Local vs. National Adoption Agencies: What’s the Difference?

Adoption is an incredible blessing for many families, both parents and children alike. While it can seem like an overwhelming process, hopeful adoptive parents can take comfort in knowing that there are great resources out there to help. Adoptions With Love is a non-profit, private, domestic adoption agency providing services to adopting families across Massachusetts. It is our goal to help you through the adoption process and ensure that it is a positive, favorable experience for your family. It is our mission to find the best possible home for each child, and to make that home here in the Bay State.

Once you have decided to grow your family through adoption, one of the first and most important decisions you will make is choosing which type of adoption you would like to pursue. Massachusetts families have the option to adopt internationally or adopt domestically, through a private adoption agency or through foster care.

Many waiting families looking to adopt a newborn will choose private adoption. Through a private adoption agency, they can receive a lot of medical and personal information about their child’s birth family. Often with private adoption, adoptive families can also meet their child’s biological parents.

If you would like to move forward with private, domestic adoption, you will now need to select an adoption agency to help you through the adoption process. There are many options to choose from, and it can be tough to determine which is best for you. Here we explain the differences between local adoption agencies and national adoption agencies.

Local vs. National Adoption Agencies

National adoption agencies work with adoptive parents and birth parents across all 50 states. They are large agencies with offices throughout the country. Local adoption agencies, on the other hand, are small, personalized agencies that are typically dedicated to working with adoptive families in one state, such as Massachusetts. However, like national adoption agencies, many local agencies can still work with expectant and birth mothers across the United States.

National adoption agencies tend to have higher agency fees. This is because they have higher overhead costs – such as large employee staffs. Since local adoption agencies are working within one single state, their overhead costs tend to be lower. This results in lower fees for adoption services.

Whether you are working with a national adoption agency or a local adoption agency, the process to adopt a baby is generally the same. There are a few differences in the process, depending on the professional team you choose, such as:

  • Personal interaction. Local adoption agencies tend to offer more personal, one-on-one time for parents with social workers. This means more attention to your adoption and extra care to ensure a smooth and happy experience. Adopting families typically do not meet with national adoption agencies face-to-face, unless they are willing to travel. A local adoption agency gives you the opportunity for an intimate and personal experience.
  • National adoption agencies may require additional demands to meet approval of different state adoption laws.
  • National adoption agencies tend to cost families more money than local adoption agencies.
  • Local adoption agencies are licensed and state-monitored organizations, and therefore have greater accountability than law firms, law centers, or adoption facilitators.
  • Amount of Adoptions. While national adoption agencies are generally thought to have more availability and shorter wait times (because of the larger pool of selection), a local adoption agency like Adoptions With Love can also help match families with children across the country.
  • With a local adoption agency, you are one of a handful of applicants; with a national adoption agency you are in a much larger pool of applicants.

The Perks of a Full-Service, Private, Non-Profit Adoption Agency in Massachusetts

In general, there are two different types of private adoption agencies that Massachusetts families can choose. There is the full-service adoption agency, which includes:

  • Home study services
  • Comprehensive marketing and matching with expectant/birth parents
  • Full legal services, including termination of birth father’s rights
  • ICPC and adoption finalization services
  • Pre-adoptive educational seminars to prepare for your baby’s arrival
  • Post-adoption education and counseling for you and your child
  • Post-placement letter and picture program

A full-service adoption agency like Adoptions With Love makes a commitment to working with hopeful parents until they have their baby. Much like national adoption agencies, our team also has the added benefit of matching waiting parents with birth mothers and babies nationwide. At Adoptions With Love, wait times generally range from six to twelve months after the completion of a home study. If you value in-person service and a close, trusting relationship with your adoption counselor, you may consider Adoptions With Love. Our services connect the dots between national and local adoption agencies: we offer personal, one-on-one attention for local parents in Massachusetts, all while helping children across the country find permanent homes.

For more than 30 years, Adoptions With Love has been helping parents in Massachusetts grow their families. We take pride in maintaining close, personal relationships with both adoptive parents and expectant/birth parents. Our caring social workers and staff want all our families to flourish and grow. We take the time to sit down with families and work out individualized adoption plans that work best for them. Unlike for-profit adoption agencies, we are a social service agency, striving to provide the best service possible while keeping costs down to one, flat adoption fee. Finding the best home for each child and creating happy and healthy families are the ultimate goals.

Adoptions With Love works with expectant/birth parents across the country. We want to help local families in Massachusetts complete their forever family. We aim to connect adoptive parents with expectant/birth mothers to create a healthy and happy environment among all involved. Studies show that children of open adoptions are the happiest of adopted children! There are also many added benefits of open adoption for both adoptive parents and expectant/birth parents.

If you are a hopeful parent looking to adopt a child in Massachusetts, please reach out to Adoptions With Love. Our compassionate staff is here to help you navigate the process and grow your family. Call Adoptions With Love at 617-964-4357 today. Or, if you would like more information about open adoption and the Massachusetts adoption requirements, please download our free Guide to the Massachusetts Adoption Process.


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