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Types of Adoptions

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What Types of Adoptions are There?

There are many ways to adopt a particular child depending on the specific facts of your situation. Below are some of the more common types of adoption.

Agency Adoptions

In an agency adoption a child is left with an agency that is in charge of finding a good home with good adoptive parents. These agencies are almost always highly regulated by the state in which they are located. There are two types of agencies:

  • Public adoption agencies: Generally public agencies work to find parents for children that have become wards of the state or who have been placed in orphanages due to abuse or abandonment.
  • Private adoption agencies: Generally private agencies are run by charity contributions or privately funded social service organizations and place children who have been specifically brought to them by parents who want to give their children up.

Independent Adoptions

An independent adoption involves placing a child with an adoptive parent without the involvement of any outside agencies. These adoptions can involve a simple arrangement between the biological parents and the adoptive parents, but it is not unusual to have an intermediary involved such as a doctor, clergyperson, or attorney. Some states do not allow these types of adoptions

Identified Adoptions

The identified, or designated, adoption is another type of adoption where either the birthmother or the prospective adoptive parents locate the other party, and then ask an adoption agency to take over. This type of adoption foregoes the trauma of being placed on a wait list for a child. In a sense the parties do the leg work, and the experienced agency staff simply process the legal paperwork.

International Adoptions

In a process that is becoming increasingly common adoptive parents can adopt a child who is a citizen of another country. In this type of adoption the adoptive parents must satisfy the adoption requirement of both the United States and the country that the child is from. This is a complicated process and far from automatic.

Relative Adoptions

The final type of adoption is a relative adoption. Here a relative adopts the child. Grandparent and new spouse adoptions are by far the most common type of relative adoptions. These adoptions are some of the easiest adoptions to process as the state wants little to do with interfering in a relationship that is almost always a safe bet.

Should I Contact a Lawyer Regarding My Adoption Questions?

Adoption is a complex and often time-consuming process. An experienced family lawyer can help you determine which type of adoption is best for you. A family lawyer can also help you file any necessary paperwork.

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 12-09-2015 03:13 PM PST

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