An agency adoption is a type of adoption where an adoption agency provides help throughout the process. The majority of adoption cases are usually processed through an adoption agency. Adoption agencies are either run through the state or managed privately. There are significant differences between these two types of agency adoptions.

The agency adoption process typically involves a great deal of time, resources, and patience on the part of the people involved. Adoption laws and requirements can vary by state, and each adoption agency may have its own set of rules and procedures for the adoptive parents. 

Is There a Difference between Private and Public Adoption Agencies?

There are many advantages and disadvantages to both private and public adoption agencies. The needs of the child and the future parents will be different in each individual case.

Private Agency:

  • Generally offer more counseling services
  • Usually allow parents to adopt newborns and infants
  • Are typically more expensive than public agencies
  • There are usually waiting lists because the number of prospective parents are high
  • Highly selective when reviewing prospective parents; applicants are weeded out based on health, marital status, financial background, etc.

Public Agency:

  • The costs for adoption are significantly lower than private agencies
  • Future parents may be granted a small stipend for participating in the process
  • Usually receive older or special-needs children for the adoption process
  • Aren’t as selective when reviewing prospective parents’ applications

Why Is There Usually a Waiting Period during an Agency Adoption?

Agency adoptions tend to involve a “home study” of the future parents. This is an evaluation of the living arrangement that the parents will provide the child in the future. This process can be time-intensive because the agency must make sure that the parents can provide a good environment.

Also, many state laws grant the birth parents a sort of “grace period” after they have agreed to put their child up for adoption. This allows the birth parents some time to reflect on the adoption process. If they change their minds, then they can sometimes retract their agreement and re-claim their child.

Finally, there may also be a waiting time due to the long list of applicants at any given adoption agency. It may sometimes be up to a year before a couple is even allowed to begin the selection process.

Should I Get a Lawyer to Help with My Adoption?

Yes. Even when working with an adoption agency, you will likely need to hire a lawyer to assist you during the adoption process. The process involves much paperwork, attendance at court hearings, and various other requirements. An adoption lawyer in your area can help you with these requirements.