Whether you are a birth mother interested in creating an adoption plan or an adoptive family interested in adoption, you undoubtedly have a million questions running through your mind. One that we hear quite often is, “Do I need an adoption agency?” And the answer might actually surprise you – not always. There are times when an adoption agency is incredibly beneficial and there are times when all you may need is an adoption attorney. So, how do you know which situation you are in?
When Do I Need an Adoption Agency?
In general, there are two primary adoption options: using an agency or using an adoption lawyer. The latter is often referred to as an independent adoption. And both can be beneficial depending on where you currently find yourself in the adoption process.
When You Do Not Need an Adoption Agency
There are a couple distinct times when it probably makes sense to use an adoption attorney over an agency.
- For birth mothers, you do not need an adoption agency if you are already in contact with a prospective family or if you plan to take an active role in finding an adoptive family, usually by networking, advertising, or by using the Internet. You just need an attorney to finalize the adoption.
- For adoptive families, it is the same situation. If you are already in contact with a birth mother or plan to connect with a birth mother on your own, all you need is an adoption attorney. The only real difference for the adoptive family is whether or not you need to have a home study. If you are adopting the child of an immediate family member, such as your sister’s child, then you do not actually need a home study. However, if you are not related to the birth mother or if she is of a further relation, then you would need a home study, which requires an adoption agency.
“Adopting independently puts the prospective adoptive parents in the driver’s seat, allowing you to complete and multitask the steps of your adoption process at your own speed,” explains Jennifer S. Jones, writer and adoptive mother. “The downside, however, is that if you are not organized or self-driven, it may lead to a longer adoption process.”
When You Need an Adoption Agency
Aside from the situation we described above, there are many more instances when it is beneficial to work with an agency. For starters, birth mothers and adoptive families in need of guidance can really benefit from the close relationship with an adoption counselor and agency. “When you use an agency, they walk you through each step of the adoption process and provide the professionals to guide you,” writes Narda Emett, Adoption.com. After you’ve made the decision to move forward with adoption, it can be difficult to understand where to start. The staff at Adoption Makes Family walk you through every step of the adoption process and ensure you feel well supported every step along the way. Furthermore…
- For birth mothers, your adoption agency handles everything. They provide you with a detailed questionnaire to help during the matching process, they find and screen potential families, they facilitate meetings, they provide pre- and post-adoption counseling, they can even help facilitate open adoption arrangements, and much more.
- For adoptive families, your adoption agency helps you create an adoption profile and match you with birth parents who match your requirements. Again, they can help facilitate open adoption arrangements and provide counseling services.
Have Questions? Adoption Makes Family is Here to Help!
“When it comes to the question of, “Should I use an adoption agency or adopt independently?” only you know the answer,” says Jones. However, it never hurts to ask questions. The professionals at Adoption Makes Family have many years of experience in adoption services, and will answer your questions in an easy-to-understand an honest way. We are a non-profit (501-C3) licensed adoption agency based in Maryland, and our experienced adoption counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call Us Now at (410) 683-2100
Adoption Makes Family’s agency attorney is Jenna Clothier, a former adoptee herself. Jenna was admitted to the Maryland Bar in December 2014. Her practice includes family law, adoption, and immigration. Jenna fully understands the impact adoption can have on one’s life.
If you have any questions, you can contact us by phone at 410-683-2100, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or use our online contact form.