When comparing adoption agencies, attorneys, consultants, & facilitators, it is important to understand their differences, pros and cons before choosing an adoption professional.
An adoption agency is a licensed business that places children in adoptive homes. They are staffed by trained professionals and are regulated by the state. Adoption agencies often provide an extensive range of services pre and post placement including preparing adoption home studies, matching adoptive families with expectant mothers, and providing counseling and support for birth mothers. Many agencies also provide counseling for adoptees and adoptive parents. Be sure to ask the adoption agency you choose for an outlined list of services they provide.
Adoption attorneys are experts in adoption law. They represent private and independent adoption cases. An adoption attorney files the adoption paperwork, oversees the adoption case, and finalizes the child placement process. Adoption attorneys handle the legal process, but do not generally locate birth parents for clients. Some may assist by placing ads online, in newspapers, and within social groups for their clients that are hoping to adopt.
Adoptive parents with high and flexible budgets often desire the swiftest form of adoption to expand their family by hiring an adoption facilitator. Adoption facilitators connect hopeful adoptive parents with expectant mothers considering adoption and serve as an intermediary between both parties. Depending on the state, you will discover that many adoption facilitators are not licensed—and some states have laws against the use of adoption facilitators. Facilitators offer minimal to no support other than matching an expectant mother and an adoptive family. Once an expectant mother selects a family, the adoption facilitator refers them to a licensed adoption professional to finish the adoption process.
Adoption Consultants educate clients and assist them through the adoption process. They generally work with a number of agencies and attorneys and refer clients to them. They also give advice and feedback on creating adoption profiles. Adoption Consultants act as unbiased partners, and with their experience in the field can review adoption opportunities and discuss possible risks with clients. They also offer emotional support as well as answer questions and guide clients through the uncertainty of the process.