DD1 was a true Independent adoption and DD2 was considered Independent but we matched through a facilitator.
I could write a novel on this subject... but here are my thoughts before I go deal with diapers.....
Independent adoptions can be much less expensive. It's hard to network though. There are situations that aren't clouded w/the industry. For example, DD1's birth family was going to do a safe surrender at a fire house but the doc stepped in and asked that they consider a private adoption so they had some control. They had no idea that was even an option so when I spoke with DD1's birth grandpa, he was concerned that they'd have to PAY US! He figured the burden of the adoption and lawyers would fall to him. Needless to say, we helped him learn more about the process. The cost of this adoption was ridiculously low (if we don't count the very expensive failures prior to this match).
My point is there are women that aren't savvy when it comes to modern adoption and this ends up being their choice. It worked well for us and the birth family.
While DD2 is also independent, we used a facilitator that helped us find situations. I really like facilitators and consultants... but there's a financial risk involved. You must become savvy at learning the system. For instance, you don't want to use a facilitator that matches you with a situation that involves a high priced agency or you'll end up spending $40-50K. Instead I like facilitators that connect with law offices. These tend to be better situations.
Lastly, I had a friend that matched twice through independent w/o a facilitator. She worked her bum off sending letters to all the OB offices around the country and to hospitals. She spent several thousand dollars doing so but in the end, she matched twice (and she connected with our birth mom for DD1 as well as another birthmom that she directed to a family). This is hard work but she really believes it is a good way to make the connections that are needed.
Go_Dawgs:I highly recommend a consultation with an adoption attorney before networking to find your own birth mother. Many states have strict laws regarding what can and cannot be done by potential adoptive parents to network and find a birth mother, and what is fine in one state could be a criminal offense in another. It's important to understand what you can and cannot do to network so you don't end up getting into legal trouble or jeopardizing your adoption.
We considered independent, but the networking laws in our state are pretty heavy handed. I'm willing to do the hustle, but not if most of the channels are blocked, kwim? We briefly considered a facilitator in another state, but the costs of the agency we ended up using were much lower, plus less time/cost with travel compared to the out of state facilitator.
We had a private adoption- we found our birth mother and brought her to our attorney (and hers).
Id strongly agree with Silliest- it has pros and cons- our birth family didn't quite get how adoption worked and it took some educating. Also since we freely communicated we still hear from them asking for us to help support BM almost one year out.
Pros and cons