Independent Domestic Adoptions
In an independent/private adoption, the child is placed with adoptive parents directly by the birth parent(s). If mutually agreed, the birth parents and adoptive parents may meet, though it may be without actually identifying one another. The ultimate decision as to where the child is placed is for the birth parents to make. At a minimum, she (and he, if involved) must be given enough non-identifying information about the prospective adoptive parents to be able to decide if that is the best placement for the child.
To begin the search for an independent/private adoption, prospective adoptive parents should let everyone know that they are looking for a child to adopt. It is always a possibility that some acquaintance will know someone that knows of a child available for adoption. Let your doctor know, as many birth mothers looking for assistance in making a placement will first contact their physicians. If you are active in a church, be sure to contact your clergyman as well. Attorneys can also be of assistance, although in this case it will be a matter of working to locate a birth mother. An attorney can help adoptive parents by preparing letters of introduction, running newspaper advertisements, and making contact with other potential sources with which he or she is familiar. Contacts with your doctor, lawyer, or clergyman should continue on a regular basis. Oregon law prohibits payments to adoption facilitators; one can only pay for adoption services from licensed adoption agencies and attorneys doing actual legal work concerning adoptions.
The costs of an independent adoption vary greatly and it is wise to talk frankly with your attorney about the expenses involved and when they must be paid. In addition to their own attorney fees, adoptive parents normally pay for the birth parent’s attorney fees, as well as psychological counseling for the birth mother, both prenatal and postnatal. Other anticipated expenses include the birth mother’s medical expenses (if not covered by insurance or welfare) and sometimes, living expenses (room and board) for the period of time she is physically unable to work because of the pregnancy. The birth mother’s transportation expenses may also be covered. Care should be taken to be sure that living expenses are limited to such and do not amount to “baby-selling”.
Adoptive parents may enter into an agreement with the birthparent(s), stating that the adoptive parents will send letters and/or pictures to the birthparent(s), or even allow the birthparent(s) visitation. These Agreements apply to both agency and independent adoptions.
Independent International Adoptions
You may be able to do an independent international adoption; however, with the changing laws and the new requirements of the Hague Convention, you should thoroughly research the legality of your proposed course before taking action.