Private adoption, as defined by numerous State government human services organizations, refers to the process of securing custodial rights for children who are not wards of the State by virtue of being orphaned or some other unfortunate circumstances. More generally, private adoptions might be considered as those which do not involve the government or an official adoption agency.
Given these definitions, the name “private adoption” might be somewhat misleading. Realistically, there still might be a public dimension to private adoptions in that one-to-one contact between parties may be facilitated by classified ads and other communal notices.
Private adoption may occur between couples or parties that are unfamiliar with one another prior to any agreements made. Nonetheless, this is a definite risk for prospective parents. With adoptions between strangers, it is understandably difficult to know if the other party can be trusted.
Private adoptions may be subject to relatively little oversight compared to other methods of adoption. Nonetheless, even though attorneys might not be required, couples are advised to seek legal representation or at least put the terms of the adoption in writing. Private adoption, though it may begin as a wholly amicable operation, may easily become complicated by costs of things like medical care.