If you are considering adoption or currently navigating the adoption process, it’s likely you have come across various types of adoption service providers and may be wondering what role they play in the adoption process. Learn more about the important part different professionals play in the adoption process, and what adoption service providers actually do to facilitate the adoption process.
Who are adoption service providers?
Adoption service providers are professionals who handle various aspects of the adoption process, such as conducting the adoption home study, connecting prospective birthmothers with adoptive families, managing the legal process, and more. Adoption service providers that help families and birth parents with the adoption process include adoption agencies, attorneys, social workers, counselors, and marketing professionals.
Every adoption professional’s purpose is to use their expertise and specialized industry knowledge to help prospective adoptive parents and birthmothers successfully navigate the adoption process and reach their personal goals.
How much support do I need from adoption professionals?
The amount of support you need from adoption professionals depends on the adoption service provider that you work with. If you are working with a full-service adoption agency, you will receive extensive hands-on support through the entire process. With a full-service agency, usually most or all services are offered in-house, such as counseling, legal advice, marketing, the home study, and post-placement services. With most agencies, you don’t have to hire any adoption service providers independently of the agency. This is part of the reason why agency fees are significantly higher than other adoption professionals.
If you work with an organization that specializes in adoption marketing and advertising, like LifeLong Adoptions, you will be referred to adoption professionals you need at the appropriate time in your journey, like a social worker and attorney. An adoption marketing and advertising company provides a platform for prospective birthmothers and adoptive families to find each other and receive the support they need throughout the process. With this kind of company, you only pay for the services you need when you need them.
If you pursue an independent adoption without the help of an adoption facilitator, you will need to locate and hire all of the appropriate adoption professionals on your own. Usually, those doing an independent adoption require more extensive support from a marketing professional to help them connect with a birthmother. In an independent adoption, it is the responsibility of the prospective adoptive family to adopt the child in a legal, ethical, and safe manner, making the support of the proper professionals, like adoption attorneys and social workers, critically important.
When an expectant mother decides she wants to move forward and connect with an adoptive family, the family hires an attorney to facilitate the legal aspects of the process according to where she is at in her pregnancy. The attorney has a solid understanding of the adoption laws in their and therefore plays a critical role in an adoption by providing legal guidance, recommendations, and support that ensure the adoption is pursued ethically and legally. They take care of the monumental task of filing the paperwork that initiates and finalizes the adoption according to state law. They also must handle any and all financial support from the family for the birthmother.
Sometimes, depending on state laws, a separate attorney is needed for both the adoptive parents and the prospective birthmother. Sometimes only one attorney is necessary. In any case, an adoption attorney will ensure both the adoptive parents’ and prospective birthmother’s best interests are represented throughout every step of the adoption process.
When choosing an adoption attorney, it’s critical to find one who is well-versed in adoption law. Anything less can jeopardize the outcome of your connection. At LifeLong, we only recommend attorneys accredited by the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (AAAA). Another way to ensure you are choosing the best adoption attorney for you is by reading their reviews and communicating with other individuals who have worked with that lawyer throughout their adoption. This helps you narrow down potential attorneys that may suit you and your situation the best.
Social Workers & Home Study Agencies
Social workers and home study agencies play an important role in the adoption process. A social worker who specializes in adoption is a certified and licensed professional who provides support, counseling, and plays a role in facilitating the adoption process for the birthmother, adoptive parents, and the child.
Because of their background and training, the social worker plays a pivotal role in evaluating the suitability of an adoptive family through the adoption home study, which is a process every prospective adoptive family needs to complete before they can legally adopt a child in the United States. This process determines whether a family's home is a safe and secure environment for a child to grow. The home study evaluates various factors, such as background, home environment, financial ability, medical status, relationships with others, and more. Social workers are often employed by home study or adoption agencies to help facilitate this aspect of the adoption process.
Because the home study plays such a pivotal role in the adoption process, it must be conducted by a professional who is licensed to conduct the evaluation in the state where the adoptive family livecs. Once it has been determined that the home study has been passed, the prospective adoptive family can then move on in the adoption process.
Trust Your Referrals
At LifeLong Adoptions, we refer our prospective adoptive parents and birthmothers to professionals who work with them on various aspects of the adoption process. Adoption professionals like us have a robust network of lawyers, social workers, and home study agencies across the country that play an essential role for birthmothers and families.
Since we work with families all across the United States, we are able to connect clients with adoption service providers in the area where they live, which makes the process easier and more personal. Something we want to stress is how important it is to use adoption service providers that are trusted by the adoption facilitator you are working with.
Wherever you are in the adoption process, you will have to interact with an adoption service provider that will help you get one step closer to reaching your goals for your family. These professionals, with the help of a facilitator like LifeLong Adoptions, offer a personalized service with the understanding that no adoption is the same.