiting period.

How Does Private Adoption Work

What Is Private Adoption?

In general, there are three significant kinds of adoption, Foster care adoption, international adoption, and Private domestic adoption.

First, you must be aware that “private adoption” goes by various names. If you come across references for “domestic adoption” or “infant adoption,” these most likely refer to the same procedure. 

In general, a private adoption occurs when prospective adoptive parents collaborate with a private adoption agency to adopt a child. Under this procedure, a potential birth mother decides to make an adoption plan for the adoption of her child. 

This differs from foster care and international adoption, in which children often wait for their families due to circumstances beyond the mother’s control.

How to Privately Adopt a Baby Taking Help From an Agency?

The private adoption procedure is different from other types of adoption. The first thing you should do once you’ve decided on private adoption is to look for the services of private adoption. This involves searching for a licensed adoption agency to collaborate with. You must also learn that private adoption is full-service, national, and fully licensed.

How Does Private Adoption Work


Adoption of private children can take a long time. There are numerous distinct steps to be taken. Most agencies can fulfill your needs in just a few steps. However, some do not. 

Some agencies offer complete service. This means that they can provide you with assistance from beginning to end. This consistency throughout the process makes families feel more comfortable and at ease.

Fully licensed

Some adoption professionals are not obligated to anyone other than them. That means there’s no independent review to ensure they’re doing things correctly. 

Hence, when you work with a fully-licensed agency, it means they are accountable to the highest standard possible and subject to reliable surveillance. 


Some private agencies search for a child for adoption nationally. One advantage of a nationwide search for private adoption is that you have access to more children. Another advantage of a national search for private adoption is that you can find a child matched with your family’s needs and preferences. 

You might also like to read: What Happens To Original Birth Certificate After Adoption?

How Does Private Adoption Work?

Before Birth

  • Do a home study: The home study involves looking at your medical documents, a background check, a visit to your home, and being interviewed by social workers.
  • Create your profile: After you’ve been accepted to conduct your home studies, now create an online profile that birth mothers can later consider when choosing the best family for their child. It’s a way to make yourself stand out and demonstrate the reasons why you, your loved ones, and you are worthy of being considered.
  • Matching: Whether you work with an agency that is licensed or an adoption attorney, or any other matching service, the next step is to be selected by the birth parents.
How Does Private Adoption Work

At Birth

  • The placement forms to sign after birth occur when the birth mother can complete the adoption form, which gives her the right to the child. 
  • There is a certain amount of time for birth mothers to alter their minds on the adoption process, but the timeframe may differ from state to state, so be sure to be aware of the requirements for your state before you get far into the procedure.

After Birth

  • Complete all post-placement requirements. This allows an adoption social worker to monitor and ensure that the adoptive and baby parents are getting along well.
  • Complete the adoption. It’s primarily formalities and paperwork; however, it’s the most critical step to completing your growing family.

Is Private Adoption And Agency Adoption Same?

An agency adoption can be a private adoption. The most distinctive characteristic between the two would be the support offered to you by working with professionals in adoption.

Think of it as more of a one-stop-shop. If it’s a private agency adoption, the agency can assist the adoptive parents to “match” with a potential birth mother or birth parents. Since agencies typically have vast networks, they can speed up the process of putting adoption parents with birth parents who agree on their adoption preferences. 

Adoption agencies usually also provide screening and fraud prevention services to ensure that the birth parents are committed to the process of home study requirements, counseling, support, mediation, hospital and insurance coordination, as well as help with the prenatal period.

You might also like to read: How To Get Adopted Without Parental Permission?

What Is The Difference Between Public And Private Adoption?

Also called the foster-to-adopt process, public adoption is the process of foster parents applying to be adopted permanently by the child they foster. 

This kind of adoption can be advantageous but can be fraught with uncertainties. Parental rights for the biological parents must end for the child to be in the foster system. If the child cannot have any family members who could provide for them, they’re placed in foster care and stay alongside foster family members.

Public adoption is when a child is placed with a family through a government agency, such as the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). 

Private adoption is when a child is set up with a family through an independent adoption organization or attorney. There are pros and cons to both types of adoptions. Public adoptions are usually cheaper but can be less private and bureaucratic. Private adoptions can be more intimate, but they can also be more expensive.

How Does Private Adoption Work

What Is An Independent Adoption?

In an independent or private adoption, parents considering adopting are guided by an adoption lawyer and do not engage with an adoption agency. This type of adoption is authorized by law in all states, excluding Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, and North Dakota. 

Since adoption is mainly governed by state law, the rules of an independent adoption differ from state to state. You’ll need an experienced lawyer for adoption who is aware of your state’s different requirements and adoption laws. 

In a typical adoption that is independent, the parents who are interested in adopting take an active part in identifying the mother of their child, typically through networking, advertising, or the Internet.

What Is The Difference Between Private Adoption And Independent Adoption?

Private and independent adoption process is the same. In an independent adoption, there is contact between the prospective birth parents or mother and the adopted parents through direct communication or an adoption lawyer. 

Since it’s not part of the state’s foster care system, this isn’t considered a public adoption. In contrast to agency adoption, parents complete the work themselves in this type of private adoption. Because no agency can handle everything, prospective adoptive parents must hire several experts.

You might also like to read: How Much Does It Cost To Adopt A Child From China?

Advantages of Private Adoption

Although every adoption option has a combination of cons and pros, there are distinct advantages when choosing private adoption.

Private adoption is well-known for having a shorter waiting time. This means you can become a parent earlier than if you utilize an adoption process or agency. 

This is because the process is more formal, with no hurdles before putting your information out to any interested potential birth parents. While it is true that a faster adoption may not be guaranteed, it can tend to speed up the process, making it an attractive proposition for certain families.

One of the most significant advantages to not using an agency for adoption is the comfort and security you have in knowing exactly who your child’s birth parents are. You also have more control over the process, as well as being able to choose the adoptive family.

Another advantage of private adoption is that you can often receive more financial assistance than if you were to use an agency. This is especially true if you adopt a special-needs child. In addition, the wait time for a private adoption is often shorter than it is through an agency.

How Does Private Adoption Work

How To Find A Baby To Adopt Without An Agency

There are many ways to find a baby to adopt without an adoption agency. 

  • One way is through personal ads. Adopting parents can search for pregnant women considering adoption or post their profiles. 
  • Another way to find a baby without an agency is through word of mouth. Friends and family may know someone considering adoption or has a child available for adoption. 
  • Finally, some couples choose to work with an attorney to find a baby instead of using an agency. This can be less expensive, but it can also be riskier because there is no guarantee that the attorney will be able to find a healthy baby for the couple.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a private adoption cost in the US

The total cost of adopting through an agency can range between 30,000 to 48,500 dollars. If you decide to adopt on your own, the price ranges between $5,000 and $40,000.

How long does the adoption process take

The procedure usually requires a minimum of 2 months to finish. Thus, no newly born child can be adopted before the procedure’s end.

How much does private adoption cost in California?

In general, adoption costs can be between $5,000 and $40,000 for domestic infant adoptions in California. It’s crucial to understand that prices will differ with each agency that offers adoption.

Wrap Up

Private adoption is a process by which a child is placed with adoptive parents through a private arrangement instead of going through an agency. There are many benefits to private adoption, including a quicker process, more control over the selection of parents, and more personal relationships with the birth and adoptive families. 

However, some risks are also associated with private adoption, including less regulation and oversight. If you are considering private adoption, do your research and understand the process entirely before making any decisions.