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Role of an Adoption Facilitator, Agency and Attorney
What is an Adoption Facilitator and what is their role in an adoption?
Adoption Facilitators fill a void in services not typically provided by adoption agencies or adoption attorneys. Facilitators focus on marketing and getting you exposure to potential birth mothers, in order to shorten the time it takes to adopt.
Most agencies and attorneys do not have the budget or the resources to manage a costly nationwide birth parent outreach program. They help with all of the other components of the adoption. Facilitators services should compliment not compete with services provided by agencies and attorneys. A facilitator is not a required component of an adoption; however it may be the most important service to you. All adoptions consist of two phases – one locating an infant to adopt and phase two the legal and counseling services. There is no adoption until you are working with a potential birth mother. A Loving Alternative’s services can greatly reduce the time it takes to locate a domestic infant to adopt.
A Loving Alternative runs extensive multi-state advertising geared toward locating potential birth parents. Because of our extensive advertising and limited number of clients, we have one of the shortest waits in the United States for locating domestic infants for adoption. Over the last several years our average match time is 4-6 months for couples without children and 6 to 9 months for couples with a child.
What is the Attorneys or Agencies role in an Adoption?
Attorneys or Agencies are a required component of every adoption. However they are only required for the phase two (legal) portion of an adoption. Attorneys and agencies are not required to help you in your search for birth parents. They may be a good source; however you need to be very careful in understanding their role in the search process. Many agencies and attorneys admit that they have limited or no programs to help locate potential birth mothers. Their role is to provide the second phase of the adoption. This is no problem, as long as you understand what their role is. The problems we see most often are from clients who have assumed that the agency or attorney was going to provide an active search service only to find out, one or more years later, that their firm doesn’t get many birth mothers.
We work hand-in-hand with many adoption attorneys and agencies that do not have active search programs. They often use our facilitation services as their primary search vehicle. Others claim to help and a few do a good job, but for most attorneys or agencies, locating potential birth mothers is not their area of expertise.
It is very important that you understand the services that they provide and do not pay for services that you are not getting. Also, you don’t want to pay for overlapping services.
If an agency or attorney is truly providing an aggressive birth mother search program don’t duplicate their efforts by hiring a facilitator. This is where knowledge is critical.
Many of our clients come to us after spending years on an agency or attorney wait list. These folks did not ask the right questions before paying for their services.
Important questions to ask adoption professionals:
If you are going to use a facilitator, an attorney or an agency in your search for potential birth parents it is important that you ask the following questions. By properly understanding each person’s role in the adoption process you can greatly reduce your time, risk and expenses incurred.
- Do you provide an active birth mother search program for your clients?
- If you do provide a search program, can you give me an overview of how you reach potential birth mothers?
- How many adoptions do you complete each year?
- Of the adoptions you finalized last year, how many were a result of you locating the birth parents?
- How many clients do you work with at a time?
- During the last year, what was your average wait for your clients to adopt?