Do you need to use an agency in your state? — The Bump
Adoption

Do you need to use an agency in your state?

Newbie question here, but none of the books I have read directly address this...do you need to use an agency in the state where you live? Is there a benefit to using one that is close by?

Thanks! 

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Re: Do you need to use an agency in your state?

  • We're still in the process of choosing an agency so others may have more info for you but, in short, no the agency does not have to be in your state. One of the obvious benefits if you choose one in your state is actually being able to sit down and talk with your counselor throughout the process rather than over phone or email. If you're doing domestic adoption, you also might be more likely to get a match from a birthmom in your state- which means that you wouldn't have to deal with ICPC to bring the baby home (but agencies usually work with birthmoms from all over- so even one in your state may have many birthmoms in other states). Using one close to home also likely means that they'll do your homestudy (rather than having to find another agency or SW to do it) so it might be a slightly easier and cheaper process (but not necessarily). We learned after doing a lot of research that NY has very strict rules about adopting domestically but from another state- we have to use one of the "approved" out-of-state agencies so that ruled out a lot of options for us- I don't think a lot of other states do that though.
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  • We live in ND and we are required to use an agency in our state no matter what we do (interstate, ND, international, identified, etc).  The reason being is in ND they are the only ones licensed to do home studies.  Total pain in the you know what. 

    But we can use an agency here for our homestudy etc and use a different agency in another state to find placement (which we have discussed).

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  • Depends on the state.  In IL, you aren't required to use an agency from IL.  But they have to be licensed in IL.  And I'm finding that a lot of agencies aren't - unless they're in IL.  And, even then, some can only work with certain areas of IL.  :: banging head on desk ::  Finding an agency has been "fun" to say the least.

     

     

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  • Can anyone recommend a resource where I can look up the laws for my state (MD)? 
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  • you may want to try adoptivefamilies.com; i found a lot of info on their website when we began our process.  you also may want to call an adoption agency or attorney located in your state.  a lot of times they're willing to answer questions like this over the phone.

    good luck in starting your process!

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  • I live in Michigan and you don't have to use an agency. In Michigan you could adopt from foster care too .. an often times the children in foster care will also have unborn or a newborn sibling looking for a home too. 
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