What are the differences between an agency adoption and an independent adoption?

An agency adoption involves you, the people at an adoption agency, and the adoptive parents. And independent adoption involves you, the adoptive parents, and an adoption lawyer. Keep reading below to learn more about the differences.

Agency Adoption Independent Adoption
Who designs the adoption plan?
You, people at the adoption agency, and the adoptive parents. You and the adoptive parents, with the help of an adoption lawyer.
How do I choose who will adopt my baby?
Choose from the agency’s list of pre-approved families. Many agencies have descriptions of families on their websites. Parents who choose independent adoption usually have someone in mind already, like a friend or relative. If not, your adoption lawyer will have a list of available families or can suggest resources to help you find a family.
Can I change my mind about adoption?
Yes. Talking to an adoption agency or interested adoptive parents does not mean you must place your baby. After you sign the relinquishment papers, you have until the agency files them with CDSS to change your mind. This usually takes about two weeks. You may ask the adoption agency to wait up to 30 days before filing them. During that time, the baby will be living with the adoptive parents. If you change your mind before the agency files your relinquishment papers, tell them immediately. They must return your baby to you.

After the relinquishment papers are filed, you can only change your mind if

• the adoption agency agrees it is in the best interest of the baby, and
• you tell the agency before the adoption is finalized.

Yes. Talking to an adoption lawyer or interested adoptive parents does not mean you must place your baby.After you sign the relinquishment papers, you have 90 days to change your mind. If you change your mind, you must give CDSS a written statement saying you are “revoking your consent to the adoption,” and you want your baby back. If you do this, the adoptive family must give your baby back to you immediately. If you wait more than 90 days, the baby is not yours anymore.

Important! After the baby is born, you may be asked to sign a Waiver of Right to Revoke Consent. Signing this form means you cannot change your mind about the adoption. It is usually not a good idea to sign this form. Talk to your lawyer first.

How do I get started?
• Choose an adoption agency.
• Contact the agency. They will help you design your adoption plan and connect you with adoptive parents.
• Choose adoptive parents or find an adoption lawyer.
• The lawyer will work with you to design an adoption plan.

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