What is an Adoption Facilitator?
Adoption law centers and adoption facilitators are unlicensed and unregulated adoption professionals that usually only provide matching services, requiring birth parents and adoptive families to find another professional to complete the legal work and adoption counseling services.
These adoption professionals cannot provide many of the services available through adoption agencies or adoption attorneys, such as financial assistance or post-placement contact services. Some adoption law centers or facilitators may be able to refer you to other adoption professionals who are able to provide these services.
Why Work with a Law Center or Adoption Facilitator?
There are several considerations to take into account before choosing to work with an adoption law center or adoption facilitator. Here are some of the top pros and cons of working with these adoption professionals:
Pros of Facilitators and Law Centers
They often provide good matching services. Because adoption facilitators and law centers are often only responsible for matching prospective birth parents with waiting adoptive families, they often do a good job providing these services. They typically have many adoptive families for you to choose from, making it easy for you to find a family that fits with your adoption plan.
Cons of Facilitators and Law Centers
They don’t provide as many adoption services as other adoption professionals, such as adoption agencies and law firms. Adoption facilitators and law centers cannot legally finalize the adoption, leaving it to the birth parents and adoptive family to find their own legal representation and navigate the legal process of adoption on their own. In addition, law centers and facilitators do not provide counseling and support to expectant mothers and will often part ways with you after you are matched with an adoptive family, meaning you will need to find another adoption professional to guide you through the remainder of the adoption process and post-placement services.
They are not annually reviewed by a government agency. These organizations are widely unregulated and are even illegal in more than 15 states. Because they are not annually reviewed by any state authority, there is no guarantee that their services comply with your state’s adoption laws.
Choosing an Adoption Law Center or Adoption Facilitator
If you have decided to work with an adoption law center or facilitator, there are several questions you may want to ask the facilitators you are considering before making your final decision:
- Is your organization certified or licensed?
- Who is your organization regulated by?
- What services does your organization offer other than matching me with an adoptive family?
- What kind of support will I receive with your organization?
- Will my adoption be transferred to another professional once I’m matched with an adoptive family?
- How does your organization facilitate living expenses?
- How do you ensure I receive pictures and letters from the adoptive family?
Because these adoption professionals are unregulated and uncertified, each adoption facilitator or law center will likely vary widely in their stability and the services they offer. You should carefully research all of your options before entering into a relationship with an adoption law center or facilitator.
As a pregnant mother considering adoption, you are entitled to receive a variety of adoption services at no expense to you. Choosing an adoption law center or adoption facilitator will likely exclude you from many valuable adoption services and will require you to seek the assistance of an adoption attorney for the legal process.