Resources for Pregnant Women Considering Adoption
Types of Adoption
An adoption agency is a licensed organization who's primary work is to meet the needs of all members of the adoption triad: The child, the birthmother and the adoptive family. Because they must fullfill state requirements, in many states licensed agencies may offer more services to the birthmother (both before and after the child is born) than they would get in a private adoption. An adoption agency must be licensed by the state in which they work. You can call State Licensing to find out if an adoption agency is licensed and in good standing. You will find contact information for each state's licensing body by clicking here.
An independent or private adoption is done without the use of an adoption agency. Some women choose this option because they already have an identified family and/or because they feel they will have more control. Most private adoptions are facilitated by an attorney. It's best to find an lawyer who specializes in adoption and to have an attorney that represents you while another attorney represents the adoptive family. You can find a listing of adoption attorneys on Adopting.com's Adoption Professionals listing or by visiting the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys. Like adoption agencies. attorneys must be licensed in the state in which they work and be in good standding with the State Bar. You can find out of an attorney is licensed in your state by visiting the American Bar Association.
Open vs. Closed Adoption
These days, most domestic adoptions are "open" to some degree. This means that the birthmother and the adoptive family communicate after the adoption is complete. This communication can range from yearly letters and photos to fully open adoptions where the birthmother has periodic visits with the child and the adoptive family. The extent to which the relationship is open is agreed upon by all parties as part of the adoption process.
A "closed" adoption is when the birthmother and the adoptive family don't meet and don't maintain any kind of contact. This type of adoption is becoming less common because research has shown the adopted children have a stronger sense of identity and grow up with a better self-esteem in open adoptions. Birthmothers, as well, appear to adjust better when there is a level of openness to the adoption. There is comfort in knowing that their child is growing up healthy and happy.
Adoption Professionals Listing
This is a listing of Adoption Professionals in the U.S. This listing includes both Adoption Agencies and Adoption Attorneys.
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