Helping America's Most Vulnerable

Agency vs. Private Adoption

Agency vs. Private Adoption

There are frequent discussions in the adoption community about whether to choose a licensed adoption agency or a private adoption arranged through an attorney or physician. Below we have comprised a list of differences between the two types of adoption processes. 

Adoption Agency

  • Licensed in the state in which it operates.
  • Licensing body regulates both professional and ethical standards.
  • Reviewed annually by a licensing body.
  • Professionally trained staff with expertise in child and family dynamics including social workers and attorneys.
  • Counseling and supportive services to birth parents, and extended birth families well as those of the adoptive family. These services are designed to inform all involved parties of their rights, options and safeguards available on an ongoing basis.
  • Thorough information and referral services provided.
  • Long histories and stable resources for record retention.
  • Home study for adoptive couples required.
  • If birth parents are underage, no parental consent is needed.

Private Adoption

  • No extensive case summaries available for future searches or reunions.
  • No licensing requirements.
  • Arranged through an attorney or physician.
  • By law, only two sessions of counseling required.
  • Home study not required--can be waived by a court of law.
  • Limited information and referral services.
  • Parental consent for adoption is required for minors.