In an independent adoption, the birth mother (and birth father if he is involved in the adoption plan) surrenders her child directly to the prospective adoptive parents. An agency is involved only to conduct the adoption home study (an evaluation of the adoptive parents’ fitness to parent), to counsel the birth mother if she desire it, and to supervise the adoptive placement by visiting the adoptive home until the adoption is finalized in court
Prospective adoptive parents may advertise in news media or on the internet, or network with family, friends and other acquaintances to identify a birth parent and child. Prospective adopters who actively search for a birth mother on their own using a variety of search methods often significantly reduce the wait for their child.
In New Jersey, the laws governing independent adoptions differ in many important respects from the laws governing agency adoptions. For example, the laws and procedures governing the birth parents’ consent to the adoption and termination of their parental rights are different depending on whether the birth parents surrender the child directly to the adopting parents (in an independent adoption) or to an agency (in an agency adoption). It is essential for families to consult with an experienced adoption attorney early in the process, who will guide them through the practical and legal issues involved in adoptions. An experienced adoption attorney will also ensure that all parties receive qualified representation and counseling services.
If you are interested in a domestic independent adoption, please feel free to contact my firm to learn more about the process. My firm can guide you to create an adoption plan that is the legally secure and meets the needs of both the birth and adoptive parents.