An adoption center, also referred to as an adoption agency, is the first stop in navigating your adoption journey. An adoption center can be our best...

Adoption Center

An adoption center, also referred to as an adoption agency, is the first stop in navigating your adoption journey. An adoption center can be our best teammate, ally, and partner in regards to making sure that your adoption journey goes smoothly. Choosing an adoption center is not always easy due to a variety of factors including financials and lack of availability in your area. Having a larger pool of adoption centers from which to choose would definitely be of benefit. However, it is still vital to do your homework to choose the best adoption center for you to help you achieve a ethical and legal adoption process.

Purpose of an Adoption Center

An adoption center’s main purpose is to guide both prospective adoptive parents and birth parents through the adoption process. For birth parents, adoption centers should be coming alongside them in a compassionate manner, ensuring they remain informed and assured throughout the adoption process. The adoption center should value birth parents and not place pressure on them to pursue adoption. If you are a birth parent who is seeking an adoption center or agency through which to place your child for adoption, the adoption center should first provide you with all of the information and resources you need to make an informed decision. The adoption center should also inform you of your rights in an adoption, your options for openness, and be considerate of your wishes for the adoption. If you feel pressure or uncomfortable, it may be wise to seek the services of a different adoption center.

For prospective adoptive parents, an adoption center or agency should be an advocate and a partner in the adoption process. The adoption center will be the ones facilitating the adoption, making sure that it is both legal and ethical. An adoption center should make sure that all of the prospective adoptive parents’ questions are answered and that they are kept informed with every step of the process. You should feel that your adoption center is in your corner and available to you in a reasonable fashion. You should feel confident in the team helping you through your journey and comfortable with their processing of all of the necessary documents and steps on your journey. A great adoption center will be one that is organized, informative, and knowledgeable about many different types of adoption.

Services Provided

Adoption centers provide varying services to both birth parents and adoptive parents. These services will vary based on the adoption center and also the type of adoption. For birth parents, an adoption center will help guide them through the placement of their child for adoption. The services extended may include helping birth parents apply for government benefits to assist them during the pregnancy, helping them to select an adoptive family for their child, obtaining pregnancy-related expenses from the adoptive family, and providing resources for counseling if needed or required. Many adoption centers will also seek outside legal representation for the birth parents to make sure they are aware of their rights in placement.

For prospective adoptive parents, an adoption center will provide most of the services needed for their adoption from the beginning of their journey to finalization. The adoption center will conduct the adoption home study, post-placement visits, and also aid in finding a birth mother with whom to match adoptive parents to unless the adoptive parent has matched privately. The adoption center will also make sure all legal documentation and requirements are carried out and submitted to the courts for the end goal of finalization. In an international adoption, the adoption center will coordinate with agencies and organizations overseas for the adoption. The adoption center will need to obtain and submit documentation applicable to that country and also aid in finding an adoptive child to match with the prospective adoptive parents. The assistance of an adoption center in international adoption is invaluable.

The adoption center will also often be the intermediary between the adoptive parents and birth parents. The adoptive parents will often submit pregnancy-related expenses to the adoption center in order to disperse those funds to the birth parents. The adoption center may also help navigate any open adoption agreements if applicable in the adoption.

Fee Schedules

For adoptive parents, the services provided by an adoption center will cost if they are pursuing international or domestic adoption. For foster care adoption, the agency or center is usually a state agency. In this case, the agency then takes on the cost of the services they provide in order to get children in foster care who are eligible for adoption into permanent homes. The education, training, home study, and finalization fees will typically be covered by the state for foster care adoption situations.

For international adoption and domestic adoption, the cost of each service from an adoption center will vary. However, much of the overall cost of adoption will be payments made to the adoption center for their services. For example, a home study from an adoption center generally starts at around $1,500 for just that process. This does not include the cost of background checks not typically the cost of a fire inspection if applicable. Post-placement visits can vary, but may start out at a cost of $300-$500 per visit based on how many visits are required by your state and/or adoption center.

There are also often initial application fees to be taken on by an adoption center, which can vary tremendously. Fees to be matched with a child internationally or fees to be matched with a birth mother for domestic adoption also need to be considered. As the amount of the fees can vary considerably from adoption center to adoption center, it is wise to ask for a fee schedule before signing on with any adoption center. Also inquire if there is any possibility of additional fees down the line. As failed matches are also always a possibility, it is diligent to ask if any of the paid fees are recouped or roll over in the event that a match fails, and you have to start searching for a new match.

Visit Adoption.com’s photolisting page for children who are ready and waiting to find their forever families. For adoptive parents, please visit our Parent Profiles page where you can create an incredible adoption profile and connect directly with potential birth parents.

Lita Jordan

Lita Jordan

Lita Jordan is a master of all things "home." A work-from-home, stay-at-home, homeschooling mother of five. She has a BA in Youth Ministry from Spring Arbor University. She is married to the "other Michael Jordan" and lives on coffee and its unrealistic promises of productivity. Lita enjoys playing guitar and long trips to Target. Follow her on www.facebook.com/halfemptymom/.