An adoption agency does the work of networking and connecting with the community. This outreach effort helps identify and provide expectant mothers, or birth mothers, support if they are thinking about placing their child for adoption. The terms “expectant mother” and “birth mother” are written interchangeably throughout this article, but “expectant mother” is typically used while she is pregnant and “birth mother” used afterwards.

The agency provides the care and resources the expectant mother may need while connecting her with profiles of adoptive parents to review. The mother chooses the adoptive family among the profiles, and upon the match, will move forward in the adoption process. 

What is the difference between private and agency adoption?

Agency adoption is the most common form of adoption people think of when they think about adopting. The other form of adoption, Private Adoption, describes a situation where the adoptive parents and birth mother have agreed to work together and do not need to be matched or the extra resources of an agency to facilitate the process. 

What is the cost to adopt from an agency?

The cost of adopting through an agency can be pretty high. I’ve seen as low as $17,000 and as high as $60,000. Here in Arkansas, the cost can average somewhere between $20,000 and $35,000 dollars. This will cover the majority of your expenses. It’s a lot of money, but this is a big investment. You want to have an experienced group known for providing ethical adoptions taking care of both the adoptive parents and the birth mother.

Do you have to go through an agency to adopt? 

No, but you may choose to use a licensed agency if you want the support for both you and the expectant mother or birth mother. The agency will handle a lot of the burdens and frustrations that might come with adoption. They are going to work with that expectant mother and make sure her needs are met. They will also make sure you are trained and ready for your adoption. The agency itself may provide the training and oftentimes they’ll provide your home study, too. As a license, experienced agency, they will ensure the adoption is done ethically. 

How do I get started adopting from an agency?

If you’re considering adoption, one of the first things I tell people to do is search and call a few good agencies in your area. In Arkansas, I work mostly with Shared Beginnings, but there are other great ones to choose from. If you’re thinking about using an adoption agency, remember, it’s a little bit more expensive. You’re probably looking at between $20,000 and $35,000. However, the investment might be worth it to you to ensure an ethical adoption and a successful placement.

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