Adoption professionals are a group of specialists who assist with the adoption process, ensuring a smooth and legal experience for both adoptive families and birth parents. They can include:

  • Social workers and counselors: These professionals provide guidance and support to adoptive families and birth parents throughout the emotional journey of adoption.
  • Adoption agency staff: Licensed staff at adoption agencies manage the overall adoption process, screening families, facilitating matches between birth parents and adoptive families, and overseeing home studies.
  • Adoption attorneys: Lawyers specializing in adoption handle the legal aspects of adoption, ensuring all paperwork is completed correctly and representing the interests of adoptive families or birth parents in court.

These three groups of people have different roles in the adoption process.

Social workers

Social workers are licensed professionals. They may work within adoption agencies or with private adoptions. They can be licensed to conduct the home studies required of prospective adoptive parents, and they can also provide support for birth mothers and adoptive families.

Sometimes a social worker who specializes in adoption may be called an adoption agent or simple an adoption professional. Still, they will have completed a college degree in social work, taken an exam, and passed a criminal background check. They may also have a background and training in counseling.

Social workers do not have legal licenses and cannot take care of the legal aspects of an adoption, but they may help match birth mothers and adoptive parents.

Adoption agency staff

Some people who work in adoption agencies are licensed social workers, but many are not. These professionals may also be called adoption agents. They may have studied child psychology or counseling. Often their primary job is to help birth parents find homes for their children and to help adoptive parents find a child to welcome into their home.

They also provide support for the people involved in an adoption. They may assist with organizing the adoption process and steering parents through the shoals of the preparation.

Adoption agencies in Arkansas must be licensed. Sometimes individuals will call themselves adoption facilitators and help with adoptions without have any license or certification. This is not the same as being an adoption agent for a licensed adoption agency.

Adoption attorneys

An adoption lawyer is a specialist in family law as it relates to adoption. These individuals must be qualified lawyers. They can make sure that your adoption process is completely safe and legal. They ensure that the legal papers for the adoption are completed correctly, and they guard the rights of their clients — either the birth parent or the ¬†adoptive parents — throughout the process.

In Arkansas, you can complete an adoption with just an adoption lawyer, without working through an adoption agency. This is often the best choice when you know a child who needs an adoptive home or an expectant mom who needs a home for her child.

It’s essential to have an adoption attorney to finalize your legal adoption correctly. It’s legally required to have a licensed professional to complete the home study required for adoption in Arkansas. The adoption professional is an important part of the process.