At his law firm, adoption attorney Kevin Kenney works with both clients who choose the assistance of an adoption agency and those who choose to complete a private adoption without an agency. Whichever path you choose as you pursue your adoption in Kansas City, Kevin can help.
Adoption with an agency and adoption without an agency can both successfully bring a child into a family. Which one you choose will depend on your personal preferences, the amount of responsibility you wish to take on and exactly which kind of adoption process you choose to pursue.
Keep reading to learn more about the difference between agency adoption and independent adoption, to help you decide what’s right for you. As always, you can speak to Kevin about your adoption options anytime at 913-671-8008.
Independent Adoption vs. Agency Adoption
When deciding between a private adoption and an agency-assisted adoption, it’s important to understand exactly what’s involved in each process. While both processes usually take the same path toward adopting a baby, the major difference is the number of professionals involved along the way.
A domestic private adoption, sometimes also called an independent adoption, private adoption or adoption without an agency, is an adoption in which a prospective adoptive family and a prospective birth mother find each other on their own. From there, they choose to only work with an adoption attorney for the rest of their adoption process, managing the other details (like counseling and pre- and post-placement contact) themselves.
An agency-assisted adoption, on the other hand, is an adoption in which a match between an adoptive family and prospective birth mother is made by an adoption agency. The adoption agency will work with them throughout their adoption process, managing communication, expenses, counseling and other services. An adoption attorney will still be necessary in this adoption process to complete legal steps.
When deciding between the two options, consider these major differences:
Finding a Match
One of the biggest reasons that prospective adoptive families choose to work with an adoption agency is because of the assistance in finding an adoption opportunity. Adoption agencies typically screen prospective birth mothers to determine whether they are serious about their adoption plan, putting the adoptive families less at risk after a match.
Those who are looking to adopt privately, however, must determine how to find a baby to adopt without an agency’s assistance. This can be a tricky situation, and finding an adoption opportunity online or through a similar method comes with risks that an adoption agency reduces. Those who choose an independent adoption in Kansas City often already have found a match, often through a friend or family member.
Sometimes, a prospective adoptive family chooses to pursue an independent adoption because of what they think are lower private adoption costs. While independent adoption does not require agency fees like an agency adoption does, it may not always be cheaper to complete this kind of adoption.
With an independent adoption, you will always need the services of an experienced adoption attorney like Kevin Kenney. Prospective adoptive parents will also need to pay for a home study provider, the birth mother’s living expenses (depending on state law) and any counseling services that a prospective birth mother may need. These costs can add up and, in some cases, may exceed the cost of agency fees.
Those who choose an agency adoption will have to pay agency fees, which can be more expensive outright than a private independent adoption. But, many adoption agencies include extensive services within these fees and, depending on which agency you choose, may include home studies, counseling and case management in exchange for a flat fee. Sometimes, these agency costs will be cheaper than the cost of private adoption.
How the Process Works
One of the biggest differences between independent adoption and agency adoption in Kansas City is the responsibility of the prospective parents to complete certain parts of the process.
In an independent adoption, prospective parents do not have the assistance of an adoption agency for services like counseling, contact mediation and more. Those who choose the private adoption process, therefore, are comfortable with having an intimate relationship with the prospective birth mother and are prepared to take on those additional responsibilities on their own or by hiring additional professionals.
Those who choose an agency adoption in Kansas City, however, are typically provided assistance and case management from trained social workers through every step of their adoption process. An agency adoption is usually the best choice for those who are unfamiliar with the adoption process, want case management services or want to have a semi-open adoption with their prospective birth mother.
Why You Need a Lawyer Whichever Process You Choose
While using an adoption agency for your Kansas City adoption is optional, the assistance of an experienced adoption attorney is not. Adoption can be a legally complicated process, and it requires the guidance of an adoption attorney to ensure that the rights of both prospective adoptive parents and prospective birth parents are protected throughout. Even those who choose a private adoption without an agency cannot complete their adoption without an adoption attorney.
Attorney Kevin Kenney can always provide the legal guidance you need to complete your adoption in Kansas City, whether it’s independent or agency-assisted. As your agency-assisted or private adoption attorney, he will provide education about the adoption process, as well as:
- Filing of your adoption petition
- Obtaining necessary court orders
- Terminating parental rights and obtaining consents
- ICPC processes
- Finalizing your adoption in court
- Obtaining a new birth certificate and social security number
If you need additional adoption services, like the assistance of an adoption agency or a home study provider, Kevin will also refer you to trusted professionals that he commonly works with. If you are already working with an adoption agency, you can still contact him to learn more about his legal services.
For more information about completing your private or agency-assisted adoption in Kansas City, please call Kevin at 913-671-8008 to schedule your free consultation.