There are several different types of adoptions:
Public: Children in the public child welfare system are placed in permanent homes by public, government-operated agencies or by contracted private agencies.
Private agency: Children are placed in nonrelatives' homes through the services of a licensed (nonprofit or for-profit) agency.
Independent: Children are placed in relatives' or nonrelatives' homes directly by the birth parents or through the services of either a medical doctor, a member of the clergy, an attorney, or a licensed or unlicensed facilitator. (Independent adoption is illegal in some states.)
Kinship: Children are placed in relatives' homes, with or without the services of a public agency.
Stepparent: Children are adopted by the spouse of one birth parent.
Source: National Adoption Information Clearinghouse
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