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Is an independent adoption risk-free?

When you want to adopt, one route you may choose is to have an independent adoption. There are risks to this kind of adoption, but there are benefits as well.

For one thing, you probably already realize that an independent adoption is likely to cost more than an adoption through public systems. However, there's a higher likelihood that you can know your adopted child before birth and even take part in the child's birth. Some birth parents choose independent adoptions so that they can choose the adoptive parents and have those parents take the child home directly instead of placing the child into foster care.

With an independent adoption, it's common for adoptive parents to be present when the child is born. The adoptive parents may take care of the child while at the hospital as well. It's at this time that the birth parent can give the child up or choose not to do so; until birth, the adoption is unable to become binding.

That brings up an important risk of an independent adoption. Since the child may not yet be born, there is a risk that the mother could change her mind after giving birth. It may also be difficult to be chosen by a birth mother, since your information is sent out and women choose families based on what they learn about them.

According to one attorney familiar with the process, around half of birth mothers change their minds before the baby is placed. Another 20 percent change their minds before they give up their parental rights. Fortunately, once adoptions are completed, fewer than 1 percent are contested by birth parents.

An independent adoption isn't without risk, but it has many more benefits once you bring your child home. Your attorney can help you as you take this path toward growing your family.

Source: Babycenter, "Independent adoption: Risks, benefits, and how it works," Mark McDermott, accessed Jan. 11, 2018

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