Adoption is a beautiful journey, it can be the path for some mothers who chose to place instead of parent.  It can be the path for many who struggle with infertility, same-sex couples, or couples who face high-risk with pregnancy.  It can also be a path chosen purely out of desire, maybe you were adopted and the choice is personal for you. Maybe you just have an empty room with a lot of love to give- Whatever reason YOU choose adoption, you are giving an incredible gift to yourself and the others in the adoption triad.  

Deciding to adopt is exciting, fruitful, and rewarding. But it is not an easy road, and proper education will ensure you are equipped to navigate all of the choices available to you. 

Types of Adoption 

After you have made the emotional decision to adopt,  you get to make the decision of what road to adoption you want to take. Below are the three types of adoption. 

Agency Adoption

The most popular kind of adoption is guided agency adoption. This is when both parents and birth mother use an agency to help them through the process. The agency facilitates making sure the potential adoptive families are properly vetted, trained, and equipped to take responsibility for the child. 

The agency also makes sure that birth mom is taken care of during her pregnancy, giving her access to things like medical attention, transportation, food, and a safe place to live. This is at the expense of the selected adoptive family and is a legally controlled process. Meaning, the expenses must be adoption related, and used to help her during this challenging time. Depending on the agency, they may offer pre- and post adoption therapy for birth moms as well, ensuring she fully recovers from the effects of placing her baby for adoption. 

The agency “matches” birth-moms to potential adoptive parents, birth moms select the adoptive family for their child. Some moms prefer that the agency select the family, we call that an agency select.  

Adoptive parents make profile books and fill out paperwork that help the birth mom paint a picture of who would be raising her baby, and the life they would get by choosing that family. 

Attorney Adoption

Adoption lawyers are specialists in the area of adoption law. They are in charge of private and independent adoptions. An adoption attorney might very well collaborate with an Adoption Law Center (ANLC) to file the adoption documentation, supervise the adoption trial, and complete the child placement procedure. Adoption attorneys manage the legal procedure, but they do not usually find birth parents for their clients. Some may help by positioning advertisements available on the internet, publications, and social classes for their clients who want to adopt. Attorneys are great at their job, but they are attorneys and  not counselors or social workers. They are not the best to help support the emotional side of the journey. 

Both birth-mom & adoptive families will miss out on key processing information by choosing this route, and I do not recommend doing this unless you are already the care-taker and fully informed of the situation of the potential adoption. Birth mom is not provided with the same level of emotional care that she receives in an agency adoption. 

Private Self Match Adoption

Private self match adoption, in basic terms, refers to the procedure where a birth parent/adoptive parent self match.  They find each other and decide they would like to enter an adoption plan together.  Birth parents often find prospective adoptive parents via various means, including personal advertisements, friends, relatives and social media.  You may have heard of potential adoptive families running social media accounts trying to connect to birth moms, this would be a primary example of private adoption. 

The adoptive parents could be close friends, family members, or whoever the biological parents know/personally choose. While not all states permit private adoptions, the large majority do.

Even in the case of a self match, a home study is required.  Adoption agencies are frequently called in to conduct complete a home study for the adoptive family if they were not already home study approved.  

This is a high risk form of adoption! There are no legal protections in order until after placement, and no requirement for birth moms to get the support she may need during and after her pregnancy. 

Adoptive parents are often not familiar with or trained on how to ensure that they are not being scammed and birth parents often are not provided the emotional and financial support they deserve and often need during the course of the adoption.

As with all things, this isn’t meant to say always or never.  There are exceptions to all norms.  This is meant more as a guide.  

Have questions? At Connected By Love Adoptions, we work with both birth-moms and adoptive parents. We would love a chance to chat with you,  hear your story and provide support to you. 

You do not have to be alone – contact Connected By Love Adoptions.

There are many ways to contact our birth mom support team:

24 Hour Talk/Text Hotline: (321) 355- 2010

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You can also read more on our  blog to learn more about how the adoption process works and read our answers to birth moms frequently asked questions. You are not alone. We’re here for you, with the help you need, when you want it, anytime, 24/7.