One of the biggest risks you can take during the adoption process is not using a licensed child adoption agency or an attorney from the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys. Using an unlicensed adoption facilitator or other non-licensed person to assist in adopting a child can result in your losing money, bringing a child into your home and then having your heart broken when a placement is disrupted, or finding the adoption can not take place because some important document or requirement was overlooked or not done correctly. Using a licensed adoption agency reduces your risks and increases your chances of successfully adopting a child.
Child Adoption Facilitators and Intermediaries
An adoption facilitator is someone, or some group of people, who coordinates or arranges an adoption by “matching” a birth mother with prospective adoptive parents. Adoption facilitators are not licensed as adoption agencies or licensed as attorneys. If they are voluntarily doing the matching and receive no money from any source for their services and time, almost every U.S. state accepts their role. This is also the case if an intermediary ("non-official facilitator") such as a doctor, minister, nurse, family member or friend gets involved in the adoption match and also does not receive any compensation for their services.
When an intermediary or adoption facilitator is to be paid for their services the picture is very different. In many states for a person who is not a licensed attorney or a licensed adoption agency to receive payment for their services is illegal and using them can cause you a nightmare of problems. There are a few states like Ohio and California where a licensed adoption facilitator can charge for their services, although the states strictly limit the payments and all payments must be reported to, and approved by, the courts at the time of finalization.
The improper use of a paid adoption facilitator or intermediary could have a negative impact on the finalization of an adoption and could even result in criminal prosecutions. As a result, you should check the state adoption laws, consult with the state adoption authority, an adoption attorney, or adoption agency before you decide to use the services of an adoption facilitator.
The U.S. government and many state government offices are noting a growing number of complaints about child adoption facilitators. The U.S. Department of State reports receiving a growing number of complaints concerning adoption facilitators operating in various countries. They "strongly urge" U.S. citizens to avoid adoption facilitators and instead advise you to retain the services of a reputable adoption agency licensed by one or more U.S. States.
Additional Information and Help
The PDR article by the Child Welfare Information Gateway address the issue of adoption facilitators in its article Use of Advertising and Facilitators in Child Adoptive Placements.
Contact information for your state child adoption licensing agencies is available on the page Adoption Agencies and you can also contact your state adoption authority. For additional help finding an adoption agency please visit the link Selecting an adoption Agency.
If you need or want some specific personal advice you can also call Dr. Vince Berger, a psychologist and adoption professional.
Please visit our home page to read about our commitment to assist adoptive parents like you as well as pregnant women and birth parents.
Why You Need an Adoption Consultant
There are many risks when you go to adopt a child including losing a child after you have already taken them home (referred to as a disruption), loosing all of the money you have invested in the adoption if the birth mother changes her mind, or finding that there are previously unknown or undisclosed fees that may appear. Dr Berger has helped thousands of adopting families with domestic adoptions and international adoptions and he is available to assist you no matter what type of adoption you chose to pursue and regardless of whether you work with an adoption agency, facilitator or adoption attorney. He can help you save your time, effort and money in helping you to decide what routes to take and the best way to achieve your goal of adopting a child. He can help reduce your risks and potential pain and can help you avoid many of the problems and pitfalls found in the adoption process. You can read and download his free adoption manual or, for more information on how he can help you, please visit his Adoption Consultant link.