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Adoption Agency VS adoption attorney: Five things you need to know

Adopting a child is not an easy decision, but it is a rewarding and truly fulfilling experience for those wanting to be parents. You are making a lifelong commitment to loving a child and providing them with a warm and safe home. However, the road to adoption is not a short and a simple one; it’s a process that is composed of a lot of time-consuming and stressful steps. Here are 5 things you need to know about adoption agencies and adoption attorneys in The Woodlands.

1. Matching services. An adoption agency is a licensed and state regulated business that connects children with adoptive parents through professional screening and matching services. Adoption agencies can also coordinate attorney and counselling services for you. If you choose to pursue an adoption attorney in The Woodlands rather than work with an agency, then you are choosing an independent adoption. In most independent adoption cases, the adoptive parents and birth parents find each other without the aid of an adoption agency’s screening and matching services. The ability for an adoption attorney to aid an adoptive family in the process of screening their own matches differs by firm and state.

2. Specialization. Adoption agencies are equipped to handle infant domestic adoption, international adoptions, and foster care adoptions. Many agencies provide all three services. Adoption attorneys in The Woodlands, however, usually only handle independent domestic infant adoptions. The specialization of an adoption attorney can get even more specific, with some having experience in focused areas, such as a person giving up a child, a family wanting to adopt, or both.

3. Counselling. As briefly mentioned above, adoption agencies can easily coordinate adoptive parents with counselling services because licensed clinical and counselling social workers are on staff. The counselling fee is included with the adoption. While not all adoption agencies have post adoption support, many do, and adoptive parents can select an agency based on whether or not this service is offered. An adoption attorney in The Woodlands can also coordinate an independent adoption with these services, but at an extra cost. Most adoption attorneys do not continue to provide support for adoptive parents after their adoption has been finalized; this is because they are more focused on the legal process.

4. Restrictions. Federal legislation sets the framework for adoption in the United States; therefore, the adoption laws vary from state to state. Adoption agency restrictions against adoptive parents will vary, and these restrictions include your age, your marital status, your sexual identity, your religion, and even divorce. In some states, under very specific circumstances, infants that are adopted through an agency must first go to a foster home before they can join their adoptive parents. Generally, adoption attorneys in The Woodlands have fewer restrictions for adoptive parents, and no foster homes are involved in the process.

5. Comfort. Whether you decide to choose an adoption agency or an adoption attorney, you need to feel comfortable with the people who are helping you through this process. You need to ensure that your best interests are being looked after and that all the information you need is provided—you want the full picture and all the facts about the birth family or parent.