Types of Private Adoptions
There are many domestic private adoption agencies that help facilitate the adoption process, including matching birth parents with adoptive parents. Typically, private agencies place infants. Very few non-infant children are adopted through private agencies. Private agencies usually offer a variety of resources, which may including counseling and support (for both the birth parents and adoptive parents), legal services and post placement correspondence. Agencies can be local, regional or licensed in more than one state.
Independent adoptions occur outside of an agency with the help of an attorney who specializes in this type of adoption. Prospective parents take an active role in identifying a child they hope to adopt, often through networking and advertising.
Adoptions that occur outside the United States are known as international adoption, and are typically facilitated through agencies that focus on this type of adoption. International adoption can be complicated and restrictive, as it requires complying with laws of both countries and the state where the adoptive parents reside. There are also additional requirements set by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service.
Many countries have laws or policies that prevent same-sex couples from adopting. It may be possible, however, for one parent to adopt and then complete an additional adoption for the second parent after returning to the U.S. with the child.