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Attorney James M. Greenberg with family wearing masksDomestic Private Placement Adoption

Domestic adoption, or private placement adoption, is a process that takes place exclusively in the United States when a birth mother or birth parent(s) places a child directly with the adoptive parent(s). The key aspect of private placement adoption is that the connection occurs without the assistance or interaction of an adoption agency.

The birth parents and adoptive parents typically have found each other through some sort of advertising medium including:

  • Print media

  • Social networking

  • Business cards

  • The internet

  • Good old-fashioned word of mouth by family and friends

Once found, the two parties determine if they are right for one another and make an adoption plan together.

Before the search begins for the adoptive family, legal steps must be taken. These legal procedures are crucial to the adoption process. In addition, families must know where and if they are permitted to advertise in any given state, sometimes referred to as the sending state. All of these points are aspects of the law that adoptive parents need to fully understand and discuss with a knowledgeable New York adoption attorney.

The initial contact between the adoptive parent and birth parent is the time for information to be exchanged so that all involved parties can make an informed decision. Caution, confidentiality, and common sense are necessary characteristics to display during the contact stage between the birth parents and adoptive parents. With the support, assistance, and advice that our New York adoption attorneys can provide, all parties can feel more comfortable about moving forward, or perhaps not moving forward, with an adoption plan together.



The Adoption Process

Giving Notice

Prior to starting the formal adoption process, you are first legally required to inform anyone entitled to information surrounding the proposed adoption. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • Legal guardians

  • Parents

  • Any person who has filed an acknowledgment of paternity

  • Any person who has voiced their intent to declare paternity

  • Any person who was married to the birth mother within six months of the child’s birth

Only once notices have been given, required consents have been received, and the adoption application is complete can you begin your domestic adoption process.

Home Study

In order to certify that you are equipped for temporary custody of the child, the New York court tasked with your case will send a licensed social worker to conduct a home study. He or she will investigate your home and interview any potential adoptive parent(s). If you are found to be capable of caring for and supporting the child, the court will approve you as an adoptive parent(s) for up to 18 months. These pre-certification steps are not required in cases where the child is already living with the potential adoptive parents, i.e. stepparent or international adoptions.

Filing a Petition

Once you have been certified and caring for the child for the designated amount of time, you may file a petition for adoption. New York law requires that either the child’s biological parents consent to the adoption or that court has legally terminated their parental rights.

Convenient Consultation Appointments

To start your domestic adoption journey, call us today to schedule an appointment with our team. We provide experienced and compassionate counsel to families in both New York and New Jersey.

If your schedule will only permit a consultation in the evening, we're happy to schedule that with you. Please note that all evening appointments must be scheduled one week in advance and the consultation will cover the basics of private placement-parent initiated domestic adoption, and explanation of the current state of inter-country adoption and any other related matters and questions answered. Contact us to discuss scheduling and fees.


Domestic private placement adoption requires legal counsel that possesses the expertise and experience needed to facilitate the process and ensure that it runs smoothly. From the beginning legal steps of certification to the finalization of adoption, Greenberg & Greenberg will be with you every step of the way. Contact our New York firm today.