National Adoption Agencies: A Guide for Families
Why a National Adoption Agency Can Work for You
If you are considering adopting a baby, you probably already know how crucial it is to choose the right child adoption agency. The services adoption agencies provide help make the adoption process possible for prospective birth mothers and hopeful adoptive parents like you.
The child adoption agency you decide to work with will set the course for your entire experience. When you consider how many different adoption agencies you have to choose from, it’s understandable if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed.
While there are a variety of professionals who can assist you in adoption, there are basically two types of domestic adoption agencies: national agencies and local agencies.
In this article, we’ll focus on the first type: national child adoption agencies. This guide will give you everything you need to know to decide whether this type of professional is right for you.
If you have further questions about which national adoption agency is right for you, you can call us at 1-800-ADOPTION today. You can also download and fill out this tool for choosing your adoption professional when you speak with any adoption agency.
What is a National Adoption Agency?
National adoption agencies are state-licensed child adoption organizations that work across all 50 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. This helps ensure the adoption organization is following proper procedures and providing good services to their clients. In many cases, national adoption agencies are licensed in multiple states, creating an added layer of protection for families like yours.
American Adoptions is a national adoption agency with more than 30 years of excellent service provided to adoptive families and birth mothers. As one of the largest private domestic adoption agencies in the U.S., our dedicated staff provides a significant base of expertise in all aspects of the adoption process.
Families who choose American Adoptions as their U.S. adoption agency experience an adoption process in which they are respected and supported. Our agency fees are fixed, and our cost estimates are honest.
Unlike some other baby adoption agencies, we invest heavily in advertising, which means we work hard to tell our families’ stories to as many prospective birth mothers as possible. Because of this, families can experience shorter average wait times — because you shouldn’t have to wait any longer to start the family of your dreams.
Ultimately, we are a national adoption agency that exists to service hopeful adoptive families and prospective birth parents. This journey is all about the people most intimately involved in the adoption, and we work hard to support and serve you.
10 Advantages of National Adoption Agencies
Whether you’re concerned about high adoption costs or long wait times when researching the best adoption agencies to work with, these 10 pros to national child adoption agencies should help ease your worries:
1. Shorter Wait Times
Family is forever, but your wait doesn’t have to be. National adoption agencies tend to have lower wait times than most adoption professionals, which is especially true of American Adoptions.
The main way that prospective birth parents find adoptive families is through Google. That means that agencies with more outreach can give families shorter wait times.
For example, you would need to join more than 25 domestic adoption agencies at the same time for your profile to reach as many prospective birth parents as it would with our agency.
2. More Stability
National scope allows these child adoption agencies to maintain a relatively steady number of adoption placements from year to year and to insulate themselves from shifting social trends and policy changes in individual states.
For example, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many adoption professionals either stopped accepting new families or went out of business altogether. American Adoptions did the opposite. We never stopped working with families or prospective birth parents.
Choosing a national adoption agency like us means you can feel confident you will not be left alone. We will always be here, just like we always have been.
3. Better Social Work Support
A large, qualified and well-trained social service department with vast adoption experience allows for better evaluation, education and guidance for prospective birth mothers. Because of their size, national agencies are often able to provide round-the-clock, one-on-one support to women considering adoption. This typically results in more confident prospective birth parents, fewer adoption disruptions and better matches between adoptive families and birth parents overall.
4. Financial Protection
National research shows that 10-25% of adoptions don’t work out. It’s unfortunate, but an adoption disruption can occur with any opportunity.
When that does occur, what happens to the funds a family has already invested in the adoption?
With most professionals, that money is simply gone. That means the disruption can derail your family’s future by draining your budget. But we won’t let that happen.
As a large national adoption agency, we developed a financial protection program that has saved families more than $4.6 million since 2009. That means you can feel confident and safe as you pursue your dreams of starting a family.
5. More Checks and Balances
State governments review child adoption agency files to ensure legal and regulatory compliance, providing greater reliability and safety for the adoptive families they serve. National adoption agencies submit their documentation through all 50 offices of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC), which also reviews case files for necessary documentation and provide other checks and balances for the agency.
Most other types of professionals are not regularly reviewed, which is why they can operate for years while providing false wait times and inaccurate cost estimates.
6. One-stop Shops
Most national adoption agencies in the U.S. coordinate and/or are involved in all parts of the adoption process from beginning to end, which ensures better service for their clients. Unlike some smaller professionals, which may require families to “outsource” certain services (like advertising, counseling or legal work), national infant adoption agencies provide you with one point of contact throughout the process.
7. More Accurate Estimates
Because national adoption agencies complete a large number of adoptions, they have a greater sample size to use when determining their average adoption costs for hopeful parents. This means they are often able to provide more accurate fee estimates than most organizations.
8. Availability 24/7
Clients can count on after-hour and weekend coverage 24/7 from some agencies. This is especially important during hospital time — which often won’t take place during business hours — and when a prospective birth parent needs support or is having late-night doubts about their decision.
9. Access to Other Top Professionals
Larger newborn adoption agencies tend to have established relationships with other top professionals across the country. When you work with a national U.S. adoption agency, you also gain access to their trusted, nationwide network of top adoption attorneys and other professionals you may need.
10. Faster Service
A larger staff allows for a team to work on your adoption plan, thus leading to more efficient workloads and faster turnaround on projects.
How to Find a Good National Adoption Agency
Finding the right adoption agency to work with can make or break a family’s experience with adoption. Only you can know which type of agency is right for you. To help figure that out, there are a few things you can do:
1. Ask a lot of Questions
The only way to truly determine whether a particular baby adoption agency is right for you is to do careful research and speak to someone from the organization. As you research various private domestic adoption agencies, ask questions like:
How many adoptions do you complete every year?
How many families are currently on your list?
How quickly can my adoption specialist respond to my questions?
What is the average wait time until an adoption opportunity?
Are your agency fees fixed?
Do your contracts expire?
How do you calculate your estimated cost of adoption?
If an adoption organization seems to be hiding something, that’s a big red flag. Look for honesty in answers, as well as clarity. If you want more guidance on this part of the process, you can fill out this adoption worksheet as you are asking a professional the above questions.
2. Know What you are Willing to Do
Are you prepared to travel for an adoption opportunity? Have you worked out how to finance the adoption? Are you okay with not meeting your adoption specialist in person? The clearer you are about what you want, the easier it will be to find the right private adoption agency to work with.
3. Pay Attention to the Tone of the Conversation
If it feels like the adoption professional you are speaking with is more interested in earning your business than answering your questions, you may want to consider a different adoption agency. You should never feel pressured into adoption. Look for a domestic adoption agency that cares about meeting your needs, not winning your business.
For more tips on finding the right adoption agency to work with, you can read our guide on the subject.
If you have more questions about domestic adoption agencies, the adoption process or how to begin an adoption, you can get more free information about our agency when you call us at 1-800-ADOPTION. Our adoption specialists will be happy to speak with you free of charge.
Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.