Licensed Adoption Agencies

Adoption agencies, sometimes also called child welfare agencies, are highly regulated by state law and must meet stringent requirements in order to be licensed. Some of these requirements include demonstrating expertise in adoption, adequate training and supervision of staff, sufficient insurance and suitable facilities.

Adoption agencies can match birth parents and adoptive parents. Birth parents often contact an adoption agency looking for potential adoptive parents. Similarly, adoptive parents with an approved home study may provide an adoption agency with their profile to share with those birth parents. The birth parents are then able to choose the family with whom they would like to place their child.

Adoption agencies are typically staffed with one or more social workers trained to work with and counsel birth parents and adoptive parents. The social workers understand the difficult issues that face both birth parents and adoptive parents, can help them work through those issues and help them access appropriate services, including medical care.

Social workers at adoption agencies perform home studies, home visits, post- placement visits and provide counseling. In some states, the law requires an adoption agency to take guardianship of a child during the adoption process and to make a recommendation to the court on finalization of the adoption.