Before undertaking the private adoption process, you should consult with an attorney with specific expertise in that type of adoption. Adoptions are highly regulated and the failure to comply with technical adoption requirements can jeopardize the security of your adoption, even after the child has been placed in your home.
The first step in identifying an adoptive child typically involves creating an introductory letter and an adoption profile, which serves as a way for the adoptive parent(s) to introduce themselves to a parent considering placing his or her child for adoption. Many adoptive parents display their profiles on adoption websites, advertise in newspapers, and send out bulk networking letters (typically by e-mail) to extended family and friends. All of these activities should be undertaken in consultation with your attorney to ensure that they are legal, effective and that your need for privacy is adequately protected.
Typically, after the initial connection is made, there is a period of time during which the adoptive parent(s) and potential birth parent(s) get to know one another. This communication takes place either through e-mail or by phone but, depending on the circumstances, the parties can also choose to meet personally. It is advisable for the adoptive parents to immediately inform their attorney that they are in communication with a potential birth parent so that the attorney can advise them and alert them to any potential risks. Once you and the birth parent(s) choose to pursue an adoption plan, it is advisable for the birth parent(s) to meet with independent legal counsel. The birth parent(s)’ attorney can advise them regarding the legal aspects of the process to ensure that their decision to place their child for adoption is knowing and voluntary and to explore whether there are any legal impediments to the adoption plan. At that point, your attorney should undertake to obtain all available prenatal records as well as a social/medical history from the birth parent(s). Your attorney and the birth parent(s)’ attorney should communicate directly to review all aspects of the adoption plan with the goal of ensuring that the adoption plan is secure and meets the needs of the child, the adoptive parents, and the birth parent(s).
Rumbold & Seidelman has advised many hundreds of clients in this process. We work closely with you and can assist you in the following ways:
- To become qualified as an adoptive parent
- Advise you on how to create a networking campaign to locate a child to be placed with you
- Obtain background and medical information to allow you to make an informed and secure adoption plan
- Consult with the attorney for the birth parent(s) to address financial and legal aspects of the adoption
- Prepare and submit all required documentation and papers for the finalization of the adoption in court