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What's the difference between private and public adoption?

Knoxville parents like you who are looking into adopting a child will need to know the difference between public and private adoptions. Depending on your specific needs or beliefs, one may suit you and your family better than the other.

The Spruce highlights the basic differences between public and private adoption agencies. Private adoption agencies are run either on foundation grants, or use the money that adopting families pay for services. Generally speaking, children of private adoption agencies are newborns or otherwise very young, though the age range can extend up to 17 years. These organizations can potentially be for-profit. However, plenty are non-profit as well. In this option, the birth parent gives control of your adopted child to you directly, facilitated by the agency.

Public agency adoptions get federal, state and local funding instead. The children who end up there have either been given up for adoption or forcibly removed from a situation of negligence or abuse. These children range from newborn to 17 as well, though the ages are more varied. The agency will often attempt to reunite the children with their birth parents or other family. Failing that, the next goal is adoption, which may be organized through foster care. Foster families are asked if they want to adopt the child. If they decline, the child will be placed into a new foster family.

Both of these methods have their own respective benefits and possible downsides. Doing research is the best way to determine which of the two is best for you, and which you feel more comfortable with.

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