Adoption facilitators offer an incredibly useful service; they specialize in making the initial connection between a birthmother and an adoptive family, using a number of tools to help ensure you find the right fit. They may use questionnaires, counseling, interviews, and more to help determine which birthmother and adoptive family are likely to make a good fit for each other. However, because facilitators are not licensed or regulated beyond basic business regulations, some states restrict their use.
Does Your State Allow Adoption Facilitators?
We’ll start off with the ones that make it easy. Some states simply allow adoption facilitators or ban them flat-out. The following states allow adoption facilitators to connect adoptive parents and birthparents, though regulations on how they do so may vary by state:
Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming
States Where Adoption Facilitators Are Prohibited
Unfortunately, there are some states where adoption facilitators are not allowed. These states do not allow adoption facilitators either within the state or from another state as an inter-state adoption. Those are:
Colorado, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New York, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia
There are a few states that have regulations regarding adoption facilitators that are a little more complicated than ‘yes’ and ‘no’. In some cases, the states allow for an interstate adoption – using the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children – where an adoption facilitator has been used in the receiving state. That means that adoptive parents in a ‘yes’ state can be connected with a birthmother in one of these states by an adoption facilitator in their home state, but that residents in these states cannot use the services of an adoption facilitator.
The following states allow adoption facilitators only from outside states during an inter-state adoption:
Arizona, Georgia, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Oregon
It is important to note that, thanks to adoption activists (of whom there are many on both sides of the adoption facilitator argument), adoption laws on a state level seem to constantly be in flux. Because of that, it is important to check with an adoption lawyer in your state before enlisting the help of an adoption facilitator. An adoption lawyer can help you determine what is legal in your state as well as in any state you might consider an inter-state adoption from.