agency adoption


Skilled Adoption Attorney Assists LGBTQ+ and Other Couples with Pursuing Adoption Through the Agency Process in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area

Many LGBTQ+, poly, and heterosexual individuals, couples, and families choose to grow by adopting children through a private adoption agency. Working with an agency to facilitate an adoption has many advantages, including locating a child available for adoption and providing critical support services. However, even when working with an adoption agency, you should still have experienced legal representation that is looking out for your family’s rights and interests. An agency adoption attorney from Zavos Law can provide the legal assistance you need through this important process.

For nearly four decades, Attorney Michele Zavos has worked with individuals and families looking to grow through adoption. She is passionate about helping people by figuring out how the law can benefit them. She has been a pioneer in advancing the law to secure the rights of same-sex couples to start and raise families.

What is an Agency Adoption?

In an agency adoption, a private agency works to match mothers or parents who wish to place their child up for adoption with prospective adoptive parents. This differs from the foster care adoption process, where children have been removed from their biological or legal parents’ care due to the parents’ abuse or neglect. In agency adoptions, the child’s birth parents are usually involved in the selection process, so that they can choose the family they feel is best suited to raise their child.

An adoption agency must be licensed with the state in which the agency facilitates adoptions. Adoption agencies provide services, in addition to placement of children, such as counseling, home studies, and post-placement support. Private adoption agencies usually charge fees for their services, although many agencies use a sliding scale of fees based on the prospective adoptive parents’ financial status.

What Is Involved in the Process of Agency Adoption?

When you choose to work with a private agency to facilitate your adoption, the first step is selecting an agency to work with. You should only work with a licensed adoption agency; selecting the right agency can be important for LGBTQ+ prospective adoptive parents, as some agencies choose not to work with LGBTQ+ individuals or couples.

   “she was able to successfully
guide us through the adotopion
process and was an amazing
advocate in an area where
the law was not clear.”

Once you have found an agency to work with, the agency will begin the process of assessing you and your family for suitability for adoption. This will include counseling with mental health professionals to ensure that you and your family are emotionally and mentally prepared to welcome and care for an adopted child. The agency will also conduct a home study to make sure that your home will be a safe and supportive environment for an adopted child. The agency will also likely review your financial and medical records to make sure you have the ability to care for a child.

If the agency approves you for adoption, the next step involves placement. The agency will work to match you with biological parents placing their children up for adoption. The agency can also mediate pre-placement contact so that you and the child’s biological parents can get to know one another and you can begin to build a relationship with your child if all parties prefer an open or semi-open adoption.

The agency can formally place your child with you once the child’s parents consent to the placement. In Maryland, biological parents have 30 days to revoke their consent to adoption, while in DC they have 14 days. Following placement, the agency will then provide placement services, which include interviews with the adoptive parents and the child (if old enough) as well as at least one home visit. Post-placement services may continue for up to six months, or until the adoption is finalized if it takes longer than six months.

What Can an Agency Adoption Attorney from Michele Zavos Law Do to Help Me and My Family?

Although using an agency to facilitate your adoption gives you access to important assistance and services, you should still consider retaining an agency adoption attorney to help you protect and advocate for your rights and interests during the adoption process. Turn to Attorney Michele Zavos for assistance with:

  • Explaining your legal rights and options for an agency adoption
  • Helping you to select the agency that is right for you and your family
  • Guiding you through the agency’s assessment process
  • Preparing and filing legal paperwork on your behalf as needed to formalize the adoption
  • Representing you in court during hearings
  • Providing any support you may need with questions or issues that come up following placement and confirmation of the adoption

Contact Michele Zavos Law to Discuss Your Legal Options When Seeking Adoption through an Agency

When you and your family are using a private agency for your adoption, contact Michele Zavos Law for a confidential consultation to learn more about the agency adoption process and how an agency adoption attorney can assist you with successfully adopting a child or children.


What does an adoption agency do?
A private adoption agency can provide you with assistance that includes educating you about the adoption process, conduct an interview and perform a home study to ensure your family’s suitability to adopt, locate and place a child for adoption, and offer post-placement services including interviews with you and the child and home checks.
How much does a private adoption agency cost?
While agencies in the District of Columbia are capped on the amount of fees they can charge, Maryland law imposes no such cap on fees. A private adoption agency will charge fees for each of the services they provide, including application fees, home study fees, and fees for providing post-placement services. However, many private adoption agencies have a sliding scale for the fees they charge to ensure that prospective parents from a wide variety of economic backgrounds can have the opportunity to adopt.

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