How do you find the best adoption agency for you? Follow these 5 steps to help you find the best fit for your family.
When we started looking into domestic adoption, one of the best things we did was call 1,000 different agency and asked each one a ton of questions.
Okay. It wasn’t really 1,000, but it was a lot.
As we called each one, we thought of more and better questions to ask. We wanted to make a good, educated decision before we signed with an agency.
I was super happy with our final decision, and we actually went with a consulting agency.
Because we asked a ton of questions, we found an agency that was supportive and attentive.
They provided a ton of education as we went through the process and as we were waiting. I felt this helped us prepare for some of the road bumps we hit.
From the time we signed with them to when we met our daughter, it was about four months.
It was a crazy, intense, emotional, but amazing four months and we were so thankful to have found a great agency to help us along the way.
How do you choose?
If you decided to go with an agency adoption in the United States, there are plenty of options.
Do you want to stay in your home state? Look outside of where you live?
Are you looking for a religious based organization? An agency open to everyone regardless of religion, marital status, etc.?
There are so many things to think about and factors to consider.
Use these 5 tips below to help you choose the best adoption agency for your family.
1. Look For the right type
As you begin your search, you will find that there are different agencies that cater to different kinds of families.
The first step is finding agencies that would work well with your family dynamic.
Some agencies center around religion or only married couples, while others are open to everyone.
Typically, this information can be found on the agency’s website, but it’s something important to ask if it is not readily available.
As you Google and ask around, make your list starting with these agencies.
2. Find out their fees
One thing that was a major factor in deciding on an agency was there fee schedule.
Sometimes this can be found online, or usually you can send an email and request this information.
Because agency adoptions can range from $10,000 to $40,000 or more, this is something we wanted to know right away.
We didn’t want to waste our time asking more questions or talking to an agency that would not financially work for us
3. set up an 'interview'
After you have a list of agencies that will fits well with your family dynamic and budget, I suggest you set up a time to speak with them.
You can choose to email questions if that works better for you, but I found it useful to actually talk to someone on the phone.
Before you set up a time to talk, have a list of questions ready. You can find the list that we used in my resource library.
The answers to the questions are super important, but it’s also good to note how the agency interacted with you.
Did they get back to you in a timely manner? We had one agency call us back TWO WEEKS later. They were definitely marked off our list.
Do they respond respectfully? Remember, you will be working closely with them, so you want to know that they are easy to talk to.
This was the most helpful step in our process to find the right adoption agency.
It took some time and we spend hours upon hours on the phone, but it was well worth it.
4. do your research
This could actually come before #3 depending on your preference, but use the internet to do your research.
Look on Google, Facebook, Yelp, anywhere you can to see if there are reviews written about your agency.
Hearing reviews from other adoptive parents is really helpful, but it’s great to find an agency that has positive reviews from previous birth mothers as well.
Look at their website and see how they speak to expectant mothers. You want to make sure they provide options and resources to the mothers who may reach out to them.
Side Note: You want to find an agency that really supports the expectant moms before and after the birth through resources and counseling, and without coercion.
You can also try to search adoption forums or in Facebook groups to ask about certain agencies to find out about personal experiences.
5. Ask for References
If you can’t find many reviews, or just for extra information, ask the agency for at least three references of adoptive families they have worked with recently.
You can then ask the adoptive families how their experience was with this agency, how they handled the process, and the support that was provided to them.
If the agency is unable or unwilling to provide references, that may be a red flag and you may want to move on to another.
As you are looking, be aware of these red flags...
- The agency promise’s a quick match.
- They don’t have an itemized list of fees and expenses.
- A high fee is required up front.
- They don’t respond to phone calls or email in a timely manner.
- They offer vague responses in regards to birth mother/father support.
- You feel rushed into signing on with them.
- They sound too good to be true.
If you have decided to use an agency to adopt, take your time to find the best fit for you and your family.
A good adoption agency will not make you feel like you have to choose them right away, so look at all of your options carefully.
Even a perfect-on-paper agency is not the best fit for every family.
Asking the right questions and researching carefully will ensure you make the best choice.