Adoption Facilitators versus Adoption Agencies
While licensed adoption agencies are regulated by the state and held accountable for maintaining standards and complying with state and federal laws the actions of many adoption facilitators are not licensed and are unregulated.
Facilitators verses Adoption Agencies
An adoption facilitator is a person who assists in the matching of a birth mother and her baby with an adopting family. Unlike a licensed child adoption agency most child adoption facilitators are not licensed. If the adoption facilitator (other than an attorney) is providing services without cost, there is normally no problem, but if they are charging a fee, many states have prohibited using the facilitator. There are a few states like Ohio and California where a licensed adoption facilitator can charge for their services, although the states strictly limit the payments and all payments must be reported to, and approved by, the courts at the time of finalization.
An adoption facilitator may assist in the matching process but then they usually are out of the picture and that leaves you and the birth parent to fend for yourself, a situation that
can be very problematic. The improper use of a paid adoption facilitator or intermediary could have a negative impact on the finalization of an adoption and could even result in criminal prosecutions.
As a result, you should check state adoption laws, consult with the state
adoption authority, an adoption attorney, or adoption agency before you decide to use the services of an adoption facilitator.
The US government and many state authorities have received so many complaints concerning adoption facilitators that the U.S. Department of State strongly urges citizens contemplating adoption to retain the services of a reputable adoption agency licensed. You can see their recommendation on the link Important Notice Regarding Adoption Agents and Facilitators. You can also visit the link adoption facilitator.
Advertising and Facilitators
Some adoptive parents advertise for a birth mother or utilize the services of a adoption facilitator or intermediary to help find an adoptable child. In an effort to protect the interests of all parties, many States have enacted laws that either prohibit or regulate these means of making private adoptive placements. As an adopting family you should check the laws of the state in which you reside and the state laws where you plan to advertise to make sure you do not violate any state adoption laws.
The Child Welfare Information Gateway article Use of Advertising and Facilitators in Adoptive Placements may help clarify this issue.