Adoption Counseling [And Other Services from Adoption Social Workers]
Choosing adoption can be difficult and overwhelming for both prospective birth parents and hopeful adoptive families. Having the resources and information to make important decisions during your adoption is crucial, but having a licensed professional adoption social worker or specialist is especially important to the success of your adoption.
What do these social workers, specialists and counselors do? We’ll break down the role of these professionals and how they positively impact potential birth mothers choosing adoption and couples hoping to add a new member to their family.
What is an Adoption Social Worker?
During your adoption, there is no person you spend more time talking to and talking through the adoption process with than your adoption social worker — also sometimes referred to as an adoption specialist, adoption case worker or even adoption agent. The main role of these professionals is to assist you through the entire adoption process and explain each step while providing you with numerous services to ensure your adoption is handled with the best possible care and done so safely and ethically.
With so many steps during an adoption, it’s important for both prospective birth mothers and adoptive couples to navigate each of these steps with someone properly trained and equipped with the resources to help you reach the finalization of your adoption. When you choose to work with an adoption agency, your assigned social worker or adoption specialist will immediately become your go-to source for everything related to your adoption. In most cases, you will also have access to communication with your adoption social worker 24 hours a day via phone, text messages, instant messaging or video chat and email. It is their job to make sure your needs are taken care of immediately and professionally.
The Role of an Adoption Social Worker for Birth Parents
Prospective birth parents experience a range of emotions when choosing adoption. There are seemingly unlimited questions, and finding answers to those questions can be difficult and frustrating. An adoption specialist is responsible for mitigating as much additional stress and confusion as possible by doing the legwork in moving your adoption along while making sure you are taken care of emotionally, medically and financially during the adoption process.
Some of the important services your adoption social worker or specialist will provide you with include:
- Providing education and resources to help you understand what choosing adoption means
- Helping you create a birth plan and educating you on the emotions of the adoption process
- Connecting you with waiting adoptive families
- Guiding you through the consent process
- Educating you on the financial side of adoption, including financial assistance
- Providing a direct line of communication for your emotional needs or answering any and all questions
- Offering professional adoption counseling to ensure you have the support you need as you deal with the emotions of adoption
- Mediating communication with the adoptive family
Your adoption specialist is the direct link between you and your baby and the family you ultimately choose to place your child with. Most of the time, you will find an adoption specialist or social worker through a licensed adoption agency.
However, if you decide to work independently (without the services of an adoption agency), there may still be adoption social workers, specialists and adoption counselors available to help you. The downside to using these professionals outside of a licensed agency is not being able to guarantee they can provide you with each of the various services you need. For example, an independent adoption counselor may specialize in providing you with the emotional support needed, but may require you to contact a third-party professional for other adoption services, such as financial assistance and hospital planning.
The Role of an Adoption Social Worker for Adoptive Families
Just as adoption social workers or specialists work around the clock for birth mothers, adoptive families receive the same level of high-quality, caring service during an adoption. The perspective of adoption for a waiting family is different, requiring a different set of services and counseling. Educating adoptive families on the different steps is the first important role of an adoption social worker.
The services provided to an adoptive family by a social worker or adoption specialist may include the following:
- Education on the financial obligations for adoptive families
- Facilitating communication with the prospective birth parents
- Helping adoptive families prepare for travel for the birth of baby
- Preparation for the adoption home study process
- And more
If you are considering placing a baby for adoption, it may be comforting for you to know that any family you choose through a licensed adoption agency will be well-prepared to adopt and parent your baby, thanks to the services provided by their adoption worker.
Understanding Adoption Counseling Services
One of the most important services a social worker for adoption provides is counseling for adoption. Facing an unexpected pregnancy is emotional and deciding whether or not adoption is right for you only adds to that emotion. Pregnancy also brings on additional stress, physical discomfort and in some cases depression. Adoption counselors can help prospective birth mothers through the adoption process and provide helpful counseling for considering ‘giving a baby up’ for adoption.
What is an Adoption Counselor?
An adoption counselor can be your lifeline for the range of emotions you experience during your pregnancy and adoption. Also known as an Adoption social worker or adoption specialist, he or she is your champion and guide throughout your adoption. Every fear, uncertain, happy and exciting emotion you feel is shared with your adoption specialist. When you contact an adoption agency, the first interaction you’ll have with an adoption counselor is helping you determine if adoption is right for you by providing you with information and a layout of what you can expect.
These are just some of the services your adoption counselor provides:
- Providing you with information on what to expect when choosing adoption
- Helping you determine what type of adoptive family you hope to meet
- Helping you decide what type of relationship you want with an adoptive family
- Coordinating your entire adoption process to ensure you have a safe and smooth experience
- Providing you with counseling and other educational services
- And more
Why should I seek counseling for “giving a baby up” for adoption?
Seeking counseling for “giving a baby up” for adoption can determine how your entire adoption experience plays out. The professional care for not only the adoption itself, but for you personally, cannot be overstated. Adoption can be complex, emotional and challenging which is why the services and guidance of an adoption counselor gives you peace of mind that your adoption is being handled with care and safety for the good of you and your baby. The adoption specialist you work with is there to make sure you have the best experience possible. Their guidance through the adoption process not only comes with important services, resources and education, but also serving as a friend — a shoulder to cry on if needed and the person for which all questions, concerns and celebrations are experienced together.
An adoption professional will guide you through the adoption process and help you find the perfect family for your baby. These are some of the most reputable agencies and resources to consider contacting for your adoption.
- American Adoptions – A national, full-service agency, American Adoptions has offices located across the U.S., as well as a 24/7 hotline for full access to your adoption professionals any time, night or day. Call 1-800-ADOPTION or request free information today.
- Gladney Center for Adoption
- Beacon House Adoption Services
Are you ready to begin your open adoption journey? Get free information and advice from a trained specialist now. Contact us any time to be connected with a helpful adoption professional.
Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.