Adoption after Adoption – From the Perspective of an Adoptive MomJune 17, 2020
Interviewing the AgencyJuly 23, 2020
Many families aren’t sure whether they should use a licensed agency or a private attorney. Whether you’re a waiting family or an expecting parent, you should be able to get the training, education, and support you need to navigate the adoption journey.
Because these two options are quite different, Rachael Rush (our Adoptive Family Coordinator) has outlined the differences between a licensed agency and private attorney below.
Private Adoption Attorney
Many families who choose to adopt through a private attorney are open to customizing their own experience and comfortable with the increased risk that’s involved — or they know their expecting parent very well. Attorneys are there to draw up the legal paperwork, get the signatures, and finalize the adoption in accordance with state law. Some attorneys offer matching services, while others require that you find your own expecting mom.
There is minimal support when it comes to the adoption process.
If you choose a private adoption attorney, you may have to navigate the entire process without guidance or support. If the expecting mother changes her mind and decides to raise her child, the adoptive family may have to deal with financial and emotional loss.
Most of the time, the adoptive family and expecting mom have built a relationship privately and without any support, boundaries, or buffer. Navigating this relationship and creating an adoption plan without guidance from an agency can be stressful and taxing on both parties, which may increase the risk of a failed placement. Some families will go on to hire an agency or a social worker for support and guidance.
Families may hope to save money on their adoption by going through an attorney.
Each potential adoption situation is different, but it’s not uncommon for the expenses in a private attorney adoption to equal the cost of a licensed agency. You’ll be responsible for hiring an agency anyway to complete post-placement reports to meet state requirements. You could also responsible for expecting mom living expenses, the mother’s medical expenses, and more.
Licensed Adoption Agency
When you work with a licensed adoption agency, services are more inclusive. An agency will walk you through the entire adoption process, from application to finalization and everything in between. You’ll also receive an outline of all the standard and expected fees so you’ll know what costs to expect up front. The agency will also provide you with a level of support that eases the stress that the adoption process can bring.
An agency will provide training and help you plan as you prepare to become an adoptive parent.
Training topics will include transracial adoption, grief and trauma in adoption, how to talk to your child about adoption, how to answer their tough adoption questions, and more.
An agency will help you navigate the entire adoption process and plan for as much as possible before the placement even happens. Your Adoptive Family Coordinator will ask you questions such as:
- Do you want an open, closed, or semi-open adoption?
- What do you want the relationship with the expecting moms to look like?
- What is the birth plan, and how will we carry that out?
- And more
A licensed agency will also act as a buffer between the expecting parents and adoptive family to reduce the stress of planning and communication for both parties.
An agency’s Birth Family Coordinator will support the child’s expecting parent(s).
While I help adoptive families navigate through their side of the adoption journey, our Birth Family Coordinator is supporting the expecting moms who come to us. This is what really sets our agency apart from not only the attorneys, but other agencies as well. We provide full support to our expecting moms by meeting with them multiple times a month — and we’re available to talk 24/7.
Our licensed agency also works with expecting moms to identify their needs, help them get resources and/or healthcare, help them find a job or go back to school, education, and reach their goals. Most importantly, we work with them to make sure that adoption is really what they want, and we prepare them for the ups and downs of the journey.
We advocate for our expecting moms, making sure their wants and needs are heard and met. We listen to what they want in a family and what they want their adoption to look like. And our support does not end after the placement. We continue to provide support to our expecting moms, meeting with them (if they’d like) after they place their child for adoption for emotional support.
In the end, it’s your decision whether you work with an adoption attorney or agency. Everyone’s situation is unique, so take the time to ask questions and make sure you know the level of support both parties will receive.
If you choose to work with an adoption agency, choose one that provides full support to the adoptive family and expecting moms. They (and the adopted child) are equally important, and having someone to turn to for support and guidance will help you through the process.
We can help you navigate the joys, challenges, and emotions of adoption.
Gifts of Grace Adoption Support Center has worked with expecting moms, adoptive families, and children in the Lafayette, Indiana community since 2013. We believe that quality, affordable, Christ-centered adoption services empower pregnant moms and dads, create thriving adoptive families, and help all children be placed in a loving home.