To initiate an independent adoption, you must first locate a birth mother interested in relinquishing her child. In the states where it is legal, advertising in the classified section of local newspapers has proven to be a successful method for bringing birth parents and adoptive parents together. You can advertise on your own or use a national adoption advertising consultant. Another way to locate a birth mother is to send an introductory letter, photo, and resume describing your family life, home, jobs, hobbies, and interests to crisis pregnancy centers, obstetricians, and all of your friends and colleagues who might possibly lead you to the right person. Some families have even advertised on the Internet.
Simply locating a birth mother is only the first step. You also need to know about the birth father. States have recognized the rights of birth fathers to be involved in decisions about their children, including adoptions. Many states have established registries (putative father registries) as a way for birth fathers to register their intention to support and be involved in their child's life. Several high-profile lawsuits have involved contested adoptions where birth fathers were not notified of, and subsequently objected to the adoptive placement of the child.