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Questions And Answers About Independent Adoption

How Does Independent Adoption Differ From Agency Adoption?

Independent adoption differs in many ways from agency adoption. Independent adoptive parents play a much larger role in designing the adoption plan to meet their needs. Independent adoptive parents have more control. Independent adoptive parents find the child or birth mother. They are responsible for making sure that all required legal steps are taken. Since independent adoptive parents have these responsibilities, they also have some control over these various aspects of the adoption.

Are There Actually Babies Available For Independent Adoption?

Independent adoption is very popular, because it works. There are children available through independent adoption.

How Do We Find A Child Available For Adoption?

Networking, advertising and word-of-mouth are effective techniques for locating a birth mother or child available for adoption. An excellent local resources on this subject is the Adoption Information Center at Children's Home Society. (206) 524-6020.

How Do We Start On The Road To Independent Adoption?

Contact an adoption attorney to get more information on the subject and start work on a homestudy or preplacement report.

Are We Too Old To Adopt?

A person must be an adult in order to adopt, but there is no statutory upper limit on the age of adoptive parents.

Does The Fact That We Already Have Another Child In Our Home Prevent Us From Adopting?

No. It can be a factor which works both ways. Some birth mothers want to place a child in a home where there are other children and some mothers want their child to be the first or only child.

What Exactly Is An "Open" Adoption?

"Open" adoption means different things to different people. The best way to look at the subject is in terms of degrees of openness. In some situations, adoptive parents and birth parents will be in contact with one another both before and after the child is born. Sometimes agreements are made to send pictures and progress reports or letters for a period of months or years after the child is born. There may even be a provision for a future visit agreed upon by the birth parents and the adoptive parents. Basically, in an independent adoption, the degree of openness is agreed to by the adoptive parents and the birth parents.

Who Pays The Medical Bills?

Ordinarily, a birth mother will either be receiving public assistance, have medical insurance, or will be looking to the adoptive parents to pay the medical bills. If the adoptive parents are to pay the medical bills, it would be preferable to postpone payment of medical bills until after custody of the child has been relinquished to the adoptive parents and the legal rights of the birth parents have been terminated.

Can We Adopt A Child From Another State?

The answer, in most cases, is yes. States have different laws on adoption. When a child is born in one state, and the adoptive parents reside in another state, the states work together to be certain that both states are satisfied with the adoption procedures, before the child is moved from state to state. Generally, the approval of each state must be obtained before a child is moved from one state to another. The complications created by an interstate adoption vary depending on the states involved. There are some states that do not allow independent adoption.

How Long Will It Take Us To Find A Child That Is Available To Adopt?

This is a difficult question to answer because your success in finding a child will depend upon how lucky you are and how hard you work at trying to find a birth mother. The people who work the hardest tend to have the best luck.

How Much Does Independent Adoption Cost?

A general answer to this question is difficult because the costs can vary widely depending on who is paying the medical bills and how many complicating factors there are in the independent adoption. Complicating factors include a minor birth parent, an interstate adoption, a request for financial assistance by the birth mother, etc. However, by talking to an experienced attorney at the beginning of an adoption plan, you can usually get an estimate of the range of costs for your particular adoption.

How And Where Can I Get More Free Information On Independent Adoption?

If you are serious about wanting information on independent adoption, you can call me, Albert G. Lirhus at (206) 728-5858. There is more information available that you should have if you are serious about independent adoption. I will be happy to talk with you on the telephone or meet with you for an hour or so just to discuss generally the subject of independent adoption and provide answers to questions you might have. You will not be charged for this information.

I hope the information in this document will help you. These are, of course, general answers to general questions. For specific answers in particular situations you should contact an experienced adoption attorney or other adoption professional, to be certain you are getting the correct answers to questions based on your particular circumstances. Once again, if you have any questions or want any additional information, feel free to call me.



Lirhus & Keckemet LLP
1200 5th Avenue, Suite 1550
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 728-5858
Albert G. Lirhus, Attorney at Law

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The information in this web site is all general information. The information is applicable only to the state of Washington, unless otherwise stated. This general information is not legal advice for your particular circumstances. If you have legal questions you should consult your lawyer.

Lirhus & Keckemet LLP
1200 5th Avenue, Suite 1550
Seattle, Washington 98101
Copyright 2010 by Lirhus & Keckemet LLP.