Adoptive Parent FAQs

Nationally recognized for my expertise in adoption matters, I understand that the three most important qualities you need in your adoption attorney are experience, compassion, and trust.

At, what types of adoptions do you handle?

We handle all types of adoption situations at the Law Offices of Laurie B. Goldheim

  • Private domestic adoptions (aka independent adoptions)
  • Agency assisted adoptions and finalizations
  • Finalizations of international adoption placements
  • Disrupted/dissolved adoptions
  • Second parent adoptions
  • Step-parent and adult adoptions
  • Foster care adoption finalizations
  • Filing for Registration of a Foreign Birth Order
  • Re-adoptions of children brought into the United States

Clients include married couples, single men and women, and same-sex couples in New York and New Jersey. We also represent biological parents in New York and New Jersey (and work with colleagues nationwide to complete inter-state adoptions).

How do I find a birth mother who wants to place her child for adoption?

Our firm helps you develop a strategy including networking & marketing steps to locate an expectant mother anywhere in the United States who is considering an adoption plan. The networking plan typically includes on-line and social media advertising, as well as advertising in newspapers nationwide. We find these are all effective ways to locate birth mothers.

Our clients create a “parent profile”, an autobiographical booklet (produced both in print and digitally) showing their story in both words and pictures. We send this profile to expectant parents so they can learn more about you.

Once I locate a birth mother, how do I know it’s the right adoption situation for me?

Our firm assists you in gathering all of the available information to assess potential adoption situations. The prospective birth mother and birth father will be asked to provide family, social and health histories.

We request from the obstetrician:

  • pre-natal records
  • sonogram reports
  • test results (including drug, alcohol and HIV screens), and
  • available relevant information about the biological mother’s pregnancy and the health of the baby

During this information gathering stage, we estimate the financial obligations that may arise in connection with the anticipated adoption. In reviewing all of this information you’ll make a decision as to which situation is best for you.

What is open adoption and do you encourage it?

The term “open” in the adoption world is not universally defined – basically, it means communication. Many people assume that open adoption means birth parents know the full names and address of the adoptive parents and can visit throughout the child’s life. Open adoption may sometimes be defined in this way, but this is neither the only definition nor the typical interpretation of open adoption by our clients.

The majority of independent/private adoptions are open to a certain degree – this is what often appeals to all parties involved. In most private adoptions, you speak with birth parents on the phone, text, and email and often meet in person, either before or soon after the birth of the child. The birth mother provides you with information about her social and medical history and you share a comfortable level of information with the birth mother. In this style of open adoption, adoptive parents may maintain confidentiality but still have a connection/relationship with the birth parents.

Together, you determine the degree of openness post-birth with the birth parents. Some adoptive parents and birth parents have no contact after the custody of the child is transferred. Some adoptive parents agree to send pictures and updates of the child to the birth parents at scheduled intervals over time. Some birth parents and adoptive parents maintain contact for years. It’s sometimes a matter of compromise as to what degree of post-birth communication is acceptable to all parties. We do encourage open adoption at whatever level of communication you and the birth parents agree to as a group.

How long will it take to adopt a child?

Although there are no guarantees, the private adoption process, from the time our clients begin advertising until the time they take custody of their child, is approximately 9 months to 18 months.

Does your firm recommend that birth mothers receive counseling?

Our firm always encourages expectant mothers to have counseling. We firmly believe that birth mother counseling enables her to work through the emotions involved in placing her child for adoption and helps to ensure a successful outcome. The adoptive parents pay for the cost of counseling, if not covered by the birth mother’s insurance or Medicaid.

What is the average cost of a private domestic adoption?

The average cost of an adoption, excluding the costs for your home study, advertising, and travel expenses, ranges between $18,000 and $35,000. The cost varies depending on whether your birth mother has medical insurance, for example, and how much financial assistance, if any, she may require and the applicable law allows.

Law Offices of Laurie B. Goldheim

Adoption & Reproductive Law Attorney

As adoption and reproductive law attorneys, The Law Offices of Laurie B. Goldheim serve as a primary resource, counsel and partner to clients who seek to grow their families by contemporary means and methods, as recognized by the courts of New York and New Jersey.

Contact Us

Phone: 845-624-2727
Toll free line for birth parents: