Independent adoption is a type of adoption that does not use any agency to help with the adoption process. Typically, the adoptive parents will work through a state or private adoption agency. The agency connects the parents with the child and/or the child’s biological parents.

Since an agency is not involved, the process is different than a standard adoption routine. Some people use independent adoptions because it may be preferable for their parenting arrangements.

Independent adoptions allow adoptive and birth parents to have more control over the adoption. Many people prefer independent adoptions because they can tailor the process for their situation.

What Are Some Advantages and Disadvantages of Independent Adoption?

Going through the adoption process without the help of an agency has its advantages and disadvantages. 

Advantages:

  • The birth parents and prospective parents can meet in person and on their own terms
  • Unlike the agency process, there are less waiting lines and wait periods
  • Faster to secure an adoption
  • Low costs because there are no agency fees

Disadvantages:

  • The adoptive parents might not receive adequate counseling or guidance
  • The birth parents are usually allowed a longer time to revoke an adoption agreement if they change their mind
  • Much more paperwork and filing, since the parties won’t have an agent working with them
  • Independent adoptions aren’t allowed in all states

*Independent adoptions are illegal in the following states: CT, DE, MA, and MN.  Other states may place various limitations and eligibility.

Should I Get a Lawyer for My Independent Adoption?

Yes. Since you won’t be working with an agency, you may need the help of an adoption lawyer to make sure you’re meeting all the legal requirements. Also, in the event that a dispute arises over the adoption (such as a revoked agreement), your lawyer can represent you in court.