Private Adoption Agencies

Private adoption agencies in Maryland must be licensed by the Social Services Administration. A licensed agency will deliver counseling, application, home study, and post placement services for a family or individual interested in adopting a child or having a child adopted. Private adoption agencies are the most frequent providers of international adoption services, since public agencies are usually more focused on special-needs children. Domestic adoption services are also delivered by private adoption agencies. Once a contract is signed with an agency, it is illegal to begin negotiating for adoption services with another adoption agency. All private agencies charge a fee for their services. There is no limit on the amount an agency may charge. All private agencies will, however, inform applicants of the fee schedule. In the case of international adoption service, it is often necessary for an adopting family to travel to the foreign country and spend several days in order to finalize the adoption. The private adoption agency assists the family in this process.

A list of agencies is available from the Office of Licensing and Monitoring.

Frequently Asked Questions