Adoption: Bringing Children and Parents Together

Thinking about adoption for your child? Here are a few things to clarify how adoption works.
First, you can decide whether you want an agency to help you with the adoption process, or if you would rather do it yourself.

You may also decide how much contact you would like with the adoptive family and your child once the adoption is final.

Agency Adoption

In an agency adoption, the birth-parent(s) have the option of choosing the adoptive family or not. In an independent adoption, the birth-parent(s) almost always select the adoptive family.

Agency adoptions generally offer four types of adoptions, based on the amount of contact between the birth-parent(s) and the adoptive family.

The birth and adoptive parents meet
There is complete sharing of identifying information
There may be possible future contact


  • The birth and adoptive parents meet
  • No names nor addresses are exchanged


  • The birth-parents are active in selection of the adoptive family
  • The parents do not meet
  • No names nor addresses are exchanged


  • Agency staff select the adoptive parents from a studied and approved list of homes
  • Birth-parent(s) may or may not offer criteria preferences to be considered by agency staff

Independent Adoption:

  • Birth-parent(s) and adoptive parents often know each other’s names and addresses
  • Birth-parent(s) and adoptive parents may or may not meet
  • Contact may or may not be maintained after the placement
  • The adoptive family often helps with the birthing expenses
  • The adoptive family and their attorney coordinate various stages of adoption process


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