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How do I arrange an adoption?

In all states you can work with a licensed child placing (adoption) agency. In most states you can set up a private or non-agency adoptions, which means that the birth parents and adoptive parents handle everything, usually with the help of an attorney. But the laws vary from state to state. To find out about the laws concerning private adoptions in your state you can do a search on the Child Welfare site.

Private adoption agencies arrange most infant adoptions. There are several types of private adoption agencies. Some are for profit and some are nonprofit. Some couples will hire an attorney and advertise in the newspaper for birth mothers.

If you decide to go to an adoption agency, social workers there can answer all of your questions.

Here are some things to ask:

  • Will I get counseling during my pregnancy, after I sign the adoption papers and after my baby goes to his or her adoptive family?
  • Can my baby’s father and other people important to me join me in the counseling if they want to?
  • What kind of financial, legal and medical help can I get? Can I get help with medical and legal expenses?
  • Can I choose the adoptive parents? Can I meet them?
  • Will I get to know about my baby after the adoption?

The agency social worker will ask questions about you and the baby’s father, such as your medical histories, age, race and physical characteristics, whether you have seen a doctor since you became pregnant, whether you smoked cigarettes, took any drugs or drank any alcohol since you became pregnant. The social worker asks these questions so that he or she can has all of the information he or she needs to make a good placement for the baby and adoptive parents.

To find an adoption agency, call the Independent Adoption Center at 1-800-877-6736.

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