Are you thinking about adoption? If so, you may be thinking about how to plan your adoption. One big part of that plan is whether you should use an adoption agency. The short answer is yes. But let’s dig deeper into that answer.
Why Choose an Adoption Agency
There are many reasons why you should use an adoption agency when planning an adoption. The first is that adoption is complicated. There are legal hurdles associated with adoption that may be hard to navigate on your own. For example, if you are planning an interstate adoption, you need to comply with the requirements of the Interstate Child Placement Compact. Even if you are planning an intrastate adoption, you would still need to complete legal paperwork. You would most likely need to hire legal counsel to deal with this and other issues absent a qualified adoption agency.
There are also financial costs associated with both pregnancy and adoption. An adoption agency can help offset the cost of pregnancy and child birth by helping you apply for benefits for which you are eligible. Navigating the application process for these benefits is often cumbersome, so much so that benefits navigators exist to guide people through the health benefits application process. This makes working with a licensed professional so important. Alternatively, an adoption agency can help arrange for the adoptive parent to pay for some or all of the expenses associated with pregnancy and childbirth.
An adoption agency can also help you find a perfect match for your child. Adoption agencies have multitudes of families waiting for a child. These families are vetted and screened to ensure that they are capable of providing a safe and secure upbringing for your child. For example, at Adoption Choices of Missouri, birth mothers have access to biographies and pictures of prospective adoptive families. The prospective families are also required to undergo a background check if they seek to use Adoption Choices when planning their adoption. This can help you find the perfect forever home for your child.
Finally, going through an adoption agency allows you to get impartial professional advice at all stages of the adoption process. As previously stated, adoption can be a complicated process. There are many times you may feel unsure about some aspect of the adoption process. You may feel overwhelmed, vulnerable, or even scared. Adoption agencies can counter these feelings by providing crucial counseling and education services at all stages of the adoption process. Having a professional, legal, or emotional shoulder to lean on can make the difference when planning a successful adoption.
Knowing of all the benefits of going through an adoption agency, one may ask if there are even any alternatives. The answer is yes, they are called independent adoptions, i.e. an adoption without an agency, but an independent adoption may be difficult. First, some states heavily restrict adoptions without an agency. For example, some states restrict an adoptive parent’s ability to independently advertise for a birth mother. Some limit the amount of money that an adoptive parent can give a birth parent for prenatal and birth expenses. Four states disallow independent adoptions all together.
Second, independent adoptions aren’t entirely independent. You still need to seek legal counsel to perform the legal paperwork and other legal tasks associated with an adoption. However, this attorney will not provide all the services that you can get with an adoption agency. For example, an attorney does not help match birth parents to adoptive parents, meaning that they have to find each other on their own. This raises security questions. Yes, security questions. Unfortunately, adoption fraud is a thing, which is why it is so important to have an adoption agency vet adoptive and birth parents.
Finally, while independent adoptions don’t involve agency fees, they are not free. You will most likely hire an adoption attorney, who you will have to pay. Someone also has to pay for the birth mother’s prenatal and birth related expenses, whether it is the birth mother, the adoptive parents, or someone else. These expenses can amount to thousands of dollars.
So there you have it. An adoption agency, while it does cost money*, provides so many benefits that you simply don’t have with an independent adoption. That is why you should strongly consider using an adoption agency to plan your adoption. Learn more at Adoption Choices of Missouri.
*adoption only cost money for adoptive families, adoption is always free for the birth parents