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Knowledgeable Adoption Attorney Guides LGBTQ+ and Other Couples Seeking Direct Placement Adoption in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area and Surrounding Areas of Maryland

In some adoption cases, the birth mother or birth parents and the prospective adoptive parent or parents find each other without having to go through an adoption agency. An adoption that occurs in this manner is known as a direct placement adoption. If you and your family are pursuing a direct placement adoption, you need seasoned legal counsel to protect and advocate for your rights and interest. Let a direct placement adoption attorney from Zavos Law help you to grow your family.

Reach out to direct placement adoption attorney Michele Zavos from Zavos Law to discuss your legal rights and options when you and your spouse or partner are considering growing your family through a direct placement adoption.

What Is the Difference Between Direct Placement and Agency Adoption?

When many people think of the adoption process, they picture an agency being involved in matching up birth parents and prospective adoptive parents. However, sometimes birth parents and prospective adoptive parents make contact directly with one another to facilitate the adoption. This is known as a direct placement adoption. In a direct placement adoption, there is no public or private agency that is providing support services to the birth parents or the prospective adoptive parents. However, in some direct placement arrangements, both parties may choose to later go together to a licensed adoption agency for support with the adoption process.

What Is Involved in a Direct Placement Adoption?

The process of a direct placement adoption can vary, depending on the age of the child being adopted. When a birth mother or birth parents choose to put their child up for adoption and locate prospective adoptive parents prior to the child’s birth, the first step may involve the parties formalizing an agreement under which the prospective adoptive parents pay for the birth mother’s medical and counseling expenses, as well as potentially her living expenses.

Even with a direct placement adoption, the prospective adoptive parents will need to undergo a home study conducted by a licensed social worker. The home study will assess whether the prospective adoptive parents are financially and physically capable of caring for a child, the reasons and motivations of the prospective adoptive parents for adopting, and the suitability and safety of the home for a child (including whether anyone living in the home has a criminal history).

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The adoption is formalized by filing a petition with the court. Both of the child’s biological or legal parents must consent to the adoption petition. If a parent refuses or fails to give consent or objects to the adoption, the court will need to hold a hearing to determine whether to involuntarily terminate that parent’s rights.

If the court grants the adoption petition, the adoptive parents will then need to obtain a new birth certificate for their child, as well as petition for a name change for their child, if they choose.

Contact a Direct Placement Adoption Attorney at Zavos Law to Discuss Your Options and to Learn How Skilled Legal Representation Can Help

If you and your family are working on adopting a child or children directly from their biological parent or parents, you should consult with an experienced direct placement adoption attorney to ensure that your rights and interests are protected and that the process proceeds as smoothly as possible. Contact Zavos Law to learn how Attorney Michele Zavos can help.

How Can a Direct Placement Adoption Attorney from Zavos Law Help You and Your Family?

If you choose to adopt through the direct placement process, it is critical that you work with a direct placement adoption attorney. Adoption is a significant legal process, but an experienced lawyer can help guide you through the steps. Attorney Michele Zavos at Zavos Law can assist you with the aspects of a direct placement adoption, such as:

  • Explaining the direct placement adoption process, including going over risks of direct placement adoption such as birth parents backing out of the adoption in the midst of the process or a birth father objecting to adoption.
  • Negotiating and drafting agreements between you and the birth mother/birth parents, such as agreements for covering medical or legal expenses.
  • Preparing and filing your petition for adoption.
  • Representing you in court during hearings, including advocating for your rights and interests if a birth parent objects to the adoption.
  • Assisting you with post-adoption matters, such as filing a name change petition for your child.


Why do I need an attorney for a direct placement adoption?
An attorney can assist you with the legal steps that are necessary to complete a direct placement adoption, including preparing your adoption petition, filing the petition with the court, and representing you during court hearings, and advocating on your behalf to have the court approve your petition. An attorney can also assist you and your family with other legal matters, such as drafting agreements to pay for the birth mother’s medical care or obtaining a name change for the child.
What are closed and open adoptions?
Closed and open adoptions refer to the type and amount of post-adoption contact between biological parents and the adopted child or children. A closed adoption means that biological parents have no contact whatsoever with the adopted child. However, in direct adoptions, biological parents and adoptive parents usually negotiate some level of post-adoption contact, unless contact would not be in the child’s best interest. Closed adoptions are rarer in domestic adoptions but are the norm in international adoptions due to the difficulty of maintaining contact across international borders.

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