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Domestic Agency Adoption
In domestic adoption, the birth parent(s) has chosen to place the child (usually an infant) in an adoptive home and has, in most cases, selected adoptive parents.
Domestic adoption is done through a licensed adoption agency or privately through an attorney that specializes in local or U.S. adoptions. Adoption through an agency is a regulated and supervised process in which the agency takes care of most of the details.
- Pre-adoptive and post-adoptive services are usually provided both for birth parents and adoptive parents.
- Greater chance of adopting a newborn
- Unpredictable and often extended waiting period
- Potential of last-minute change of mind by birth mom
- High costs due to agency fees and medical bills for birth of child
It is important to consider in domestic adoption the “open vs. closed” adoption continuum. The Adoption Continuum definitions and information are listed below.
The Adoption Openness Continuum
Closed or Confidential Adoption: An adoption where there is no contact between the birth family and adoptive family; the only information exchanged is non-identifying; the agency selects the family for the child.
Open adoption: An adoption where the birth family selects and meets the adoptive family; identifying information is exchanged and there are plans for ongoing contact without agency involvement.
Semi-Open Adoption: An adoption where the birth family may select the adoptive family and may meet with them; non-identifying information is exchanged and there are plans for limited contact post-placement, usually with the agency as an intermediary.
Continuum of Openness: The range of possible options in adoption which allows the birth family and adoptive family to tailor an adoption plan to meet their needs; may include selection, pre-birth meeting, exchange of communications whether pictures, letters, e-mail, through the agency or directly; information may be identifying or non-identifying.
Agency Adoption: A private adoption agency provides services to both the birth family and the adoptive family and facilitates the adoption planning and placement.
Private Adoption: Often attorney-facilitated and arranged directly between the parties.
Designated Adoption: An agency- or attorney-facilitated adoption where the birth family and adoptive family meet and decide on an adoption plan without having worked with an agency first.
Traditional Adoption-Non-Identifying Information Only
Agency Consideration of Birth Parent Preferences in Placement Planning; Agency Selects the Family
Limited Exchange of Letters, Pictures, Mementos During First Year; Non-Identifying Information
More Frequent Exchange of Letters, Pictures, etc., Beyond First Year; Non-Identifying Information; Agency Facilitated
Birth Parent Selection of Adoptive Family from Descriptive Profiles, With or Without Pictures; Exchange of Letters, Pictures and Gifts. Ongoing; Only Non-Identifying Information
One Personal Meeting Between Birth Parents and Adoptive Parents (Prior to or at Placement); Non-Identifying Information; Only First Names
Personal Meetings-Limited, Minimal Contact After Placement; Identifying Information Shared
Continuing, Regular Contacts; Birth Parent = "Extended Family"; Birth Parents and Adoptive Family Regulate Contacts