What is an Adoption Agency?

ACFB Family 2An adoption agency is an organization that places infants — and older children — into permanent homes with adoptive parents. An adoption agency can be either private or public,  for-profit or non-profit.

Private adoption agencies have to be licensed by the state (or states) in which they operate. In Illinois, all adoption agencies must be non-profit.  The state of Indiana allows private adoption agencies to operate as either for-profit or not-for-profit.

Often an adoption agency will provide services, such as preparing home studies (for families hoping to adopt), adoption education, placement services and support, counseling and financial help to birth parents.  In a private adoption agency, the birth mother chooses to make a voluntary placement for her child.  In a public adoption agency, the child has typically been removed from the birth family due to abuse,  neglect or inability to care for the child.

In both Illinois and Indiana, all prospective adoptive families must complete a home study. The home study includes such things as background checks, medical evaluations, home visits, education, counseling and more. The purpose of the home study is to prepare the family to adopt, and insure that they are able to provide a safe, secure, caring environment for a child.

Private, open adoption agencies give the birth parents the option of choosing the adoptive parents themselves.  The birth mother and/or birth father may also choose to meet the family and stay in contact through letters, email, texting or visits after the placement.  Open adoption has become increasingly popular over the past 25 years.

Private adoption agencies do not charge expectant parents for their services.  However, adoptive parents typically pay agency fees.  Non-profit, adoption agencies may also fundraise to help defray agency costs.  Many non-profit agencies offer adoptive families reduced fees in order to make adopting more affordable.  Public adoption agencies are state run organizations and services are often free to both birth and adoptive parents.  Public adoption agencies primarily place older children, sibling groups and children with special needs.  Most private adoption agencies place healthy newborns and some place older children and/or kids with special needs.

Adoption agencies employ trained professional counselors whose job is to assist the birth and adoptive families in their quest to make an adoption plan.  In a voluntary adoption, the adoption counselors do not make decisions for the birth parents, but assist them by offering support, counseling, and options.

Adoptive parents are also given information about their options, and make choices for themselves.  Adoptive parents receive training on issues such as transracial adoption, open adoption, how to talk with children about adoption, understanding birth mothers, etc.  Training is valuable in that it enables adoptive families to understand adoption and the implications of their decisions.

The goal of the adoption agency is make the best possible placement for the child.  All of the adoption agency services are designed to help birth families and adoptive families make the best decisions for themselves, as well.

 Adoption Center for Family Building is a private, non-profit open adoption agency licensed in both Illinois and Indiana.  For more information about adoption, visit our website at www.centerforfamily.com or call us at 800-869-1005. You may also send an email to info@centerforfamily.com




3 Responses to “What is an Adoption Agency?”

  1. Jason Strong

    My ant and uncle have adopted 10 kids and have done an amazing job at raising all of them. This has made me want to look into it more and see if it’s something that I would like to do when I get married. This gave me some great views at the different kinds of adoption agencies out there and what I can expect with all of them.


  2. I’m thinking I might want to adopt a baby later on in life. There is so much to think about when considering that though. Where do you adopt from, how old of a child would you like to adopt, would you consider a special needs child and so much more. Not only that, but you need to figure out how you will cover the expenses as well.

  3. Thank you very much for this information. My husband and I really want to start a family and we are looking into adoption. We’ve been researching the subject of adoption agencies online and this information was very helpful. We’ll be sure to remember it.