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A private adoption occurs when biological parents decide to allow adoptive parents of their choosing to adopt their baby or unborn child. The biological parents freely and willfully agree to relinquish all parental rights of the child to the adoptive parents.
In private adoptions, the adoptive parents may know the child or biological parents and will not have to use an adoption agency.
Private adoption laws vary from state to state, and several interpersonal issues may arise during the adoption process that need expert handling.
Should I Hire a Private Adoption Attorney?
Having an attorney who specializes in private adoptions is absolutely necessary to ensure the adoption process moves forward smoothly and that the adoption is fair and equitable to both sets of parents.
The biological parents may have legal counsel representing their interests and you should have an attorney representing your interests. If agreeable, your lawyer may represent both parties. The adoptive parents are financially responsible for the adoption.
What Does a Private Adoption Attorney Do?
Your attorney will advise you about the private adoption laws in your state and what you must do to comply with those laws.
Private adoptions can be highly emotional for both biological and adoptive parents. Your private adoption attorney knows this from experience and is skilled at handling interpersonal complications that may arise.
Your attorney will produce the private adoption papers and adoption agreement you will need to sign. These documents are crucial in that they provide the foundation of parental entitlement and document the reasonable and lawful decision of the biological parents’ or birth mother’s decision to place the child for adoption. Private adoptions require lawyers and witnesses to confirm the validity of the agreement.
Because family law favors blood ties, if the birth mother changes her mind, the documents your attorney produces can counter her argument that she was emotionally distraught and not reasoning clearly when she made the decision to give up the child.
Your attorney also will negotiate the monetary disbursements paid to the birthmother and represent you at adoption court hearings.
Your attorney may be able to find the child you want to adopt. Most adoption attorneys maintain a roster of prospective adoptive parents and work to match them with birth mothers who want to place their child for adoption. Your attorney will serve as liaison and enable both parties to meet by phone or in person.