There are several different types of adoptions, including international adoption, interstate adoption, agency adoption, step-parent adoption, adoption of children with special needs and independent adoption, which is adoption through an attorney. Each of these adoptions has different requirements, fees and legal procedures. Requirements and practices vary between independent and agency adoptions, and also between different agencies. Although each type of adoption differs significantly, a home study is required in all cases except step-parent adoption. Closed adoptions are those in which no communication occurs between the birth and adoptive parents during the adoption process. An open adoption usually indicates the birth and adoptive parents know each others' identities. Participants in open adoptions maintain different types of contact after the adoption is finished. Open adoptions sometimes include visitation rights for the birth parent or parents. An interstate adoption is one in which the adoptive couple resides in a different state than the birth parent or parents. In such cases, an agency or attorney must work through the Interstate Compact Office of both states to ensure the adoption laws do not conflict. Adoptions are also possible when the adoptive and birth parents reside in different countries. For more information about different types of adoptions, contact a qualified attorney or agency.