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Choosing the Adoption Process Best Suited for Your Family: Independent vs. Agency Adoptions

Choosing the Adoption Process Best Suited for Your Family: Independent vs. Agency Adoptions
March 7, 2013 James Greenier

Many prospective adoptive parents who contact our law firm have questions about the adoption process.  One of the most common questions concerns the type of adoption that is best when comparing independent to agency adoptions.  These are difficult questions because there is no “right” answer.  There are positive and negative aspects to both of these options so the key is to determine the best option for your unique situation.  Kansas adoption attorney Thomas C. McDowell has been practicing law for over two decades and has seen families thrive after using both of these adoption processes, but the key is to weigh the factors that you think fit your situation best.

The independent adoption process has the benefit of permitting both the biological parents and adoptive parents to control the process as opposed to an agency that may be unresponsive to their unique situation.  Because both sets of parents have an opportunity to meet, this can provide reassurance to both the birth parents and adoptive parents that the adoption will move forward smoothly and not collapse near the end of the process.  Sometimes biological parents are more comfortable when they have an opportunity to meet the adoptive parents that will be providing a home to the child.  The independent adoption process also may be more streamlined and less complicated by restrictive criteria and prolonged waiting periods.  The independent adoption process also can be shorter and less costly than an agency adoption.

Despite these benefits to an independent adoption, there also can be potential drawbacks.  State laws that govern independent adoptions may be more restrictive because of concerns over the potential for creating a “baby market” and protecting the rights of birth parents.  If the biological parent does not receive sufficient counseling prior to making the decision to permit the child to be adopted, an independent adoption agreement may be potentially subject to challenge.  Depending on the state law in your jurisdiction, the biological parents may have longer to change their mind and revoke their consent.  This can result in a substantial waste in time and financial resources for the adoptive parents as well as terrible disappointment.

The legal restrictions in terms of what expenses may be covered and costs also can be complicated with an independent adoption so it is a good idea to work closely with an experienced Kansas independent adoption attorney.  If you have questions about an independent adoption or agency adoption in Kansas, we urge you to schedule a consultation so that we can answer your questions.  Wichita, KS adoption attorney Thomas C. McDowell has been practicing law for more than twenty years.  So please call us today at 316-633-4322 or send us an email.