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Adoption Q&A #2

Is it Necessary to Engage a Licensed Child Welfare Agency in a Private Adoption?

Yes. In a private--also called independent--adoption, a caseworker from a licensed child welfare agency will need to meet with the birth mother and prepare two reports for the court in advance of the termination of parental rights hearing. The adoptive parents will also need a home study completed by an agency. If now relatives, the agency will need to license them as Wisconsin foster parents before they are eligible to take placement of the child in a private placement.

A private adoption simply means that the adopting parents and the birth mother or birth parents decide together to form an adoption plan. It allows a birth parent to select an adopting parent or parents and guarantee that placement will be approved with the selected couple before parental rights are terminated. Birth parents and adoptive couples frequently become aware of one another by word of mouth through friends, family members and co-employees. Not infrequently newspaper ads or the internet are used to connect birth parents and adoptive parents.

In Wisconsin, those providing connections are not allowed to receive a fee unless they are licensed child welfare agencies. The rules for private adoption vary from state to state.


Grady, Hayes & Neary, LLC
N14W23777 Stone Ridge Drive Suite 200
Waukesha, WI 53188
Phone Number:(262) 347-2001