Why You Should Use a Licensed Adoption Agency

Why should you choose a licensed agency instead of an attorney or an out of state facilitator when it comes to adoption services? Read the facts and decide for yourself.

If you’ve been considering adoption you might be wondering where to even begin. Many things should be taken into consideration regardless of whether you are pregnant woman choosing adoption or someone considering building your family through adoption. The most important thing to consider is the well being of the child involved, but you should also know the facts about what you’re getting with your adoption services—Counseling and support, ethics, legalities, safety, confidentiality, long-term effects more.

Here’s what you need to know when it comes to deciding how you want to pursue adoption:

Licensed Agency

  • Provides pregnant women information about her choices and her long-term emotional and legal aspects should she choose adoption for her baby.
  • Both the expectant woman and the father can have their own attorneys to represent their rights when working with a licensed agency. Costs of legal representation are paid by the agency or adoptive parents.
  • Most licensed agencies offer birth mothers counseling both before and after the baby’s birth and placement.
  • Most agencies can provide birth parents to others who have been through a similar situation, for ongoing support and guidance.
  • Birth parents are provided with an enforceable after-adoption contact agreement if their state law allows it.
  • A team of staff members can assist in managing updates and visits between birth parents and adoptive families where legally enforceable. They are also available to mediate and problems.
  • Birth parents can be reassured that licensed agencies can only place a baby with families who have been formally approved to adopt with the state’s law and regulations. Adoptive families are cleared through a home study evaluation at the beginning of the adoption process.
  • Even though each state varies as far as which expenses can be paid to a birth mother, medical expenses can almost always be paid.
  • Lifetime support and counseling is available for birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees with most licensed agencies.
  • Licensed agencies are staffed with professionals, social workers, counselors, attorneys and other knowledgeable adoption experts.
  • Provides a safe, secure, and neutral location for Records of the adoption, as well as social and medical information.

Attorney Assisted

  • Attorneys focus on the legal aspects of adoption, if the birth parents or adoptive parents need counseling or support, attorneys should refer them to a social worker or an agency that can offer these services.
  • In some states expectant mothers can waive their own rights to their own attorney. Most attorneys would recommend they be legally represented. Generally, the cost of legal representation is passed on to the adoptive parents.
  • Adoption attorneys can help arrange counseling, however most are not qualified to give counseling themselves. In some states, counseling is required by law prior to a legal adoption.
  • Attorneys usually rely on the birth parents and adoptive parents communicating directly with one another.
  • In some states, adoptive families do not need an approved home study until they finalize their adoption. For the safety of the child, however, attorneys should request families to complete a home study well before placement.
  • Can advise clients about what is legal for them to receive in regard to medical and pregnancy expenses depending on state laws.
  • Ethical attorneys would make sure the birth mother receives on-going support and counseling if requested.
  • Many will continue to update medical information if requested, but records can also be transferred to an agency or another firm in need be.

Out of State Facilitators

  • Are not service providers.  Their services do not include counseling to expectant mothers. They would need to refer the expectant mothers to counseling if asked.
  • Do not perform legal work. They would rely on an attorney to ensure compliance with state laws.
  • Since facilitators don’t perform services related to the long-term management of the adoption, they would not normally staff ongoing contact.
  • Post families for matching that have not been approved with a home study by an independent agency or social worker. Families cannot accept a placement or return home without the home study being completed.
  • Match birth mothers with adoptive families who can pay expenses in states that allow it.
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