WANT TO ADOPT?
"Although I handle many different types of adoption, the main focus of my practice is newborn independent or private domestic adoption."
Domestic & Private Adoptions
Domestic adoptions involve placements of children born in the United States with U.S. families.
Private Adoptions (also known as Independent Adoptions)- are birth parent to adoptive parent, without an agency or intermediary responsible for overseeing the placement or taking custody of the child. In private adoption, the child is usually placed in the physical custody of the adoptive parents immediately after birth, rather than temporarily placed in interim care.
Anyone that meets the legal requirements can adopt independently, regardless of marital status, age, race, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. Agencies can decline to work with you for various reasons: your age, marital status, sexual orientation, race and/or religion, among others.
Adoptive parents match with a birthmother through private channels. I will explain the various ways to locate a child to adopt and guide you through the process. Together we will develop a nationwide marketing plan with the goal of matching with a birth mother who is considering adoption. When you connect with prospective birth parents, I obtain information surrounding their family and social histories as well as information regarding the health of the baby. All of this information helps you decide if the adoption situation is right for you. The baby’s hospital medical records will be obtained for you upon discharge of the baby from the hospital, so you may provide them to your pediatrician.
I will help the birth mother obtain legal representation and counseling and I will be in close contact with you and the birth mother’s attorney throughout the pregnancy to look for signs that the birth mother continues to be committed to the adoption. The adoption will be finalized in a court proceeding a few months after the birth of the child.
Should your baby be born outside of New York State, my office will obtain approval of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC). I am experienced in representing prospective adoptive parents and birth parents in private adoption cases that cross state lines.
What are the first steps?
The first step in the process when working with a lawyer who specializes in domestic adoptions, is becoming certified as a qualified parent. One of the steps in this process includes being interviewed for a home study. The home study is conducted by a licensed social worker and the report details the adoptive parents’ background and home, demonstrating the family’s fitness to become parents of a child. I handle the court proceeding that ensures you’re legally certified as an adoptive parent and authorized to take custody of and care for a child.
Open vs. closed?
It is important to know that there are no set definitions of “open” or “closed” adoptions. In my practice I have adoptions that range from extremely open to completely closed.
In general, in totally open adoptions birth parents and adoptive parents exchange identifying information and meet in person. These meetings may occur before the adoption and continue over the years.
In semi-open adoptions, most birth parents want to meet the adoptive parents (typically at the time of the birth) but are on a first name basis only. They may have updates and photos of the child at a set time each year, typically on birthdays. Updates and photos may be shared via email, texts, or a confidential website.
You may choose a closed adoption if you wish to remain anonymous, as long as the birth parents are comfortable with that. It is important to be honest with the birth parents as to the level of contact (if any) you would like to have in the future.
My goal is to minimize your financial and emotional risks in completing your adoption. I will help you make a plan that fits into your budget and will try to limit the cost of the adoption before your baby is placed with you. The costs of private adoption can vary based upon the circumstances of each situation.
Most private adoptions will involve the following expenses:
Attorney fee for adoptive family
Attorney fee for biological parent(s)
Social Worker fee for home study
Preparation of adoption profile (website and/or print)
In addition, some situations may involve:
Birthmother reasonable living expenses
Travel expenses if child born outside New York
Birthmother medical or counseling expenses
Although you can pay for the birth mother’s medical expenses, most birth mothers qualify for Medicaid and some have medical insurance. Your medical insurance will cover the baby from birth, but not the birth mother.