Begin by Researching Adoption Agencies or Professionals
You can select an adoption agency in your area or across the United States to search for your baby. Many adoptive couples choose to search for their baby by working with other adoption agencies in the country, because they have received a referral from a friend, co-worker or through research. Many adoptive families get a positive feeling during their research and feel confident in their decision.
CAUTION: Make sure that you understand the services that the adoption professional or agency can provide for YOU and YOUR circumstance. Your home study will need to be completed in your home state by a licensed adoption professional and meet all of your state requirements, as well as the requirements of the other states you choose to work with.
Best Information Needed to Select an Adoption Agency/Professional
1. Whether you choose an adoption agency or professional by a referral from a friend, acquaintance or through on-line searching – make sure that you do your own due diligence and research the success and credibility of the agency or professional.
2. Understand that not all adoption professionals are licensed to perform ALL of the necessary services that are required to complete an adoption. Don’t just take them at their word – continue to research to make sure you will be getting the services you need/want and that your birthparent(s) will get the adoption services they need for a healthy and successful adoption.
3. Call the agency that licenses the adoption professional you are considering and find out if they are licensed to perform adoption services in the state you live and the states that you might be seeking an adoptive placement.
4. Ask the licensor for a Letter of Good Standing and inquire about any complaints filed against the adoption agency or professional.
5. Make a call to the Better Business Bureau. Not all complaints are valid or verified, but it gives you a place to start.
6. Look for on-line reviews and references. Be careful not to take a couple of complaints on-line, as a reason to not work with a certain adoption agency or professional. Remember it is very easy on-line to only receive one side of the story and easy to complain anonymously on-line. Also, remember that most adoption professionals are bound by confidentiality and may not be able to respond to certain complaints.
7. When you speak with the adoption professional, evaluate how you felt when speaking with them. Where they friendly? Did they make you feel comfortable? Were they willing to listen to you or did they do all of the talking? Did they encourage you to check out their standing in the adoption community? Did you feel like they had your best interest at heart?
8. Call back and speak with different staff members from the agency or adoption professional you are considering and ask yourself the same questions as above.
9. Keep a notebook with your notes and reflect back on the information that you have gathered. Listen to your own intuition.
10. Be certain to obtain good legal counsel for consultation on the legal requirements to complete an adoption. If you are considering an inter-state or multi-state adoption, be certain that you have consulted with legal counsel prior to moving forward with an adoption plan. It is vital to have all of the information, so you can be certain your adoption can be finalized. Find an attorney that is well versed in adoption law. Attorneys from the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys are experts in the field of adoption and navigate the complexities of interstate and multistate adoptions.
11. Prior to signing any contracts with an agency or professional, be certain you understand what you are signing and what your obligations will be toward the agency or professional.
12. Find out how long the adoption professional has been in business. How many adoptions they have completed and what their qualifications are.