Private Adoption – Adopting Without an Agency

Some adoptive families wonder if they are able to adopt without using an adoption agency – and the answer is yes!

In fact, only two professionals are required to legally complete a domestic adoption: a home study provider and an adoption attorney.

These types of adoptions without an agency are known as “private adoptions” or “independent adoptions,” and they are intended for adoptive families who:

  • have already found a birth mother – If a family doesn’t need the matching services of an adoption agency, they may decide to immediately begin the legal process with an adoption attorney.
  • want to find a birth mother on their own – Although Florida adoption law disallows families of advertising online for prospective birth mothers, there are other methods of finding a birth mother without the use of an adoption agency.
  • want full control over their adoption process – Similar to how some people like fixing their own car or building their own home, some people like being directly involved and in control over their adoption process.
  • are looking to save money – By pursuing a private adoption with an adoption attorney, families may save thousands of dollars without also working with an adoption agency.

What are the Disadvantages of Private Adoption?

While private adoptions are right for some families, they aren’t right for everyone. Adoptive families should consider the following before taking the next step of a private adoption.

Finding a Birth Mother – As previously stated, in a private adoption, it is often the adoptive family’s responsibility of finding a woman considering adoption for her baby. Hopeful parents should tell all of their friends and family members that they are looking to adopt, attend any adoption support groups, reach out to churches, schools and doctor’s offices, create a website, and basically do anything possible to let as many people possible know they want to adopt. In Florida, this can be a bit more challenging as it is unlawful for adoptive families to advertise online or in the local newspaper for an expecting mother.

Birth Mother Screening – One of the major drawbacks of finding one’s own birth mother is a lack of screening services. Families may subject themselves to a woman who may not be emotionally prepared or ready for adoption, a woman who may have items in her medical history she isn’t forthcoming about, or in rare instances, a woman who may not be truthful about her pregnancy and is actually a birth mother scammer.

Counseling, Education and Support – In most cases, an expecting mother should receive counseling during this process, even if she says she doesn’t need it. In independent adoptions, adoptive families will likely need to find and pay for a licensed counselor to provide any counseling and support the birth mother may need.

Non-Mediated Contact – Families looking for a closed adoption and hoping to preserve their identifying information may find it challenging in a private adoption. Private adoptions are inherently “open,” meaning there is usually contact between the adoptive family and expecting mother. Furthermore, if a birth mother wants picture and letter updates of the child after the adoption, a family may have to use a third-party mail-forwarding service to protect their last names, address and other identifiable information.

Bryan McLachlan and Private Adoptions

You may be wondering why we are presenting information about private adoptions in such an open and honest way. Doesn’t Bryan McLachlan encourage private adoptions and want to work with these families?

Bryan’s goal for every one of his clients is to ensure that their emotional, legal and financial wellbeing is always considered on their way to becoming parents. With that said, private adoption doesn’t always take those factors into account; there is sometimes a better solution.

Bryan’s unique relationship with American Adoptions allows his clients to get the best of both worlds. For example, if you have already found an expecting mother, you may believe all that remains is the legal process. However, in reality, adoption is not that simple. There are many important services, such as screening, counseling, support, contact mediation and more, that are necessary in helping you and the birth mother each safely reach your adoption goals.

By working with Bryan McLachlan, you may still complete a private adoption and use one of the nation’s top adoption agencies to complete any other necessary services of the adoption process. For more information, contact Bryan today to learn more about private and independent adoptions in Florida.