If you are considering adoption and have been researching the adoption process in the United States, you may be wondering about the different options you have when it comes to adoption providers and how to best choose the best adoption professional for your family. As adoption experts, we’ve put together this helpful guide to assist you in navigating choosing the right adoption provider for your family. Read more to find out what type of adoption professionals are available to help you, tips for selecting the best adoption professional, and sample questions that can assist you in choosing the best adoption professional for you.
What are my options for adoption professionals?
When you are deciding which adoption professional is best for you, you have different options to choose from. There are full service agencies, adoption professionals who specialize in private domestic adoption, and adoption consultants.
Each adoption professional offers a different level of services that vary. Full service adoption agencies offer the most support and come with a high cost to match their services. Private domestic adoption offers support to families and has a network of professionals they trust that can be recommended to prospective adoptive families. Adoption consultants generally work in an advisory capacity and can help families navigate the adoption process but in a less involved manner. One thing to remember when considering different types of adoption professionals is that only you and your family can decide what level of service you would like to receive based on your individual situation and lifestyle.
What are the differences between a full service adoption agency versus other types of providers?
When you work with a full service adoption agency you receive extensive hands-on support through the process. With a full service agency, all services are offered in house such as counseling, legal advice, marketing, the home study, and post-placement services. However, one thing to note about full service adoption agencies is that you will be paying an extremely high price tag for their all inclusive services. Additionally, full service agencies tend to be bigger and you may get a less personalized experience.
Adoption professionals that specialize in private domestic adoption, like Angel Adoption, focus on infant adoptions while offering various forms of support to prospective adoptive families. Adoption professionals like us are smaller so they are able to offer a personalized experience for every family they work with. Services offered include marketing and advertising to connect with potential birthmothers, referrals to professionals like attorneys and social workers, coordination and guidance for meeting a birthmother, and guidance to help navigate you through the adoption process.
When you work with a private domestic adoption professional, you are getting the best of both worlds: support from professionals who can guide you through the process who have a network of trusted experts you can rely on at a lower price than full service agencies.
The least hands on adoption professional is an adoption consultant. They are professionals who can help families navigate the adoption process in a strictly advisory capacity. Adoption consultants provide education and support to adoptive families, but not the necessary services that some families need to go through the adoption process. Like with private domestic adoption, this option is less expensive than a full-service agency, but you receive way less support and personalized services.
Tips for selecting an adoption professional
1. Figure out what you want
Before doing anything, you and your family should sit down and figure out what you want from the adoption and how an adoption professional can support you. You should ask yourself some of the following questions: are you looking to adopt domestically or internationally? What age range of child would you like to adopt? Do you want an open, semi-opened, or closed adoption? How much support are you looking for from your adoption professional? Asking yourself these questions and taking some time for reflection will help inform what type of adoption professional you are looking for.
2. Do your research
Once you have figured out what type of adoption you will be pursuing, you can start researching different options for adoption professionals. This is a great time to research what services different types of adoption professionals provide and how they may be best suited to help you navigate your adoption journey. Because there are so many adoption professionals to choose from, we recommend making a list of adoption professionals you would like to research further.
3. Read reviews
Out of the adoption professionals you are looking at prospectively, you should take some time to read reviews both on Google reviews and the adoption providers website. Reading reviews is a good way to get independent verification about how the adoption professional operates and carries themselves. Conducting this level of reconnaissance allows you to do your due diligence and find the best professional that gives you a really good initial first impression.
4. Contact adoption professionals and ask questions
Arguably, the most important step is to make contact with your list of prospective adoption professionals. This allows you to get to know them better and also for them to get to know you to determine if you can have a good working relationship. When contacting and speaking to adoption professionals, we recommend being as open and honest as possible so you can begin building a relationship based on trust and transparency.
5. Look for an adoption professional who is trustworthy
It goes without saying, but one of the most critical aspects of working with an adoption professional is finding one that is trustworthy and conducts themselves in an ethical manner. The adoption professional you work with should be highly qualified and inherently value ethics and transparency. If your adoption professional has years of experience and highly qualified staff, they are able to efficiently guide you through the adoption process.
Sample questions to ask a potential adoption provider
At Angel Adoption, we are all about answering all questions that prospective adoptive families may have and think that families should always be prepared with a set of questions to ask their prospective adoption professional. In fact, the way they answer your questions can illuminate whether they are the right adoption professional for you or if they are raising any red flags.
Here are some sample questions you can ask a potential adoption professional:
- Do they have references from other adoptive families they have worked with?
- How long have they been in business and how many children have they placed?
- What type of support do they offer?
- When are they available for support? Are they available 24/7 or during regular business hours?
- How long does it usually take to get a response when a family reaches out?
- How do they screen prospective adoptive parents?
- What requirements does the professional have for prospective adoptive parents?
- Do they help facilitate the adoption type you are looking for? (open, closed, semi-open)
- How much does the process cost and is there a fee breakdown?
- How many families do you work with at a time?
- What does the waitlist process look like?
- What professional associations do they have?
Know what you’re looking for
While pursuing adoption can be a very exciting time for your family, we also recognize it can sometimes be an overwhelming rollercoaster of emotion. At the end of the day, what is most important is that you work with an adoption professional that you feel most comfortable with who will help you navigate through the process. This also means finding an adoption professional who aligns with your values, ethics, and lifestyle. Keep in mind that there is no one size fits all approach to adoption and every adoption will look different for each family, so there is no one size fits all adoption professional. No matter what adoption professional you go with, they should also treat you with compassion, kindness, and understanding as you move through the adoption process together.