Whether you’re an adoptive family or a woman considering adoption, you’ll have a lot of options when it comes to choosing a professional to work with. Adoption facilitators are just one of the many that you might consider working with. But, you might wondering how they compare to adoption agencies and what makes them stand out. Below, we’re written a guide to everything you need to know about adoption facilitators to help determine the right kind of professional for you.
What is an Adoption Facilitator?
Adoption facilitators, like adoption law centers, are unlicensed and unregulated individuals or organizations. And just like adoption law centers, they typically only provide matching services to their clients. This means that hopeful adoptive parents and women considering adoption will need to find another professional to complete the legal aspects of an adoption, along with any counseling services that may be required. However, if you are okay with contacting multiple professionals to complete your adoption, an adoption facilitator can be a helpful resource for finding an adoption opportunity.
Advantages of Working with Adoption Facilitators
Depending on your situation, you may get some benefit out of working with an adoption facilitator. Below are a few potential advantages of facilitators:
- Advertising services: This type of professional can be good if you’re only looking for matching services. They often do a good job of connecting adoptive families and prospective birth parents to one another.
- Lower wait times: Because their main job is to provide matching services, it’s possible to experience a lower wait time with this professional.
Disadvantages of Adoption Facilitators
While adoption facilitators may be able to help you find an adoption opportunity relatively quickly, there are many more disadvantages to working with an adoption facilitator than there are benefits. Below is a list of negative aspects to an adoption facilitator that you should consider.
- Lack of adoption services: Because adoption facilitators only provide matching services, this leaves adoptive families and expectant mothers on their own to find other professionals who can provide the services they need. For example, all adoptions need the expertise of an adoption attorney to oversee their case and to finalize their adoption. While an adoption agency can help connect you to an adoption attorney in your area, it can be difficult to find a reputable one on your own.
- Lack of support: The adoption process is about more than just finding a potential adoption opportunity. It is also an emotional experience that hopeful adoptive parents and women considering adoption have to prepare themselves for. Unlike adoption agencies, an adoption facilitator lacks a social service department, meaning you’ll have to work with another professional for this crucial service. A lack of a good social work team also means that expectant mothers might not have the guidance and support they need to make an informed decision about their adoption plan. This can lead to a greater risk of adoption disruption and lifelong emotional implications for unprepared birth parents.
- No oversight: Adoption agencies are reviewed annually to make sure they meet all state and federal regulations to make sure that each adoption is completed in a safe, ethical way. Adoption facilitators, on the other hand, are not. In fact, adoption facilitators are actually illegal in some states primarily because of their lack of oversight and regulation. Depending on where you live, paying an adoption facilitator to help you find an adoption opportunity could jeopardize the adoption and have serious legal consequences.
- Higher cost and unexpected fees: Working with an adoption facilitator means that you’ll have to pay for their services on top of any fees from another professional. Like an adoption law center, any cost that you may be quoted is an estimated fee, not a set fee like many adoption agencies charge. If the adoption ends in a disruption, a family could potentially lose thousands of dollars.
- Less availability: Adoption facilitators typically have a smaller staff size compared to an adoption agency. With just a few staff members, it will be difficult to have your questions answered in a short timeframe. This can be frustrating for families and potential birth parents who need help as soon as possible. If you’re looking for a professional that will be available 24/7, then an adoption facilitator might not be what you’re looking for.
Adoption Facilitators and Adoption Agencies
While adoption facilitators can be a good option for certain families, a lack of oversight and regulation make them difficult to recommend. In our opinion, it’s much safer to work with an adoption agency. That way, you’ll have a professional by your side that can oversee your entire adoption from beginning to end. And if you choose to work with a national adoption agency, all of the services you need for a successful adoption can be found in one place.
If you are strongly considering the services of an adoption facilitator, remember to ask plenty of questions about how they’re regulated and their certifications, and do your research to make sure you’re not breaking any laws in your state by working with them. If there’s one thing that you don’t want to deal with in your adoption, it’s a lack of oversight from a professional.