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Choosing adoption for a baby is one of the most difficult decisions any expectant mother can make. It’s a choice made out of unselfish love, because you know that the best chance for your baby to have a life of opportunity is with a loving, adoptive family. And you want to find the perfect family.

It makes sense, then, that you would want to find this family on your own. You know what you are looking for, and you know what is best for your baby. You may know someone personally — a friend or family member — who you would like to adopt your baby. Or, you may have a friend of a friend in your larger community who is looking to adopt.

Whatever the case, this is called “identified adoption,” or “independent adoption.” While there are many different types of identified adoption, its simplest meaning is that an expectant mother and adoptive family find each other without the help of an adoption professional. This type of adoption is less common than an adoption completed with a matching service, but it is a viable option for you. Some states do not allow identified adoption, but Iowa does.

If you are interested in an identified adoption in Iowa, know that attorney Ken Nelson will always be here to provide the legal guidance you need after finding your perfect adoption match.

How Identified Adoption Works

There are similarities and differences between identified adoption and agency-assisted adoption. The identified adoption process follows a slightly different series of steps:

  • A potential birth mother and adoptive family will find each other without the assistance of an adoption professional.
  • The parties involved will create an adoption plan.
  • An adoption home study may or may not be necessary, although it is recommended.
  • An adoption attorney will write up the legal paperwork.
  • Placement will occur at the hospital.
  • Post-placement visits and an adoption finalization hearing will be arranged by an adoption attorney.

One of the primary differences you will notice is the lack of complete professional support. When you work with an adoption professional, it is that professional’s responsibility to assist you at every step of the adoption process. In an identified adoption, there will be more responsibility on your shoulders to ensure the adoption is completed in an ethical, legal way.

However, you can still call upon an adoption professional, like attorney Ken Nelson, to help you with some of the requirements of an identified adoption. In fact, you will have to find an adoption attorney to legally complete the adoption.

Things to Consider About Identified Adoption

Unlike working with a professional for your adoption, completing an identified adoption leaves a lot more responsibility with you. You’ll need to be on top of all the requirements at each step to ensure that the adoption is completed correctly. Anyone considering identified adoption needs to take this into account, along with several other questions.

Are you prepared to maintain healthy boundaries?

The personal relationship you have with the identified adoptive family can be one of the biggest reasons you would choose identified adoption, but it can also be one of the most difficult challenges post-placement. For the sake of the child, healthy boundaries need to be maintained as they form attachment to their new family and learn who their primary caretakers are. This is more difficult in a situation where the adoptive parents are your friends or family members. Are you prepared to create and respect healthy boundaries?

What are your expectations for an open adoption relationship?

Similarly, arranging a communication plan for open adoption can seem to be much simpler when there is already a connection between the prospective birth mother and adoptive parents. However, the personal nature of the connection can be a bit of a catch-22: It makes the communication plan easier to put together, but it also makes it easier to ignore. Once an agreed-upon open adoption plan has been put in place, are you prepared to follow it, even when it feels like it’s not always necessary?

Are you ready for your relationship to change?

If you are thinking of friends or family members to adopt your baby, your relationship with those people will undoubtedly change. There will be new, complicated dynamics involved. If you can successfully navigate these changes, it can be a wonderful development. However, it can also be a source of tension. This is something to consider and talk about with all the people involved before choosing identified adoption.

How an Adoption Attorney Will Help Complete Your Identified Adoption

Even though an identified adoption is handled much more independently than a traditional agency-assisted adoption, an adoption attorney is still a necessary professional to work with in order to complete your adoption. An attorney can help both parties set up an adoption home study, create an adoption plan, terminate parental rights and finalize the adoption in court.

If you would like to learn more about we can guide you through the legal process of your identified adoption, you can contact attorney Ken Nelson and the Nelson Law Firm today.

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