To make an adoption plan for your baby, you can work with an adoption agency to find the adoptive parents (agency adoption) or work with an adoption lawyer (independent adoption.)

For an agency adoption, the first step is to choose an adoption agency and contact them.

Several resources can help you find an adoption agency:

Find an agency that shares your values. Some agencies will not place babies with same-sex couples, single people, or people of certain religions.

All agencies will ask you about your decision and tell you about services to help you raise the baby yourself. Then, if you still want the baby to be adopted, you will sign a form giving up your parental rights.

For an independent adoption, you can choose adoptive parents or an adoption lawyer and they will help you move forward.  An adoption agency must help you find a lawyer if you want one. In some cases, the interested adoptive parents may pay some or all of your lawyer’s fees.

A lawyer can help you with

  • any questions you have about the adoption,
  • giving up your parental rights, and
  • the adoption paperwork.

Note: If you do not have your own lawyer, the adoptive parents’ lawyer can also represent you. The lawyer must get written permission from all of you. The adoptive parents’ lawyer must also tell you that you have the right to your own lawyer.

For more information on the differences between an agency and independent adoption, click here.


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