PairTree

Is Your Adoption Agency Ready for New Software?

By Erin Quick, CEO and Founder, PairTree

March 2, 2024

In the ever-evolving adoption landscape, change is crucial amidst shifts in legislation, technology, and societal expectations, especially with strides toward open adoption.

While we know that change can be intimidating, it's crucial for adoption agencies, home study providers, and adoption attorneys, to recognize their pivotal role in shaping transformative connections – and so owe it to adopting families and expectant moms to consider new and innovative approaches that can enhance the adoption experience.

This is an opportunity for positive change and growth in our practices, ultimately benefiting those we serve.


To navigate those changes effectively, consider these key questions:

  • When is it the right time to reconsider longstanding processes, like eliminating cumbersome paperwork processes for families and your case workers? (Knowing licensing will need it)
  • How can you adopt new approaches for short-term goals, such as simplifying home study reference management?
  • What gradual changes are needed, like building a robust referral network beyond the local community?

We've worked with adoption professionals in over 30 states, helping them migrate to more modern practices and explore available tools and services for comprehensive adoption journey management, ensuring alignment with your specific needs.

Let's dive into some of the key guiding questions!

32 Questions to Help You Evaluate New Adoption Technologies

To help your agency examine your organization’s strengths and weaknesses, here are 32 questions crafted to help your team determine if it’s time to explore the advantages of updating your processes and adopting new technology.

Initial Thoughts

  1. What’s working well? What positive feedback do you receive from your staff, birth families, and adopting families? You have to celebrate the wins!
  2. Does your team experience confusion, frustration, or time delays at any point of a family’s adoption process - initial inquiry, application, home study, placement, etc.?
  3. Do your families experience confusion, frustration, or time delays at certain points of the adoption process - initial inquiry, application, home study, placement, etc.?

Evaluating Your Current Platform (If You Have One!)

  1. Does your software do everything you need it to? Is your team using the software or finding workarounds?
  2. What are the limitations of this software? Can we work with our existing vendor to improve or customize the software or do we need to find a new vendor?
  3. Is it limiting or helping your growth as an organization?
  4. Are there certain features your team may need training to make the most of? Does your software vendor provide training?

Streamlining Processes

  1. Is your team relying on traditional processes like physical paperwork, calenders for milestone or expirations tracking, answering phone calls and emails about necessary documents, etc.? This may sound familiar to many agencies and providers.
  2. How can you streamline administrative tasks to allow social workers more time to build meaningful connections and thoroughly educate their birth and adopting families?
  3. How can you improve onboarding experiences for both new social workers/providers and birth and adopting families alike, setting a positive tone from the start?
  4. How can you reduce confusion or inconsistencies during a family’s adoption journey from the home study process to outreach to post-placement?
  5. Are there creative ways to digitally track and manage the adoption process efficiently, fostering a sense of clarity and confidence for everyone involved?

Increasing Opportunities, Connections, & Collaboration

  1. In what ways can you enhance communication and collaboration among your dedicated social workers, especially when managing multiple cases simultaneously?
  2. How can you ethically expand connection opportunities beyond the local area for adopting families and expand the choices for an expectant mom considering adoption?
  3. How can you collaborate with adoption professionals beyond your agency and local area to gather additional resources for moms and families?
  4. How can you find and develop a strong, healthy community of fellow professionals who can trade support, guidance, and knowledge?

Building a Healthy Business

  1. In envisioning the future, how can you adapt your processes to ensure scalability, freeing up time to provide exceptional care for your caseload?
  2. How might you infuse agility and adaptability into your operations, ensuring you stand out as a responsive, empathetic presence in the adoption community?
  3. How can you actively seek and incorporate feedback from birth and adopting families to continuously enhance your services?
  4. Are you able to make decisions based on accurate data and reporting? What reports or data do we need to make those decisions?
  5. How can you leverage data effectively, enabling your organization to make informed decisions and continuous improvements?
  6. How can you surpass compliance expectations to sail through licensing?

Ensuring Data Security & Improving Scam Protection

  1. What steps can you take to fortify data security, safeguarding the privacy of birth and adopting families?
  2. How can you ensure you’re running background clearances using accurate information? (Meaning it wasn’t self-reported by an adopting family.)
  3. How can you prevent your adopting families from adoption fraud and scams?
  4. How can you share knowledge of common scammers or fraud operations with other professionals across the nation?
  5. How can you report home study denials to ensure other home study providers are made aware of a family’s past denials?
  6. How do you ensure doctors and references are real people?

Delivering Quality Support & Education

  1. In what meaningful ways can you elevate your emotional, mental, physical, and resource support for birth mothers, ensuring they feel nurtured throughout and after the adoption process?
  2. In aligning expectations, how can you proactively bridge any potential gaps between adopting families and the exceptional services you provide?
  3. What positive changes can you implement in the post-placement process to ensure smooth transitions and emotional well-being for birth and adopting families?
  4. What strategies can you implement to save time and reduce stress, preventing burnout among dedicated adoption workers? (Working in adoption is often a labor of love, so it’s important to create time and space for some self-care!)
  5. How can you eliminate inefficiencies to create more time for nurturing relationships with potential adopting families and birth mothers?

Assessing Technology Readiness

  1. What is your organization's culture around technology? Will your team be receptive to trying and training new software with the help of the software vendor? Note: PairTree offers personalized, step-by-step implementation, training, and support, as often as your team needs!
  2. Do you have a budget for new software? What are the costs?

Make the Most of Adoption Software

As you and your team explore these questions, the idea of change may seem like a higher priority. Depending on the services your organization offers, PairTree has countless options to help streamline clunky, unnecessary steps in your operations!

Improve Home Studies with Home Base

Home Base is a modern, custom-to-your-process home study management platform that streamlines the process for you, your caseworkers, and your adopting families.

  • Track expiration dates and refresh family tasks with ease! Get back countless hours originally spent tracking deadlines and expiration dates;
  • Create custom notifications to notify you when a family completes a certain task;
  • View the entire agency caseload or an individual caseworker’s caseload on your dashboards
  • Store all completed PDF documents in an easy-to-access database (that can be shared with licensors)
  • Create personalized task lists based on the family dynamics to cut down unnecessary confusion (and questions to you);
  • HIPPA-compliant platform keeps your families' information safe and secure;
  • Reference letters are collected and signed digitally (and include auto notifications!)
  • Pre-placement reports, home study updates, second parent/step-parent home study, kinship home study, foster and post-placement reports are all supported on Home Base.

View our latest demo from our Home Base expert Zaya!

We absolutely plan to use Home Base for all of our home studies. We made the mistake of not running a home study through Home Base, and it was a disaster. There were papers everywhere and my social workers won’t do that again. We made the decision that if we can’t use Home Base, we’re not taking the case. - Morning Star Adoptions

Connect for Adopting Families: National Outreach Meets Local Expertise

Families no longer have to choose between national outreach and expert guidance from a local licensed professional—our platform marries the two!

Connect provides engaging, personality-based family profiles with options rarely seen with traditional profile creators. We've invested heavily in creating the first-of-its-kind platform where families link their online profile to their licensed placement professional (you!), giving you visibility into their journey...we call it Account Linking Magic. Connect offers more than simple show-and-tell:

  • Online Profile Network: Your adopting family profiles are linked to you and networked across our licensed Adoption Professional Network (which allows other professionals to reach out to you when they are looking for a specific type of family for a case).
  • Birth Mom-Approved Profile Books: Our custom, 22-page profile books are created with love alongside a two-time birth mom. Each book captures the unique personality of the family it's created for. (And we send you and/or the family a PDF + 10 professionally printed books.)
  • Simple-To-Create Profile Videos: Our custom video platform is the easiest to use! Families create videos with ease to give expectant moms and birth moms added context. Videos can be uploaded to the family's profiles or downloaded for use elsewhere.
  • Scam Protection: Safe Connection Filters track major markers of scams and notify professionals immediately of any suspicious behavior. (We also share scam alerts with licensed adoption professionals nationwide to keep the entire adoption community safe.)
  • Pro-to-Pro Connections: You can engage with other licensed professionals on the platform who are linked to adopting families with specific characteristics you'd like to present to an expectant or birth mother.
    • And other licensed professionals can reach out to you regarding one of your linked adopting families.

.....and all of our Connect services can be private-labeled so that your ​logo and brand is front and center.

The Adoption Professionals Network

The internet has made it simpler than ever to connect across time zones. Historically, adoption has operated in bubbles, with providers, moms, and families limiting their adoption journey to their local area. With advancements in technology, the opportunity to connect is greater than ever.

Now, adoption professionals can grow their network for the benefit of themselves, their businesses, and those they serve. Connectivity equals more opportunity, more knowledge sharing, and a deeper understanding of the challenges others are facing in the adoption industry.

With the Adoption Professionals Network, powered by PairTree, licensed professionals can create a free listing to connect with and receive referrals from birth and adopting families exploring adoption and seeking a state-licensed expert. We also believe adoption requires open communication, especially between professionals nationwide. With a Connect account, professionals can take advantage of knowledge-sharing opportunities - like sharing and accessing scam information - with a growing network of professionals who care.

Interested in getting listed in our Adoption Professionals Directory? Email our team at hello@pairtreefamily.com!

Embracing the potential for enhancement in processes and technology not only elevates the experience for all involved but also infuses the adoption journey with optimism and enthusiasm. By fostering a culture of continuous improvement, adoption agencies can truly create a haven of support and joy for social workers, adopting families, and birth mothers alike.

We've helped adoption agencies, home study providers, and adoption attorneys learn and make the most of PairTree, from Home Base to Connect to a combination of the two. We've seen how PairTree can help streamline processes, improve communication, increase nationwide opportunities, and drive change within the adoption industry.

For more information about how PairTree can help your organization, send us a note at hello@pairtreefamily.com. We’d be happy to help you make the most of PairTree!


Erin Quick Erin Quick is the Founder and CEO of PairTree. With more than 20 years of global brand marketing experience, and more importantly, as a two-time adoptive mother, Erin is a leader in the movement to modernize adoption in the U.S. With an expert first-hand understanding of the challenges of the domestic private adoption industry and a drive to increase access and equity for all involved in the adoption process, Erin brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to helping families navigate their unique adoption journeys. Erin is a recipient of Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40-Under-40 award. She was selected to be a member of All Raise’s Visionary Voices panel, a nonprofit on a mission to accelerate the success of female founders and funders. She has been asked to guest lecture on Technology Entrepreneurship at Brown University and the University of Washington. Erin lives on Bainbridge Island with her husband and two children.

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