Any kind of pregnancy requires a lot of decisions, but if you are considering placing your child for adoption, you may have some ahead of you that not many people around you can relate to. Chances are that female family members or friends can recommend a good OB-GYN, but chances are not as good that they can point you toward a reliable adoption agency. To help you make that decision, we’ve put together a small list of things to look for and consider when comparing adoption agencies.
Read the Reviews
Every adoption agency has a testimonials page full of happy, flowery reviews singing its praises. But what business is going to post bad reviews about themselves? It’s important to look for unbiased reviews when considering an adoption agency. Google the agency you’re considering to find reviews on third-party websites and on adoption forums. Look for reviews from both adoptive parents and birthparents, but pay special attention to any recurring issues brought up by birthmothers. If you’re able to find reviews on a forum you may even be able to contact the person leaving the review to ask them directly about their experience with the agency.
Find out what the adoption agency’s stance is on covering birthmother necessities. Even if you are safe and financially stable now, that can change in the blink of an eye so it is good to be with an agency that can make sure you are housed, fed, clothed, and able to seek medical attention when you need it. Find out if the agency has a maternity clothing allowance — that is one cost that can add up quickly!
Speak with a representative of the agency to find out what kind of contracts are involved for both the birthmother and the adoptive families. Ask what options are on the table, and find out what the agency does to enforce both sides to adhere to what they agreed to after the adoption is completed.
Open Adoption Support
Ask what the adoption agency does to support open adoptions if that is the route you want to take. How do they facilitate you meeting the adoptive parents? Can they help you with communication? Do they assist in establishing a routine when it comes to how often you and the adoptive parents choose to communicate? How long does that service extend after the adoption is complete?
Even if you think you will not need it, it is important to look into the counseling support offered by any adoption agency you’re considering. Find out if they have certified counselors on staff, and if not, if they will cover the bill for you to find one if you need it. Find out how long that service extends — does it end with the birth or is postpartum counseling covered as well? Some birthmothers need counseling and emotional support well after the adoption is completed, so try to find an adoption agency that will support you all the way through your adoption journey.