Understanding the difference between private and public adoptions

| Apr 14, 2021 | Adoption |

There are many reasons why individuals decide to pursue adoption. They may do so because they haven’t yet found the right person to settle down and start a family with or are unable to have children on their own. Others pursue adoption because they want to make a positive impact on a child’s life. 

Whatever your reason, you may find it helpful to learn about the differences between a private and public adoption

How the children are placed for adoption

In private adoptions, the biological parent(s) often choose the family that their child ends up with as part of the private adoption process. Prospective adoptive parents will usually meet with the birth mother early on in her pregnancy, get to know one another and attend doctor’s appointments together. 

Public adoptions go through the foster care system. A child may end up in the state’s care because they removed them from their biological parent’s custody due to some level of criminal activity, neglect or a parent’s death. The state often tries to place children with extended family members. A child becomes part of the foster care system and available for public adoption if they can’t be placed with relatives.

The length of the adoption process itself

Pursuing a public adoption can be a time-consuming process because of the rules the foster care system has to follow. Public adoptions can also take longer than private adoptions because the state often has home study requirements and adoption preparation classes that they require you to complete before moving forward in this process. They generally also require prospective adoptive parents to commit to a six-month trial run to ensure that they can adequately raise a child before allowing the adoption to move forward. 

There are little to no wait periods as part of the private adoption process, which makes it a much quicker route for the adoptive parents.

The costs associated with the adoption

The state subsidizes most of the costs associated with the public adoption process. 

Prospective adoptive parents may come up with different payment arrangements but often cover expenses such as travel and medical or legal costs for the duration of the birth mother’s pregnancy. Essentially, private adoptions offer a lot of advantages, but there is more cost. 

If you’re ready to learn more about the private adoption process, it may be time to meet with an attorney.