In an independent adoption, the expectant parents and adoptive parents locate each other outside of Adoptions of Wisconsin (AOW).  Examples of an independent adoption include:

  • Meeting an expectant parent through a friend or family member
  • Meeting an expectant parent through another agency

Wisconsin is an agency state which means that a licensed Wisconsin adoption agency must be involved to provide the legally required services such as:

  • A home study for prospective adoptive families in Wisconsin
  • Expectant parent counseling and services
  • Adoptive parent counseling and services
  • Guardianship of the child after termination of parental rights
  • Post placement services



  • What is a home study?
  • Can I use an adoption facilitator?
  • How many post placement visits will I need?


The goal of a home study is to help Adoptions of Wisconsin locate loving, caring homes, and facilitate positive match relationships between prospective adoptive parents and expectant parents.  A home study is required by state law and covers subjects such as family history, health, employment history, background checks and placement considerations.  During your home study your social worker will assist and support you in exploring the issues you need to consider regarding adoption.

All required paperwork and background checks must be complete and returned to Adoptions of Wisconsin prior to the commencement of the home study. Typically, a home study consists of a minimum of three visits with your social worker. If you live within a two hour radius of Madison all three visits will be in your home. If you live two hours outside of Madison, at least two visits will be in your home and the third will be in our office.  The social worker is not looking for perfection; she is looking to see that your home is a comfortable, safe and healthy environment for the child. If your social worker notices something of concern and feels the situation can be remedied, you will be made aware and given time to make the necessary changes or adjustments.


Facilitators are not licensed adoption agencies.  They are not regulated nor do they have rules or guidelines they must follow.  Unfortunately, the internet has allowed them to proliferate and many portray themselves as adoption agencies.  You must work with a licensed Wisconsin adoption agency if you or the expectant parent are a resident of Wisconsin.  For more information, see



The number of post placement visits and length of post-placement contact is set by the state the child was born in.  In Wisconsin, six post placement visits are required.  Four of the visits will be in your home and two at our offices.  The first visit will happen within the first 30 days of placement.  If the adoption is born in another state and placed with a Wisconsin family, Adoptions of Wisconsin still has to follow Wisconsin law and conduct an in person post placement visit every month until finalization.