Adopting a Baby
Placing a Baby
Unlicensed Adoption Facilitators
A new class of participants in adoption has emerged in the past five or six years: Adoption Facilitators. They are in the business of linking up birth mother and potential adopting couples for a fee.
The essence of their business is advertising for birth mothers. The most modest fee I know of for this service is $2900; one Southern California facilitator demands over $16,000!
Even after a facilitator has located a birth mother, the adopting parents must hire an attorney or licensed adoption agency to complete the adoption legalities.
Facilitators are baby-finders; few are equipped or even inclined to screen birth mothers or recognize potential adoption disasters. Unfortunately, many facilitators operate under names that make them sound like licensed adoption agencies, even though they are not.
Because too often these facilitators neglect to disclose the true natures and limitations of their practices, many of the adopting couples who consult them wind up with serious - and expensive - problems. That is why one leading California lawyer, whose practice is devoted to litigating adoptions that are falling apart, says facilitator-arranged placements are her "bread and butter."
There are some facilitators with professional credentials, such as a Ph.D. in psychology or counseling, and do a capable job, not only in finding babies, but also in assessing birth parents and disclosing problems to potential adopting parents. Unfortunately, those facilitators are few.