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Facilitators: Individuals that are not licensed as adoption agencies or licensed as attorneys, and who are engaged in the matching of birth parents with adoptive parents are referred to generally as Adoption Facilitators. The use of unpaid Adoption Facilitators has been permissible in almost every state in the United States from the very early days of adoption. When a doctor, minister, nurse, rabbi, family member or friend gets involved in the adoption match, without compensation for the services performed, the law has not been violated by the performing of those facilitation services. It is when Adoption Facilitators want to be paid for their matching services that the problems occur.

In a very few states, like California and Pennsylvania, Adoption Facilitators have been authorized by law to charge for their participation in adoption matching, if those services fall within certain specific parameters. Except for these few states, the laws of most states either do not allow Adoption Facilitators to conduct their business within the state at all, or by law the Adoption Facilitators are prohibited from charging for any services that they perform within that state, or which they perform for or on behalf of adoptive parents who will finalize their adoptions in the courts of that state, where the all of the fees and expenses that are paid by the adoptive couple in connection with the adoption process are subject to court review and approval.

An improper use of a paid Adoption Facilitator could have a detrimental impact on the finalization of an adoption, and may even present problems under state criminal statutes. As a result, adoptive parents should be cautious in their use of the services of Adoption Facilitators, at least until they have discussed the matter fully with the adoption attorney that they will use to finalize their adoption.

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