If you’d like to expand your family through the wonderful gift of adoption, there are different types of adoption to consider. There are two main agency options for hopeful adoptive parents to grow their families. The first is through a public agency adoption, which is also known as fostering to adopt. The second is through a private agency adoption, also known as an independent voluntary placement. There are a lot of similarities between the two types of processes, but there are also a lot of differences. Here we will explore the differences between them.


Public Adoption Agency

A public agency adoption is usually considered a foster care adoption. The ultimate goal of foster care is to return children to their biological families. However, there are cases in which a child is removed from a home, and the situation remains unresolved. In these instances, a public adoption agency moves forward to initiate court proceedings to terminate the parents’ legal rights. There are many children in foster care who are currently awaiting permanent placement with a forever family through adoption. Public adoptions usually involve children whose ages vary amongst a wide range. Sometimes, these children have additional needs on which prospective adoptive parents will need to be educated and trained. Oftentimes these children are part of a sibling group who need to be adopted together. Adoptive parents usually have little to no contact with the biological parents, and the public adoption agency handles most of the correspondence throughout the adoption process. The public adoption process is also typically less expensive because the state is allowed to fund many of the expenses.


Private Adoption Agency

A private agency adoption is sometimes referred to as an independent adoption and is one of the most common types of adoption in the United States, specifically with infant adoptions. Private adoption agencies are linked to an attorney who advises prospective adoptive parents throughout the adoption process. Prospective adoptive parents who choose private adoption are more active in their search for a child and finding a birth mother. There is usually more contact between adoptive and biological parents in private adoptions, and many of these include open adoptions. The birth parents usually voluntarily place their child for adoption and work with the attorney assigned from the private adoption agency. Private adoptions are typically more expensive, and adoptive parents are usually solely responsible for all fees.


If you are looking at adoption to grow your family, look into both of these types of adoption. Both types of agencies will assist you in welcoming a precious child into your family! Consider what is best for your family, and move forward knowing that no matter what type of agency or adoption you pursue, a child awaits the love that you have to offer!



Heather Mitchell courageously became a birth mother in 2014. She is inspired to personally share how open adoption has incredibly impacted her life. She shatters the common misconceptions about birth mothers and desires to provide a beautiful and unique point of view. Heather enjoys her grind as an administrative specialist for a millwork company in Wisconsin. While dedicated to her profession, Heather believes her most important job in life is motherhood. Her three children keep her busy, yet extremely overjoyed and purposeful. Her free time is spent reading, writing, or admiring the view of Lake Michigan, which can be seen from her front porch.