National adoption agencies are licensed and regulated by state authorities and work with pregnant mothers and adoptive families across all 50 states. These agencies do it all — they have the expertise, resources and staff to complete adoptions from start to finish.
National adoption agencies provide a wide variety of services to pregnant mothers, including:
- screening and matching adoptive families
- counseling and support
- financial assistance
- adoption and hospital plan development
- and more
The adoption process can be long and difficult at times. Working with a national agency from beginning to end can help simplify the process and make the transition smoother for you.
If you have already identified an adoptive family independently and choose to work with an adoption agency to complete the rest of the adoption, this is known as an identified adoption.
Why work with a national adoption agency?
There are several reasons to consider working with a national agency throughout the adoption process, as well as some disadvantages to take into account. Here are some of the top pros and cons to consider before choosing to work with a national adoption agency:
Pros of National Adoption Agencies
- National adoption agencies have more stability and resources than other adoption professionals. National agencies are typically well-established and often have a large and qualified social services department, ensuring you receive the best care possible. Because they complete adoptions across all 50 states, you can still receive adoption services from a national agency if you move to another state during the adoption process. In addition, because these agencies are often more stable than other adoption professionals, you won’t have to worry that they will go out of business after you have built a relationship with them.
- They are involved in the adoption process from your first phone call up until finalization of the adoption. National adoption agencies can legally complete adoptions from beginning to end, and staff members will be available to offer guidance and support through every step of the adoption process. They are usually able to provide the most adoption services to pregnant mothers. Furthermore, they may stay involved even after the adoption is completed, to continue facilitating any necessary correspondence between you and the adoptive family.
- You will likely find the most support and counseling services with a national adoption agency. These agencies often employ a large social services staff, and you will have your own social worker who will get to know you, your goals and your concerns of the adoption. And if you are having a difficult time on a weekend or late at night, many national agencies are available by phone to provide you support at any time when you need it most.
- These agencies often have a wide variety of waiting families, giving you a greater chance of finding the perfect family for your adoption plan. Just as they work with expectant mothers from across the country, national adoption agencies also work with adoptive families from most, if not all, 50 states. This means you will have your choice of a larger pool of families, and you will be matched based on more specific criteria than is possible for local or regional adoption agencies working with fewer adoptive families.
- National agencies are reviewed by state governments every year, ensuring they comply with state adoption laws. These agencies have experience completing adoptions throughout the United States, and their large teams are able to stay up-to-date on state adoption laws throughout the country. Because these agencies are heavily regulated by state authorities, you can trust that all requirements are being met throughout the adoption process.
Cons of National Adoption Agencies
- They may not be as personable as some smaller adoption agencies or adoption professionals. Because you may not live near your adoption agency’s offices, you might not ever meet your adoption social worker in person. And while you will be assigned your own adoption specialist to work with throughout the process, you will likely not be the only pregnant mother that he or she is working with at the time.
Choosing a national adoption agency
If you have decided that working with a national adoption agency is the best choice for you and your baby, there are several questions you may want to ask the national adoption agencies you are considering before making your final decision:
- When will my adoption social worker be available?
- How are living expenses handled?
- How many waiting adoptive families do you typically have?
- Are you licensed?
- How much control do I have over the adoption?
- What is your agency’s stance on open adoption and pre-placement contact?
- Do you provide free adoption counseling?
National adoption agencies are often the best choice for many prospective birth mothers because they can usually offer the most adoption services, including matching services, counseling services, and much more. In addition, these agencies are well-established, qualified and heavily regulated by state authorities, giving them more stability than some other adoption professionals.
Links to National Adoption Agencies: