If you are considering building your family through adoption, you’ve probably done some research. This post is all about how to choose an adoption agency that meets your needs.
To begin, we would suggest searching on websites such as BuildingYourFamily.com, Adoption.com, or RainbowKids.com for a list of agencies that are licensed in your state. Read through the descriptions of the agency and make a list of all of the agencies that have a program you are interested in and that you’d like to learn more information about.
Now that you have created a list of possible agencies, go to their websites. You can get some of your questions answered through research on their website as well as making phone calls. It’s important to look at the agencies expectant parent page as well as their adoptive parent page to see the services they provide to pregnant women.
Below are a list of questions that we would recommend researching on and asking when you talk to a representative of the agency. These questions will help you narrow your search of an agency.
- What services do they provide for expectant parents?
- Do they offer ongoing support to all members of the adoption triad?
- Do they have restrictions for adoptive families? For example: single, LGBT, etc.
- How long is their average wait?
- How many families do they work with compared to the placements per year?
- What is their fee structure?
- When are the fees due?
- What type of support do they provide while you wait?
- Do they support open adoption?
- How often do they communicate with families during each step of the process?
- If Domestic: How does the agency locate pregnant women?
- If International: Which in country facilitators or attorneys do they use?
- How long have they been in business?
- How soon after you apply will your home study begin?
You should attend a meeting at any agency that you are interested in getting more information on. Many adoption agencies hold monthly meetings or individual meetings in which you can ask more questions and get information on the program, the process, and even meet the staff. This can be very helpful in selecting the agency that is the right fit for your family. You may also meet other prospective adoptive parents who you can share experiences with and get support along the way.
Pay attention to any red flags while researching an agency. Be aware that some agencies promise a child before a family assessment or assure you that the birth parents will relinquish a baby before birth or require no home study fee. These are huge red flags as no agency can legally do this. Any agency that does not mention the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, a uniformed law, you should stay away from. In international adoptions you should stay away from agencies that promise faster placements or an inside track to ease paperwork or that guarantees a certain child. Doing research on the agency will help you find these red flags before it is too late.
You can expect a month or two of investigating alternatives before you find the agency that is right for you. We hope that by going through the list of questions provided that your search will be easier and go smoothly.