Adoption can be one of the most beautiful events in a couple’s life. Having a beautiful baby placed in your arms after years of waiting is life changing. The road leading up to this moment can be rough and wonderful! If you ask couples that have been placed with a child, there is usually a story mixed with heartache and euphoria.
Choosing the right adoption agency for you is very important. There are many adoption agencies to choose from, so learning what to ask and how to “screen” them is important. A reputable adoption agency does not only provide the match between you and the birthparent. It also guides prospective families through the home study process and ensures that the adoption meets all legal requirements for your state.
Here are some steps you can take to help you choose which adoption agency to work with:
• Get a list of adoption agencies in your area. Contact the state’s adoption unit for a list of licensed adoption agencies. A license is an important validation that the adoption agency meets and complies with all legal and procedural requirements involved in the adoption.
• Determine the kind of adoption you want. Would you like to have a domestic adoption or an international one? Would you like to be connected to a birthmother and adopt an infant or do you seek to adopt a grown child who may already be in the foster care system? Are you seeking a closed adoption, an open adoption or a semi-open adoption?
• Get referrals. If you know someone who has successfully adopted or made an adoption plan, ask them for referrals. Be sure to solicit their feedback about the agency. Inquire about the adoption agency’s standing from government agencies such as the Better Business Bureau and the local child services department.
• Understand the costs involved. Adopting and working with an adoption agency will involve several fees for processing and services, home studies, pregnancy related assistance provided to the birth mother, legal services, operational costs, overhead and other related costs, documentation, travel and transportation expenses and communications expenses.
• Contact the prospective adoption agency and ask questions regarding:
o The legal requirements to become qualified to adopt
o Average time involved in the adoption
o Type of adoption they facilitate (whether they specialize in closed, open or semi-open adoptions)
o Availability of counseling or other adoption-related support
o Special issues that the agency works with: special needs children, ethnic backgrounds
o Licenses and accreditation
o The agency’s length of operation, as well as policies (especially in regard to the fees) and compliance records
o The training and support provided to both the prospective adoptive families and birthparents prior to, during and after the adoption
• Examine the contract. Once you have decided on an adoption agency, carefully read (and re-read!) the contract and note down any questions you have. You should also have a lawyer review the contract prior to signing it.
Making the right choice in an adoption agency can make a big difference in your adoption journey. Choose carefully. After all, this will be the agency that helps you build your family.
About A Act of Love Adoptions
A Act of Love Adoptions is an agency that specializes in infant adoptions. Act of Love assists birthparents and adoptive parents with open or semi-open or closed adoptions. Act of Love offers full support to each of its clients and is available through every step of the process. A Act of Love Adoption Agency offers the following services:
• home studies
• Training and guidance prior to, during and after the adoption process
• Legal services
• Direct services
• Counseling services
• Services covering the Interstate Compact
• Post Placement Visits