There are several places to look for somebody to handle an adoption. Many adoption practitioners are licensed to practice, but others are not.
Traditional adoption practitioners are professionally licensed by the state in which they practice.
Licensed adoption practitioners include:
Some non-traditional practitioners have also entered the field recently. They are generally not licensed by the states in which they are located, or by any other supervisory organization.
Unlicensed adoption practitioners include:
Since California changed its independent adoption law in 1995, it has become more important than ever to find the right Adoption Practitioner. The new law is based on the assumption that birth mothers don't understand what they are doing, and need at least 30 days after placement within which to change their minds and take their babies back. That makes the new procedures riskier than in the past. So, when handled by an unlicensed, unqualified person or agency, an adoption can more easily end in disappointment and heartache.
Choosing a Practitioner
Before you engage any kind of professional help, common sense requires that you learn something about the person being considered. It never hurts to know:
- How long the Practitioner has been in practice?
- How many adoptions the Practitioner has handled?
- How many of his or her adoptions fail?
- If one does fail, will he or she be able to help you adopt another baby?
- Will you be required to spend thousands of dollars placing advertisements in newspapers, and then have to screen the birth mothers yourself?
These are just a few of the questions you should ask before you choose a lawyer to help you.
There are a number of psychologists and social workers who have counseled birth parents and adopting parents for many years. Like doctors, they bring couples and mothers with accidental pregnancies together. Although they cannot complete the adoption proceedings, and their clients must still find an adoption agency or a lawyer to do so, they have the ability to help people find a good adoption.