Identified Adoption Explained

Picture of a baby's feet.

Adoption can be a wonderful way to start or grow your family, and there are many paths to welcoming your child. An identified adoption, which is a blend of independent and agency adoptions, can be appealing to military families. With this option, prospective parents have the freedom to conduct their own, independent search for a child. Once they locate a birth mother, the agency steps in to counsel the birth mother and adoptive parents. Some people like this option because it gives them some control over finding a child, but also provides the protection and support of an agency.

Getting involved


Military OneSource for an adoption specialty consultation.

With identified adoption, you can independently:

  • Advertise in newspapers or magazines
  • Scan newspapers for birth mothers' ads
  • Speak with parent groups to find out how others adopted
  • Pass out printed calling cards to acquaintances
  • Actively pursue promising leads
  • Make initial contact with the birth mother and learn more about her

Choosing an agency


more about how the Department of Defense's Adoption Reimbursement Program can help you cover the expense of adoption.

When considering the private agency you'd like to work with, take some time to:

  • Get recommendations from friends who have adopted.
  • Attend orientation meetings at several agencies.
  • Ask about the cost to parents and the range of services offered by the agency.
  • Call the department that licenses adoption agencies in your state and request a copy of adoption agency regulations.
  • Call your state's department of social, human or family services to see if any complaints have been filed about the agencies you are considering.

The important thing is to research your agency first to make sure you will have the support you need throughout your adoption journey. There are other adoption paths available to you as well. Explore more by reading Military OneSource's other articles about independent, agency, international and open adoptions.


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