Private adoption usually refers to private agency adoption, although it may sometimes be used to describe an independent adoption. Private adoption almost exclusively deals with infant adoption.
Private agencies are state-licensed and will be able to offer a couple every adoptive service they may need, from placement, counseling, home studies and an attorney. Private adoption is far more expensive than those handled with a public agency, through the state. Private agency fees range anywhere between $2,500 to over $30,000. If a couple is pinching pennies, a private adoption may not be the best option available to them. If the couple has their heart set on an infant, they may consider special interest and nonprofit private agencies, such as those with religious affiliations, as low-cost private agency alternatives. Public agencies may have young children available for adoption, however, many of these children guaranteed to have special needs.
Independent adoption, which is technically private, does not initially and may never work with an agency. Independent adoptions have an attorney and/or facilitator that work in lieu of an agency. A couple may search for a birth mother in classifieds or by advertising their own parent profile. They will then negotiate with a birth mother through an attorney and independently take care of all adoption services offered by an agency. A majority of birth mothers actually prefer independent adoption to agencies.