Choosing a Professional

Choosing the right adoption professional can make the difference in completing a successful adoption within your desired budget and wait time.

It's important for families to understand the advantages, disadvantages and risks associated with different adoption professionals. The articles below detail the differences between national adoption agencies, local adoption agencies, adoption law firms, adoption law centers and adoption facilitators and will help you make the best decision for your family.

Adoption and the Internet

Today, when couples become interested in adoption, it is common for them to begin their research online. They will find thousands of adoption-related websites, but how do they know which ones to trust? Which ones offer actual adoption services? Which ones complete adoptions from beginning to end?

How Long Does it Take to Adopt a Child?

One of the biggest reasons of selecting an adoption professional should be how long it will take for you to adopt a child.

National Adoption Agencies

Definition - National adoption agencies are licensed adoption agencies that work across all 50 states. In many cases, national agencies are licensed in multiple states. A state license means the government of that state helps regulate, review and monitor the national adoption agency’s compliance with state laws and regulations. ...

Local Adoption Agencies

Definition - While some national adoption agencies have local offices, local adoption agencies are typically smaller adoption agencies who serve a specific geographic location, such as a particular county, state or region.

Adoption Law Firms

Definition- Adoption law firms are a group of two or more attorneys who practice law. In adoption, some law firms have an attorney who specializes in adoption law. This specialty can range from stepparent to independent adoptions. ...

Adoption Law Centers

Definition- Adoption law centers, corporations that are owned by a licensed attorney, have become more prevalent in the last several years. Unlike a law firm, most adoption law centers refer their clients to separate law firms for the legal services. In function, most adoption law centers operate like an adoption facilitator, who advertises to locate a birth mother on behalf of their adoptive clients. ...

Adoption Facilitators

Definition – Adoption facilitators are unlicensed and unregulated companies who match prospective adoptive families with women considering adoption. Adoption facilitators are usually small organizations with one or two staff members who often have no counseling background. ...

Questions to Ask An Adoption Professional

Below, you’ll find a general outline of questions for adoption professionals. Please carefully research the adoption professionals you consider and also ask them adoption questions with information specific to their policies and procedures.

How are Adoption Organizations Regulated?

Regulations for adoption organizations are of the utmost importance. Because adoption concerns the placement and wellbeing of an infant or child, these regulations help protect all parties involved and ensure that adoption placements are legal and safe. American Adoptions strongly advises prospective adoptive families to use an adoption professional who is subject to adoption regulations and annual review.

Preventing Adoption Disruptions

Most families considering domestic adoption worry about birth parents changing their mind. They may think the organization they choose has little effect on an adoption disruption, but this choice can have a dramatic effect on the success of an adoption. You can and should choose an organization that takes necessary steps to prevent adoption disruptions.

Selecting an Adoption Home Study Professional

Since the home study can be a lengthy process, we recommend that you find an adoption home study professional and begin as soon as possible. Home studies are an overview of an adoptive family’s life, history and home and allow courts and our agency to determine if a stable emotional, physical and financial environment exists for an adopted child.


stories from families who have adopted through American Adoptions1-800-HomeStudy.com
  • What is the total cost for the entire adoption?

    There are several factors that determine the total cost for an adoption, including the program you choose. Variables such as medical bills, birth mother expenses and legal fees vary for each adoption. We strive to maintain affordable adoptions without cutting corners. Please see the Our Domestic Adoption Programs section for further details.

  • Can we choose the gender of our baby?

    Have your heart set on a bouncing baby boy or a new little princess? American Adoptions now offers a gender-specific option for families hoping for a specific gender. With this option families would pay an additional Gender-Specific Fee to help our agency locate and work with birth mothers meeting this additional criteria. Please note that gender specificity may increase wait time. This fee is in addition to all other program fees and is not considered part of your adoption budget. Please contact us at 1-800-ADOPTION for minimum budget details.

  • Do we need to retain our own attorney?

    No - American Adoptions has established relationships with some of the best adoption attorneys in the nation. It is important to note that adoption laws vary state-to-state and often even county-to-county. As such, it is important to utilize the services of an attorney that specializes in adoption in the state the adoption will finalize in, which we will not know until you are matched with an expectant mother. Retaining your own attorney at this time is not necessary and may be an additional expense to you that is not needed.

  • Adoption Newsletter

    Did you know that American Adoptions offers a free bi-weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today to keep up-to-date on the latest in adoption news and information.

  • Famous Adoptions

    Learn which famous Hollywood actors, sports stars, politicians and other icons have been touched by adoption.

  • Adoption Glossary

    Do adoption terms and phrases leave you feeling confused? Learn the meaning to key adoption words and phrases with our comprehensive adoption glossary.


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