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
Free newsletters to guide you through the adoption process — from application to home study to waiting and beyond.

Adoption Attorneys

The Kern Law Firm PLLC
Attorney Name:
Jennifer K. Kern
City:
Claremore
OK
Adoption Routes/Programs:
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
Practice State(s):
OK
Sogand Zamani, Zamani & Associates
Attorney Name:
Sogand Zamani
City:
Washington
DC
Practice State(s):
DC, MD
Jennifer Fairfax, Family Formation Law Offices
Attorney Name:
Jennifer Fairfax
City:
Silver Spring
MD
Practice State(s):
DC, MD, VA
Attorney Name:
Faith Getz Rousso, Esq.
City:
Garden City
NY
Adoption Routes/Programs:
U.S. Newborn
Practice State(s):
NY
Essex Richards, P.A.
Attorney Name:
Robert S. Blair Jr.
City:
Charlotte
NC
Practice State(s):
NC
Shelley B. Ballard, PC
City:
Chicago
IL
Adoption Routes/Programs:
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
Practice State(s):
IL
Woodruff Law Firm, P.A.
Attorney Name:
Jennifer Woodruff Douglas
City:
Lake City
AR
Adoption Routes/Programs:
U.S. Newborn
Practice State(s):
AR
Adoption Legal Services of Oklahoma
Attorney Name:
Charles Watts
City:
Oklahoma City
OK
Adoption Routes/Programs:
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster
Practice State(s):
OK
Herrin & Leach, LLC
Attorney Name:
Nathan Leach
City:
Indianapolis
IN
Adoption Routes/Programs:
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster
Practice State(s):
IN
TruAdopt Law
Attorney Name:
Celeste E. Liversidge
City:
Pasadena
CA
Adoption Routes/Programs:
U.S. Newborn
Practice State(s):
CA
Gillespie Law Group, LLC
Attorney Name:
Genie Miller Gillespie
City:
Chicago
IL
Adoption Routes/Programs:
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
Practice State(s):
IL
Mark R. Iverson P.S.
City:
Spokane
WA
Practice State(s):
ID, WA
Messerli Kramer
Attorney Name:
Gary A. Debele
City:
Minneapolis
MN
Adoption Routes/Programs:
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
Practice State(s):
MN, WI
Fiddler Osband LLC
Attorney Name:
Rachel Osband
City:
Edina
MN
Adoption Routes/Programs:
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
Practice State(s):
MN
Law Offices of Jeanne T. Tate, P.A.
Attorney Name:
Danelle D. Barksdale
City:
Tampa
FL
Practice State(s):
FL
Horn Law Group, LLC
Attorney Name:
Margaret Moriarty
City:
Toms River
NJ
Adoption Routes/Programs:
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster
Practice State(s):
NJ
Attorney Name:
C.J. Lyford
City:
Lafayette Hill
PA
Adoption Routes/Programs:
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
Practice State(s):
PA

See all adoption attorneys >

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