Many hopeful parents dream of meeting their child for the first time as an infant. They imagine holding their newborn baby in the hospital, decorating a nursery, and raising their child from birth. These dreams lead many unmarried individuals, same-sex couples, and couples struggling with infertility to the same conclusion: I want to adopt a baby.
If you are interested in adopting an infant in Georgia or North Carolina, private adoption may be the best choice for you. Here, learn how to adopt a child privately with Claiborne|Fox|Bradley.
What is private adoption?
In private adoption, a birth mother voluntarily places her baby for adoption with the family of her choice. Although some birth mothers make an adoption plan for their toddlers or older children, infant adoption often allows hopeful parents to develop a strong relationship with the birth mother during her pregnancy and to adopt a newborn at birth.
There are two types of private baby adoption: agency and independent adoption. The type of private adoption you choose will depend largely on the professional you want to work with and the services you need.
Some prospective adoptive parents find a match with expectant birth parents through their own networking or referrals from friends and family. If this describes your circumstances, an adoption attorney may be the only professional you need to safely and legally adopt a child.
If you choose independent adoption, Claiborne|Fox|Bradley will be your primary adoption professional, providing all of the services you will need to adopt an infant: advising you during the matching process, obtaining the necessary consents, coordinating the ICPC process and legally finalizing the adoption.
Private Agency Adoption
Other prospective adoptive parents engage a licensed agency to match them with expectant birth parents. In these agency adoptions, Claiborne|Fox|Bradley can advise you with respect to the agency contracts and assist in the assessment of prospective adoption matches. Once the child is born and placed with you, we will provide the legal services you need to finalize your adoption in Georgia or North Carolina.
How do you adopt a baby in Georgia or North Carolina?
Adopting a baby is an exciting way to add to your family, but the private infant adoption process can seem overwhelming at first. Claiborne|Fox|Bradley can work with you through each step of the process, including:
- Completing the adoption home study: Before adopting a baby in North Carolina or Georgia, hopeful parents must be approved to adopt with an adoption home study. If you have not already completed the home study process, we can advise you about legal home study requirements and refer you to a trusted home study provider.
- Finding an adoption opportunity: If you have not already found a prospective birth mother to adopt from, we can advise you on preparing a profile and spreading the word of your adoption while staying in compliance with state adoption advertising laws. If you would like to use an agency’s matching services, we can also refer you to a licensed child-placing agency to complete the matching process.
- Receiving the adoption placement: When the baby is born, you will likely have an opportunity to meet him or her in the hospital. Claiborne|Fox|Bradley can advise you on your rights and role during the birth mother’s hospital stay. We will also work with the expectant mother and her attorney to obtain her legal consent to the adoption.
- Finalizing the adoption: Following placement, we will provide all of the legal services you need to safely finalize the adoption, including: terminating the parental rights of an unknown or uninvolved birth father, providing legal representation in the case of a contested adoption, ensuring compliance with all state and federal adoption laws, filing the adoption petition with the court and following Georgia or North Carolina finalization procedures.
- Negotiating a post-placement contact agreement: Today’s adoptions rarely end with finalization. Instead, you will likely stay in touch with your child’s birth parents for years to come through an open or semi-open adoption. The attorneys at Claiborne|Fox|Bradley can work with you, the birth mother and her attorney to draft and negotiate a post-adoption contact agreement, which will outline a plan for future contact with your baby’s birth family.
Whether you are interested in adopting an infant in Atlanta, Savannah, Charlotte, or anywhere else in Georgia or North Carolina, we can provide the local legal expertise you need to safely complete the private child adoption process. In addition, we can refer you to other top adoption professionals for any additional assistance you may need to adopt a baby.
To learn more about how to adopt a baby in Georgia or North Carolina, or to discuss our newborn adoption services, please contact Claiborne|Fox|Bradley to schedule a consultation.