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Do you think it is possible for adoption workers to give unbiased advice about adoption?

23 November 2009 15 Responses

A Parent asks, Adoption workers are paid by hopeful adoptive parents to find them a child (under 2 years of age, preferably an infant). With such a big stake in the adoption being finalized, do you think it is possible for adoption workers to give unbiased advice to either the adoptive parents or the pregnant mother (and the baby’s father)?

How much should they be trusted by adoptive parents?

How much should they be trusted by parents coping with an unexpected pregnancy?

15 Responses »

  • jgf5822 said:


    well, unfortunately, until adoption is no longer a billion dollar industry, i wouldn’t stake my life on an adoption workers ethics.

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  • paobay said:


    Everyone has their own opinion, so some of the opinion will be involved when they give you the advice. However, you need to consider your own situation more on why do you want to do it.
    Some parents kept the unexpected pregancy, some take it out, some gave it away. It depends on if you are really want to tough it out for the baby. It is a life-time duty that you need to perform…..
    Believe in yourself to make the decision.

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  • opedial said:


    It is an interesting question. If it is a for-profit or Christian agency I may not trust them 100%. We went through foster care so it is quite different. If it is a non-profit then maybe they just give all three options (abort, adopt, raise, not in that order) and allow people to make their own choices. I don’t think it happens. Here in Canada an organization (Christian run) is a pregnancy crisis agency. They will not give out abortion as one of the options. I would beg they might also push adoption, but I could not say for sure.

    One way to get to the bottom of it is to have someone pretend to be pregnant (under cover work) and see how they are treated etc. That is what we did to uncover which agencies were anti-choice and which ones were pro-choice. (to support pro-choice agencies). Maybe that woudl work in adoption too..anyone want to go undercover?

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  • Jennifer L said:


    Do you think that doctors can be trusted to give unbiased advice on medicine? After all, they are getting paid to provide medical care and have a big stake in their patients getting that surgery or procedure done.

    How much should they be trusted by their patients?

    That kind of logic applies to more than one profession.

    But why do we trust doctors? Because they are professionals, with knowledge and experience in matters that someone else might not be experts. Not only do we trust them to be ethical, but they are legally accountable.

    So are adoption workers.

    Not to say that there aren’t a few bad eggs out there. There are certainly a few bad doctors out there too. So a responsible person looking to adopt or to place an infant for adoption needs to do their homework as well.

    Edit: Adoption counselors should hold an MSW degree (master’s of social work). They have a license. Therefore, they have a licensing board who oversees them, same as a doctor.

    I think an MSW who works in adoption is a professional. Not a car salesman. And, silly me, but I have enough faith in humanity to believe that most people who become adoption workers do so because they want to help children, birthfamilies and adoptive families. I guess I don’t immediately question the motives of everyone associated with adoption.

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  • Lara said:


    I don’t think so. It may not even be conscious, but it’s still bias. Sometimes people believe in what they are doing so much, that their judgment might get clouded.

    I had a “financial councilor” from C*** G**** suggest that I stop contributing to my TSP (which is being matched up to 6% and did 25% last year) to buy a mutual fund from her. Because in her history people have been pleased with a mutual fund. She stood to make a healthy commission too. So was she advising me out of greed or giving me genuine advice?

    If someone stands to profit/benefit from the outcome of any counceling, it makes you wonder if it is biased.

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  • Lillie said:


    The doctor analogy has a point, but doctors don’t just go recommending unnecessary surgeries to make money. There is that little thing called malpractice, ethics, that they must consider. It probably happens – rarely – but it is not the norm.

    And doctors don’t have to worry about where their next patient will come from. There are considerably more sick and injured people in the world than there are women looking to give up their babies.

    However, what kind of ethics and accountability standards are in place for adoption workers? We’ve all heard of these few cases that have made the news where babies were adopted without the father’s consent, where the mother herself was somehow tricked, yet these agencies and workers don’t seem to get punished for their wrongdoing. These cases are rare, but even one case of wrongdoing like that is one too many.

    I would hope that there is some accountability for their work…that they CAN be trusted to conduct their affairs ethically. Otherwise, how could anyone really trust that they are operating in anyone’s best interest but their own?

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  • Heather H said:


    No. Its a case of the fox counselling the hen.

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  • sunny said:


    Just as it’s impossible for a Ford salesman to give unbiased advice about a Mustang, it’s is impossible for an adoption worker to give prospective mothers or potential adoptive parents unbiased advice. There would be NO upside to doing that.

    Both the car salesman and the adoption worker have the same objective; to CLOSE the sale for a commission, job security or both.

    ETA:To the poster who compared an adoption worker to a doctor: there a HUGE difference between a professional like a doctor, who is DEGREED in his profession, is board certified, belongs to a professional organization, the American Medical Association, and takes the Hippocratic Oath. Adoption workers are hardly ‘professionals’.

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  • Cam said:


    I have nothing but respect for the adoption workers involved in my daughter’s adoption. From social worker to counselors to attorneys. I saw nothing but compassion and respect to the birth mother. They were there to support HER DECISION.

    None of it was about me except for the excellent education I received should I actually become the parent of an adopted child. Nobody was offering or promising me a baby and nobody was grabbing money out of my pocket.

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  • Gaia Raain said:


    Rare, but possible. If someone has really taken the time and effort to research adoption from all sides, and does not stand to gain from it (for instance, if they’re not getting bonuses, raises, etc…just a paycheck), then sure it’s POSSIBLE.

    ETA: Our social worker ONLY does the special needs adoptions through the state. I’m guessing her paycheck is the same as everyone else in the agency, but I’m also sure she doesn’t get any kind of commission or bonus (if she did, we would have had a child placed by now). There are a LOT of PAP’s adopting through foster care in Oregon right now. They can’t keep up. Which is fine, I’d rather have too many PAP’s, and not enough foster children to go around, than the other possibility. I will wait my turn as long as the waiting kids are ending up in the family they need to be with. And that’s the attitude our worker seems to have. She just doesn’t seem to have any ulterior motives. Maybe I’m wrong, who knows.

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  • Kristy said:


    Yes. If a birthmother is looking for help about what she should do, she should go to a social worker first… I think.

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  • Mom5grlz said:


    Hmmmm, I never thought of it that way. As much as i do admire the work of social workers, as far as adoption, i agree they can not give unbiased advice. That was hard to admit.

    I must say that when i read a question i only look at answers from people who have actually been thru that experience. So rarely would i even read a social workers comments here.

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  • Isabel A said:


    Nope. Most adoption workers are not even degreed in social work or any related field.
    I would be very careful in trusting someone who claims to work in the adoption industry in real life or on the internet unless they have an actual degree in social work or a comparable field.
    People here have even talked about the role of adoption caseworkers. Some of them are specifically trained to befriend potential “birth mothers” so that if they do have a change of heart and decide to parent, the caseworker can try to persuade them to relinquish. Of course the fact that the person who mentioned this said it like it was a good thing is truly gut-wrenching in and of itself. But that is another story.
    The truth is, most adoption agencies are in it for the money and very few practice ethically. I would not trust most adoption workers especially here on Y!A where they change their names on a whim and pose as adoptees and “birthmothers” and adoptive mothers whenever they feel it will get them further. SCARY.

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  • Annabelle said:


    Well many times the adoption worker is a licensed social worker bound by a code of ethics and they get paid a salary regardless of whether a baby is placed or not. There are adoption agencies out there that are ethical despite what you hear on these boards.

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  • Velvet said:


    the councilers at agencies do not always have to be social workers if the agenciy is private. they just go through a training program. and i know they do have placement goals. if they dont place babies there job is in danger.

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