Choosing an adoption agency is the most important first step in your adoption process. Just like the adoption process varies from family to family, every agency is different. Your adoption agency is going to unite you with your baby, so choosing one is a serious business. You don’t have to spend a great deal of time to find a perfect adoption agency, you just need to be prepared and know exactly what to ask them. In order to ensure that you choose the agency that’s the right fit for your family, here is a list of questions to ask the agencies you’re considering.
- What types of adoption do you do? Ask about infant adoption, foster care, open adoption, closed adoption, international adoptions, and domestic adoption.
- Is your organization certified and/or licensed?
- Do you do adoptions only in this state or other states as well?
- Do you have a lawyer to work with your hopeful adoptive parents or can you recommend one?
- Are there any restrictions to who can adopt a baby through your agency?
- Do you provide any education or classes to prospective adoptive parents?
- How do you find birthmothers?
- How do you present profiles to birthmothers?
- How does your agency work with birthmothers before and after the adoption?
- Ask the agency if they will provide you with contact details of families who have been through adoption process so you can speak to them about their adoption experience.
- What is your average wait time to adopt a baby? Some agencies maintain a waiting list and other agencies don’t.
- How many children did you place last year?
- What is your failed match rate?
- How often do you do placements with LGBT parents, single parents, and couples with biological kids?
- What is your application fee? Are there any other extra fees we should be aware of? Are there any potential birthmother or lawyer fees?
- What is the general range of cost for adopting through each of your agency’s programs?
- When are the fees due? This is usually different with each agency, since some ask only for an application fee, while others can ask for a part of the entire fee up front.
- Do you use a match fee or just a placement fee?
- Does the fee cover home study and post-placement visits or, in the case of an international adoption, document translation, visa, or medical exams?
- How soon after I apply will my home study begin?
- When will I know whether I have been accepted into your program?
- How will I be informed while waiting for a birthmother connection?
It may seem like a lot to ask, but it is all in your family’s best interest. Make a list and ask these important questions. Take the time and effort to select an adoption agency carefully.