How to Research an Adoption Professional

Looking for an adoption professional is an important — and confusing — step in your adoption journey. Here's where to start.

A couple talking to an adoption professional

COVER THE BASICS:

  • Carefully read the articles on selecting an adoption agency and an adoption attorney on Adoptive Families.
  • Once you have selected a list of adoption agencies or adoption attorneys for consideration, read details about each one’s philosophy and programs in the online adoption professional database on Building Your Family.
  • Search our adoption agency directory to find an agency you’re interested in. Then, use the link at the top of the webpage to request information from that agency.
  • Read the adoption agency or attorney written materials (whether online or in print) carefully.
  • Call each agency or professional to ask the “Questions to Ask an Adoption Attorney” and “Questions to Ask an Adoption Agency.”

TALK TO PARENTS WHO ADOPTED THROUGH THE ATTORNEY/AGENCY YOU ARE CONSIDERING:

  • Ask the attorney/agency to give you names of client families who adopted recently, as well as families who adopted a year or more previously.
  • Join a listserv of other families who have adopted from the country you have chosen (find one at Adoptive Families Circle). Post a request there for feedback about the agency or professional you are considering.
  • Join a local parent support group (find one in our searchable database), and ask other parents about their experiences.

RESEARCH WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS:

  • Check with your state adoption unit (find it on http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb) to see whether there have been complaints in your state.
  • Check the licensing status of an agent or attorney with your state licensing unit or the local bar association.
  • Check the financials of any non-profit adoption agency on guidestar.org.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau: bbb.org.
  • Find out if the agency is a member of the Joint Council of International Children’s Services: jointcouncil.org.
  • Find out whether the agency is accredited by the Council on Accreditation: coanet.org. (Do not be overly concerned if it is not. COA accreditation is still fairly rare.)


EVERY STEP OF THE WAY
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Adoption Attorneys

Rosin Steinhagen Mendel
New York, NY
NJ, NY
Virginia L. Frank, PC
Boulder, CO
U.S. Newborn
CO, OK
CO, OK
Cofsky & Zeidman, LLC
Donald Cofsky
Haddonfield, NJ
NJ, PA
Jennifer Fairfax, Family Formation Law Offices
Jennifer Fairfax
Silver Spring, MD
DC, MD, VA
DC, MD, VA
Joseph, Wiernicki, & Schimming, P.C.
Rockville, MD
DC, MD, VA
MD
Sogand Zamani, Zamani & Associates
Sogand Zamani
Washington, DC
DC, MD
Grady, Hayes & Neary, LLC
Stephen Hayes
Waukesha, WI
WI
DeSmidt Rabuse PLLC
Jody Ollyver DeSmidt
Minneapolis, MN
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
MN, WI
Family Formation
Megan Cohen
Lafayette, CA
U.S. Newborn
CA
Law Offices of Jeanne T. Tate, P.A.
Danelle D. Barksdale
Tampa, FL
FL
Adoption Legal Services of Oklahoma
Charles Watts
Oklahoma City, OK
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster
OK
Herrin & Leach, LLC
Nathan Leach
Indianapolis, IN
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster
IN
Gregory A. Franklin, Esq.
Gregory A. Franklin
Rochester, NY
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
NY
Law Office of Jennifer R. Cochran-Green
Austin, TX
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster
TX
Kirton McConkie
Salt Lake City, UT
UT
Lisa L. Collins, Esq.
Nashville, TN
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
TN
Horn Law Group, LLC
Margaret Moriarty
Toms River, NJ
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster
NJ
Jenny L. Womack, P.C.
Dallas, TX
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster
TX
Adoptions First, LLP
David Ellis
LOS ANGELES, CA
U.S. Newborn
CA
Lyford Law
C.J. Lyford
Lafayette Hill, PA
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
PA
Michael S. Goldstein, Esq., LCSW
Rye Brook, NY
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International
FL, NJ, NY
McCarthy Weston, pllc
Flagstaff, AZ
AK, AZ, MO, NE
The Kern Law Firm PLLC
Jennifer K. Kern
Claremore, OK
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
OK
Atty. Theresa L. Roetter of Annen Roetter, LLC
Madison, WI
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
WI
Solberg & Bullock, LLC
Ellyn J. Bullock
Champaign, IL
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
IL
Stanton Phillips – Adoption Legal Services
Vienna, VA
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
DC, VA
Mills Meyers Swartling P.S.
Seattle, WA
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
WA
GoransonBain, PLLC
Dallas, TX
TX
Law Offices of Susan L. Stockham, P.A.
Susan L. Stockham, Esq.
Sarasota, FL
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
FL
Shelley B. Ballard, PC
Chicago, IL
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
IL
King, Spry, Herman, Freund, Faul, LLC
Dorota Gasienica-Kozak, Esq.
Bethlehem, PA
NJ, PA
Adoption Law Center of Middle TN, PLLC
Jenny Hall
Nashville, TN
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
TN
Messerli Kramer
Gary A. Debele
Minneapolis, MN
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
MN, WI

See all adoption attorneys >

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