Differences Between Adoption Facilitators, Lawyers, and AgenciesQ: I am currently researching ways to adopt. I’m still not positive what the difference is between using facilitators, adoption lawyers, and agencies. Can anyone explain this to me? Pros and cons?

A: Each state has different laws on who can help you adopt. In most states you can use either an adoption agency or an adoption attorney.

In the past there were greater distinctions between adoption agencies and adoption attorneys, with adoption attorneys providing fewer services for expectant and birth parents and less post adoption services for adoptive families. Those distinctions are blurrier now with some attorneys providing full services and others working closely with agencies to provide these services. It is true that most adoption agencies are considered “full service”, while adoptive parents can often pick and choose what services they want when working with an adoption lawyer. They may also differ on cost and waiting time and restrictions on who they will work with. A facilitator is a person (or business) that finds expectant woman who may want to place their child for adoption. They seldom provide any type of services and are not legal in all states. Check out this Creating a Family radio show: Differences Between Using an Adoption Attorney, Adoption Consultant, and Adoption Facilitator.

If you go the attorney route, we strongly recommend that you use an attorney that specializes in adoption. To find one, check out these Creating a Family resources on adoption attorneys.   If you go the adoption agency route, you can use our 3 step process for choosing an agency.

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