Adoption Facilitators are Dangerous

March 7, 2024

By Adoption Choices of Florida

Adoption Facilitators are Dangerous

Beware of Adoption Facilitators!

Adoption facilitators, sometimes called “adoption consultants,” are unlicensed and unregulated companies who attempt to match prospective adoptive families with prospective birth parents who are considering adoption. Adoption facilitators are often small organizations with one or two staff members who have no counseling background.

In the adoption process, “adoption advertising” means coordinating services and helping expectant birth parents and adoptive families find one another based on each party’s adoption goals. Facilitators advertise to find a prospective birth parent on behalf of their clients, the hopeful adoptive family.

Once a birth parent selects a family, the adoption facilitator will refer both the adoptive family and birth family to a local professional (such as a licensed adoption agency) and remove themselves from the rest of the adoption process – leaving behind hefty fees for the adoptive family to pay along with a wealth of missing education, training, and especially, support for the birth parents.

Adoption facilitators are even outlawed in some states!!

There are no Advantages of Adoption Facilitators

Depending on your situation and your needs, it is possible to find some advantages to working with an adoption facilitator. But, as you will see, there are many more causes for concern than there are potential benefits.

Disadvantages of Adoption Facilitators

There are many potential disadvantages of working with adoption facilitators that any hopeful adoptive parents should consider. These disadvantages include:

  • Higher costs and financial risk: Once referred to a local adoption professional, adoptive families must pay more on top of what has already been paid to the facilitator, and their fees are at risk if the adoption doesn’t work out.
  • Illegal practices: Nearly all 50 states have specific laws against the use of adoption facilitators.
  • Inaccurate fee estimates: An adoption facilitator’s cost estimates are best-case scenarios and rarely reflect that clients may experience several disruptions and lose thousands of dollars before an adoption succeeds. Those losses will be added to the fees for a successful adoption later.
  • Lack of counseling and support: Like with adoption law centers, families often become frustrated with adoption facilitators because they lack a social service department skilled in evaluating, educating and guiding birth mothers through the adoption process. As a result, families are often matched with birth mothers who aren’t strongly committed to adoption, aren’t emotionally prepared or don’t understand the process.
  • Lack of legal knowledge: Adoption facilitators typically lack expertise in the complexities and differences in adoption law from state to state. They sometimes give ill advice as they try to match adoptive couples with birth parents.
  • Lack of necessary services: Adoption facilitators only match birth parents and adoptive families. There are many more aspects of the adoption process besides finding the right adoption opportunity, and adoption facilitators are not able to handle any of these needs. The adoptive family must find a local provider to perform adoption services. This leads to an inconsistent experience and can create a higher likelihood of the adoption failing.
  • Less value for your investment: Adoption facilitators usually provide less than a fourth of the services of licensed agencies, and yet clients often end up spending more money.
  • No regulation or oversight: Governments or organizations do not annually review adoption facilitators. This lack of oversight can lead to potentially questionable methods and practices. In contrast, a licensed adoption agency has many levels of review by objective persons and organizations to ensure they are operating in a safe, ethical and legal way.
  • Potential for sudden shutdown: Adoption facilitators can easily go out of business without warning, leaving hopeful adoptive families in limbo with no repercussions.
  • Recurring costs: Some adoption facilitator contracts expire, meaning there is a time window to find an adoption opportunity, and then the family will have to pay more fees after this window closes.
  • Slower response times: Adoption facilitator organizations are often very small. This can mean that the staff is overworked, which can lead to less availability and slower response times. This can prove detrimental to the adoption when there is an immediate need.