Types of Adoption Agencies
National Adoption Agencies
There is a lot that goes into finding the right adoption agency. If you are interested in a private domestic adoption, there are two types of adoption agencies that you can choose from — local and national adoption agencies. Both types of agencies specialize in completing private domestic adoptions, so it’s up to you to pick the type of agency that best meets your goals for adoption.
What is a National Adoption Agency?
National adoption agencies, unlike their local counterparts, specialize in working with hopeful adoptive parents and prospective birth parents across the United States, not just in one state or area. These agencies typically employ a larger staff that can meet all of your needs, and they have an abundance of resources to help complete your adoption from beginning to end. Because of this, national adoption agencies are a great option for those looking for an adoption agency that can provide all of the services they need in one place. National adoption agencies can truly do it all.
What Type of People Use a National Adoption Agency?
Typically, people that work with a national adoption agency do so because of the wide variety of services that they offer their adoptive families and prospective birth mothers. These agencies are equipped to handle any and all adoption situations and have years of experience working with hopeful couples and women considering an adoption in any state.
National adoption agencies are also great for prospective birth mothers who want more adoptive parents to choose from, and for adoptive families that don’t mind traveling out of state to meet the newest member of their family. And even though adoptive families may be paying higher agency fees up front, your adoption costs sometimes end up being less over all compared to a local adoption agency.
What Kind of Services do National Adoption Agencies Offer?
National adoption agencies are known for being able to provide a multitude of services in one place. This means that you won’t have to work with several adoption professionals to meet your needs. If you’re interested in working with a national adoption agency, here are some services that you can typically expect them to provide:
Services for prospective birth parents:
- 24/7 access to counseling and education resources
- Pre‐screening adoptive families before matching
- Financial assistance throughout your pregnancy
- Help mediating contact with the adoptive family and your child during the adoption process and after placement
- Scholarship programs after the adoption
Services for adoptive families:
- Advertising and matching services that reach a wider pool of prospective birth parents across the country
- Help mediating contact with the birth parents during and after the adoption
- Connection to a trusted legal representative
- Shorter wait time to match with a prospective birth mother
- Financial protection in the case of an adoption disruption
While these are the services that all national adoption agencies are expected to provide, they can vary depending on which national adoption agency you work with. Make sure to carefully research the national adoption agencies you’re considering and ask them about their services to learn what’s included when you work with them.
Can National Adoption Agencies Complete International Adoptions?
While national adoption agencies typically complete domestic infant adoptions, there are some international adoption agencies that do have national programs and can work with hopeful couples no matter where they live. Many of them are able to complete your home study from beginning to end as well. If you plan to work with an international adoption agency, make sure to research what kind of services they offer in your area before moving forward.
What are Some Cons of National Adoption Agencies?
If you choose to work with a national adoption agency, you likely won’t be able to meet your social worker in person, unless you happen to live close to them or are willing to travel to their offices. National adoption agency fees also tend to be more expensive up front, typically around $40,000 to $50,000, which might deter those looking for an inexpensive way to adopt a child.
Working with a local adoption agency also reduces the need to plan for travel costs, something that you’ll have to plan for if you are adopting a child from another state while working with a national adoption agency. When you work with a local adoption agency, the prospective birth mother or hopeful adoptive family will live in your area, meaning that you may be able to meet them face-to-face more often if you choose to.
And while national adoption agencies do have a large staff to help meet your needs, you likely won’t be the only prospective birth mother or adoptive family they’re working with at one time. If you’re looking to find an agency where you can meet face‐to‐face often, it might be better to work with a local adoption agency.
What are Some Pros of Working with a National Adoption Agency?
While national adoption agencies tend to be more expensive than other types of adoption professionals for adoptive families, they are usually the best choice for many prospective birth mothers and families looking for a well‐rounded agency. These professionals often offer the most robust services and greatest value for an adoptive family’s investment, as well as better support for women considering adoption. And, because they work with adoptive families and prospective birth parents across the country, they can generally provide more options to prospective birth mothers and shorter wait times to adoptive families.
National adoption agencies are also heavily licensed and regulated by state authorities, often in multiple states. And because they offer services nationwide, the national adoption agency that you work with will understand your state’s current adoption laws no matter where you live or plan to adopt from. If you are already thinking of adopting a child or placing a child for adoption in another state, a national adoption agency will be your best option.
Where Can I Find National Adoption Agencies in the U.S.?
The national adoption agency that you pick should be able to meet all of your needs for an adoption. You’ll want to ask them about their wait times, expected agency fees, their post‐placement services, and more. To help you get started, here are some great national adoption agencies that you can contact:
- American Adoptions
- Alliance for Children
- Bethany Christian Services
- Gladney Center for Adoption
- Lifetime Adoption
Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.