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What Is an Adoption Specialist and How to Become One

What Is an Adoption Specialist?

An adoption specialist is a social worker who places orphan children with a new family. As an adoption specialist, your primary job duties include assessing the needs of both the child and adoptive parents to ensure the new family is a good fit, along with making arrangements to place children in their permanent homes. Adoption specialists are the main source of advice for families looking to adopt and act as mediators between the birth parents and adoptive parents. Each state has its own set of qualifications for adoption specialists, which usually include state licensure and a bachelor’s degree education. Competitive degrees include social work, psychology, or another area of counseling. The career also requires excellent communication skills and the ability to handle emotionally difficult situations.

How to Become an Adoption Specialist

The qualifications you need to become an adoption specialist depend on the state in which you work. Most states require that you obtain a license to work as an adoption specialist, which usually entails passing an exam. Educational backgrounds also vary. Some organizations may consider candidates without a degree who have extensive experience working with children and social services, while other employers require adoption specialists to have at least a bachelor's degree in social work or another relevant field. A few states have a minimum of a master's degree to be eligible for the licensing exam. If the position involves international adoptions, you may need to be bilingual.