• JANUARY 21, 2021
  • BY Amanda Barton

Choosing a Full Service Adoption Agency Over an Adoption Attorney – A Birthmother’s Perspective

Choosing a Full Service Adoption Agency Over an Adoption Attorney – A Birthmother’s Perspective

 

When a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy starts to research her adoption options, she often is curious about the differences between working with an adoption attorney or an adoption agency. We are breaking it down for you. A Baby Step Adoption is an adoption agency that handles Pennsylvania adoptions and adoptions throughout the country. 

Choosing adoption for your baby is an incredibly selfless decision but often, brings up unexpected questions. The adoption process should never be something you do on your own. For a woman choosing adoption, you deserve to have unconditional, constant support. From the moment you speak to a caseworker to discuss your unplanned pregnancy options, you should feel solidly supported and be able to have all of your adoption questions answered. The caseworker is there for you throughout the entire process, so you are never alone. She will also help you navigate your life once you have placed your baby for adoption. 

An adoption agency’s main priority is supporting you, the birthmother, and helping you every step of the way through the adoption process. An attorney only focuses on the legal side of the adoption process. Working with an agency who is working for you allows you to get the full support you need and the legal counsel you require. 

A Baby Step Adoption has caseworkers exclusively for our women who are facing unplanned pregnancy and considering adoption. Our adoption specialists are separate for the birthmother and the adoptive family. Your caseworker is your advocate, and working with an agency is a great way to have someone working on your behalf as an intermediary between you and the adoption family. Your caseworker will help you decide the right adoptive family for your baby taking into account all of your considerations. A full service adoption agency, like A Baby Step Adoption, which handles Pennsylvania adoptions and adoptions throughout the US, vets these Waiting Families, so that you know your baby will be in a safe and loving home. We complete a thorough home study before the family can be eligible for adopting a baby through our Pennsylvania adoption agency. Your caseworker will also help you decide how much contact you want with your child once the adoption is finalized. Do you want an open adoption, in which you and the family exchange notes and updates on the baby? The level of openness is entirely up to you. 

As you consider whether to use an adoption agency or adoption attorney, it is helpful to ask:

  • Will my caseworker be a local person that I can meet with face-to-face, or someone in another state that I can only talk to on the phone? 
    • A Baby Step Adoption is a local Pennsylvania adoption agency, however we work with birthmothers from all over the United States. If you are close enough, we love to meet in person. We can also speak on the phone, Facetime or ZOOM throughout the adoption process. 

 

  • Will I have someone dedicated to me that will support me and my decisions or will the same person also represent the adoptive family?
    • A Baby Step Adoption always maintains different points of contact for the birthmother considering adoption and the adoptive family.

 

  • Is there someone who has my best interest in mind and can walk me through the adoption paperwork so I know exactly what the adoption entails?
    • A Baby Step Adoption will make sure you know and understand all of your rights and will be with you every step of the way through the adoption process. 

 

  • Will we sign a post adoption contract agreement (PACA)? These agreements were created to provide a framework for enforceable post adoption contact between the birthparents and the adopted child.  
    • In Pennsylvania, PACA’s are legally binding agreements, so if you choose to have contact with the family and child post adoption, it is a true contract, enforceable by the court. Pennsylvania adoptions is one of the few states that permits legally enforceable PACA’s.A Baby Step Adoption will work with you to decide if an open adoption is right for you. 

 

  • If I change my mind at some point during the adoption process, do I owe money to the agency or attorney?
    • All agency services are free to expectant parents. Whether you decide adoption is right for you or not, our services are completely free of charge to you. It is completely up to you whether to go through with an adoption. 

 

Another thing to consider, an adoption agency, like A  Baby Step Adoption, is regulated by its state. A Baby Step Adoption is an adoption agency in Pennsylvania so we are mandated to provide certain services for our expectant women. According to Pennsylvania state regulations for adoption, we must provide counseling and legal services, educational services, health related services, and financial services. An adoption attorney would not have to follow the same mandates. In adoption as a Pennsylvania adoption agency, we are inspected by the state each year to make sure our agency adheres to the state guidelines, unlike an adoption attorney.

We know there is a lot to consider when deciding if adoption is right for you. We are here for you 24/7 to offer unbiased advice. We frequently navigate Pennsylvania adoptions, but many of our adoptions take place throughout the country. It doesn’t matter where you currently reside. If you want to talk to a caring caseworker about your unplanned pregnancy options and possibly making an adoption plan, contact us by live chat, text us 610-376-9742 at or call us at 610-613-1911. You can also submit a contact form, and we will have one of our caseworkers reach out to you.