Before an adoption is finalized, emotions are running high, particularly for infant adoptions that rely on a birth mother not to change her mind. Few do, but to minimize this risk experts suggest some form of counseling be provided to the future birth mother pre- and post-placement. And, in many ways, it's the least some adopters can do and shows her that they care about her well-being and will in turn care for the child's.

Nearly all infant adoptions require the assistance of an adoption counselor. Sometimes the couple may want to see a counselor to discuss their anxieties about adopting, but majority of the time counselors are working with future birth mothers so she has someone to speak with about her placement experience. This counseling can continue after placement and if a birth mother is working with an agency, the agency may even provide transportation or cover related costs for her counseling services.

For independent adoptions, adopters are encouraged to pay for a birth mother's counseling, especially if she needs it after placement. This can be done for about six weeks after the placement and extended for special cases. Session fees differ by counselor, but may run $50 to $100 an hour.

Counselors can play roles in post-placement situations as well, particularly for older children who experience difficulties attaching to their adoptive families and other people.

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