Private Adoption 101: Everything You Need to Know

You've made the decision to adopt -- but now what? From hiring a lawyer to finding a birth mom, here's what you need to know about the private adoption process (10 Photos)

Lambeth Hochwald on May 24, 2011 at 2:09PM

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How do I find a birth mother?

Peter Dazeley/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

a Lambeth Hochwald on May 3, 2011 at 12:54AM

Some prospective parents seek out birthmothers independently by networking, placing ads in newspapers and, more commonly these days, on the Internet. Others network with doctors and nurses at a local hospital, says Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute and the author of Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution is Transforming Our Families—and America.

Liz, an adoptive mom in New York, started by attending an Adoptive Parents Committee meeting and conference, after which she and her husband started telling everyone they knew that they were hoping to adopt a child. Ultimately, her brother, an ER doctor, helped. “He knew a nun who worked with the local immigrant community who promised she’d keep us in mind if a baby became available,” Liz says. “Soon after, we got a call that the nun had found an expectant mother who wanted to make an adoption plan for her baby. We had to make arrangements quickly, as she was due in months. In a whirl, we hired an adoption lawyer, got fingerprinted and got started with all the paperwork. We then visited the birth mother in another state, scheduled the required home visit and report from a social worker and arranged for the birth mother to stay near us. She arrived the week our son was born and we accompanied her to the hospital. We brought our son home three days later.”

Next Up: Wish We'd Known: 20 Things No One Told Us About Raising a Boy
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