The Different Types of Adoption: A Primer for Prospective Parents

Becoming a parent is one of the most important experiences a person can have, in ways extending beyond personal fulfillment. The legal, economic, and developmental effects that parenthood entails are far too great for every person to make the leap. Not that parenthood itself is a possibility for everyone, at least in biological terms.

Fortunately, creating life is not the only qualifier for being willing and able to support it. For those who wish to become adoptive parents, there are numerous avenues available:

  1. Adopting through an agency

The most common approach to adoption is a licensed, regulated public or private agency. Selecting the right adoption agency is only the first step towards gaining custody of an abandoned, orphaned, abused, or surrendered child. Private agencies tend to deal with connecting prospective parents to the latter, often providing the child’s biological parent/s with an opportunity to select the best candidate for adoption.

  1. Adopting independently

Usually more straightforward yet delicate, the process of independent adoption is one that adoption attorneys stress should be carried out with utmost care and attention to detail. The absence of an agency means both parties and/or their legal representatives must handle all the paperwork. Since independent adoptions are typically set up like what private agencies handle, there should be a focus on state laws and regulations.

  1. Adopting internationally

Attributed to celebrity prospective parents more than anyone else, this type of adoption is the most complex and costly one there is. Not only do adoption terms need to comply with state laws, but they also need to comply with the laws of the child’s country of origin. Attorneys also need to approach the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Hague Adoption Convention.

These are only three of the numerous adoption types parents can choose from, which include kinship adoptions, same-sex adoptions, and adult adoptions to name a few. Selecting the proper approach is important, but never more so than caring for the adopted child him/herself.