An adoption placement is when an adoptive parent and adoptable child are matched and begin the process of finalizing the adoption. Before a placement can occur, an adoptive parent or parents will need to pass a home study and have registered with an agency, attorney or facilitator to make his or her desire to adopt known. After adoptive parents create profiles with their agency or attorney, they just have to wait for the placement to be made.
More often than not, the adoptive parents will not have a say in the placement process. This usually won't bother them, as it's likely they've been waiting for the phone call telling them a child or birth mother is waiting to meet them.
If a couple is hoping to adopt an infant, adoption placement may involve an interview process between them and a birth mother. This would be in a semi-open or open adoption, in which the future birth mother plays a larger role in the placement process.
In public adoptions, adoptable children are coming from foster homes or institutions. The placement of these children rely on the case worker's judgment.
In international adoptions, the placement of a child is at the discretion of the orphanage. In some countries, like China, the adopter will receive a photo of the child placed with them right before meeting him or her at the orphanage. Sometimes, there will be additional photos in the adoption packet in hopes that the adopter will adopt more than one child on the trip.