Login Welcome to Families for Private Adoption
Thursday, October 30 2014 @ 01:27 PM EDT

FPA Research Papers and Surveys:

 

1 - Comparison of Adoption Connection Sites:

For the 2013 FPA research paper comparing adoption connection websites, click [here].

 

2 - FPA Cost & Timing of Adoption Survey 2012:

Domestic Private Adoption - How long will it take? How much will it cost?

For the results of the 2012 FPA Cost & Timing of Adoption Survey, click [here].

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

What exactly is private adoption?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of private adoption?
How does private adoption work in practice?
How many private adoptions are there in the U.S. each year?
What is "open adoption"?
What does private adoption cost?
How long does it take for adoptive parents and a birth mother to be matched, ending the search process?
How do I go about expanding my family through private adoption?
What is FPA?
Why should I join FPA - what are the benefits of membership?
Is there someone I can talk to about private adoption and/or FPA?

 

What exactly is private adoption?

Private (or independent) adoption is a legal method of building a family through adoption without using an adoption agency for placement. In private adoption, the birth parents relinquish their parental rights directly to the adoptive parents, instead of to an agency. Like other types of adoption, private adoption is governed by state laws. In addition, if a child is brought from one state to another, then the provisions of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children apply.

 
 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of private adoption?

The advantages include:

  1. Greater control over choice for birth parents and adoptive parents. Private adoption allows all parties involved to make choices about the baby and each other. For many, the opportunity to meet provides added reassurance that decisions are being made in the best interests of the child.
  2. More information. Direct contact means more extensive background information for the child, including medical, social, and religious histories.
  3. More immediate bonding. Private adoption allows the newborn baby to bypass foster care in a temporary home or an orphanage. Indeed, most babies adopted privately come home from the hospital with the adoptive parents, so the bonding process begins immediately.
  4. Chance of shorter search. Compared with agency adoptions, the search times for infants may be shorter.

The disadvantages include:

  1. Unpredictability of costs. Unlike agency fees, which are generally fixed and known in advance, the costs of private adoption vary. See the FAQ on costs.
  2. Inability to select the gender of the child.
  3. Greater stress. Because of the active role that birth parent(s) and adoptive parents play in a private adoption, there can be a great deal of stress. Birth parents can change their minds about placing the child after birth. However, the length of time during which a birth parent can change his/her mind is governed by law and varies from state to state. In the Washington, DC metro area, the time ranges from 0 to 30 days after birth.


How does private adoption work in practice?

With the guidance of an experienced attorney, a person or family should make it as widely known as possible that they want to adopt a child. Many of our members have used newspaper or internet advertisements to successfully locate a birth mother. Other times, a contact is made via word of mouth from a friend of a friend or family member. Jurisdictions in this area require that adoptive parents and birth parents have direct contact about the decisions regarding placement of the child. Once contact has been made, an attorney can and should step in to ensure that all transactions and documents are handled according to the law. After the baby's birth, the attorney will prepare the necessary papers to be signed and filed with the court.

 

How many private adoptions are there in the U.S. each year?

No one knows because comprehensive statistics are not kept. According to recent statistics in Virginia, 70% of newborn adoptions are private (independent) adoptions.During the past 25 years, more than 2,500 children were adopted by FPA members through private adoption.

 

What is "open adoption"?

Unfortunately, this phrase is nearly meaningless, because there is no precise, agreed-upon definition. In some legal contexts, just exchanging limited identifying information (such as names and addresses) between birth parents and adoptive parents can be deemed "open." However, in the adoption community, open adoption usually refers to some type of continuing contact between the birth family and the adopted child.

According to the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse: "Open, or fully disclosed, adoptions allow adoptive parents, and often the adopted child, to interact directly with birth parents. Family members interact in ways that feel most comfortable to them. Communication may include letters, e-mails, telephone calls, or visits. The frequency of contact is negotiated and can range from every few years to several times a month or more. Contact often changes as a child grows and has more questions about his or her adoption or as families' needs change. It is important to note that even in an open adoption, the legal relationship between a birth parent and child is severed. The adoptive parents are the legal parents of an adopted child."

"The goals of open adoption are:
 

  • To minimize the child's loss of relationships.
     
  • To maintain and celebrate the adopted child's connections with all the important people in his or her life.
     
  • To allow the child to resolve losses with truth, rather than the fantasy adopted children often create when no information or contact with their birth family is available."


For more information, see Child Welfare Information Gateway fact sheet on openness in adoption at http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/f_openadoptbulletin.cfm. Elsewhere on the website, you will find a wealth of helpful information about all facets of adoption.


 

What does private adoption cost?

The costs of private adoption depends on several factors. These include separate legal representation for the adoptive parents and the birth mother/father; a Home Study by a licensed professional; advertising expenses; travel costs (if applicable); and possibly counseling and/or medical expenses for the birth mother - depending on the nature of insurance coverage, if any. An amount between $20,000 and $25,000 is likely, but costs can be higher or lower. It is illegal to pay a birth parent or anyone else to adopt a child.

 

The Federal government has enacted a maximum adoption tax credit of $13,190 (in 2014) that can be used to offset adoption expenses. For more information on the tax credit, visit the IRS web site at http://www.irs.gov/ and look at "Publication 968, Tax Tax Benefits for Adoption."

 

How long does it take for adoptive parents and a birth mother to be matched, ending the search process?

Some adoptive parents and birth mothers have found each other and made an adoption plan in just a few weeks. Other adoptive parents have searched for two years or more. However, both of these extremes are unusual. The average search time among FPA members is about 9 -12 months from the start of their efforts.

 

How do I go about expanding my family through private adoption?

Join FPA. We're here to help.

 

What is FPA?

FPA is a non-profit volunteer group in the Washington, D.C. area providing support and education to those involved in the process or considering private adoption. FPA is concerned with preserving the dignity of all parties involved in the private adoption process and advocates an active role for adoptive and birth parents. FPA works to maintain private adoption as a legal option. And it is active in monitoring pertinent legislation throughout the nation.

 

Why should I join FPA - what are the benefits of membership?

Peer support and guidance throughout the adoption process, including FPA's "buddy system"

Opportunities to attend special workshops and seminars for adoptive families and prospective adoptive families. For example, learn about:

  1. Adoption laws
  2. Search Strategies
  3. Home Studies
  4. Birth Mothers' Perspectives
  5. Support and resources
  6. Raising adopted children
  • Access to the FPA's updated "The Adoption Book," on successful private adoption. The book contains over 170 pages of detailed information on the legal aspects of adoption, search strategies, open adoption and confidentiality, how to select professionals to assist with adoption, and "red flags" to watch out for. This book is not available in stores.
  • Referrals to appropriate adoption professionals
  • Informative FPA newsletters
  • Invitations to social and educational events throughout the year
  • Save $5 off of your subscription to Adoptive Families magazine
  • To join FPA, click here.

 

Is there someone I can talk to about private adoption and/or FPA?

Call FPA at (202) 722-0338 and leave you name and phone number; a member will return your call. You can also email us at info@ffpa.org and you will receive a personal response.

 

Last Updated Friday, January 24 2014 @ 08:08 PM EST| View Printable Version