Getting a job with an adoption agency usually requires formal education. Depending on the agency, getting a job as a social worker may require a Masters in Social Work, or MSW, from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Those with degrees in social sciences, like psychology or sociology may also be hired by an adoption agency.
Adoption agency work may include conducting homestudies, counseling for the prospective parents and future birth mother. Those working in an adoption agency may also mediate the two party's requests. Social workers may also perform routine check-ups post-placement.
Particularly with private agencies, social workers play a largely important role in preparing the birth mother to place the child in an adoptive home.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of child and family social work is expected to grow by 12 percent between 2008 and 2018, with the average salary of about $40,000.
An adoption agency is only one of many different adoption-related employers. And one's salary and duties may change depending on whether one is working at a non- or for-profit private agency or a state agency. As with any career in social work, one should make sure his or her beliefs align with the agency before pursuing a career with them. Public agencies will likely expose a social worker with older children, foster parents, birth parents and adoptive parents. These children may have tumultuous pasts and behavioral issues. Infant adoptions, with private agencies, may only require exposure to birth relatives and adoptive parents. As one can see, both present very different work environments.