Should I use an Adoption Facilitator?
One of the biggest risks you can take during the adoption process is using an adoption facilitator and not using a licensed child adoption agency or an attorney from the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys.
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.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 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.
Where Can I Find Additional Sources of Information?
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.