The specific legal requirements for becoming an adoption agent vary by state as well as one's function within the agency, but generally, adoption agency employees have a degree in social work and an in-depth knowledge of family law and both the international and domestic adoption processes. Many adoption agents also have a background in non-profit management or business administration.
Get the appropriate degree. Adoption agents should have at least a bachelor's degree, but a master's degree or other graduate-level education is preferred, and in some states, required for adoption agency administrators. Adoption agency owners and managers frequently hold master's degrees in social work (MSWs) or law degrees (JDs).
Gain experience in the field. Adoption agency workers frequently start out working as case managers or administrative support staff to gain an understanding of the adoption process by working with experienced adoption professionals.
Be certified in your field. To be legally authorized to provide services to families, adoption agency employees must be certified in the state where the agency is located. If you plan to counsel families or conduct home studies, most states require you pass a social work licensing exam and background check. If you wish to counsel families on the legal aspects of your adoption, you must pass your state's bar exam and meet all the requirements of a practicing attorney.
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