One of the most important decisions you will make during your journey to adopt is deciding which agency to work with. There are hundreds of options in each state and not all are created equally. Itís imperative that the agency you work with is licensed, ethical and understands the law. The following questions will help you in the selection process.
1) Are you planning to pursue a domestic newborn, international or foster care adoption?
Some agencies only specialize in domestic adoption; others strictly handle international adoptions. Some do both. Find out which agencies offer the programs youíre interested in and then request an information packet.
2) How much money are you willing to spend on paperwork and other expenses?
Adoption fees vary by agency, so inquire about costs right away. Also ask if they have sliding scale fees or a payment plan.
3) Would you prefer a large or small agency?
This is a matter of preference. We chose a smaller agency because we liked more personal feel.
4) Do you want an agency that is close to home?
You can adopt through a local agency or one that is in another state if they handle interstate adoptions.
5) Does the agency have counseling and education for both birth and adoptive parents?
This is extremely important. Any good reputable agency should provide education and counseling both before and after the adoption.
6) Are you looking for an agency with strong Christian values or one that is more generic?
Do your homework to be sure you find an agency that aligns with your personal beliefs and values.
7) Do you know other people who have adopted? What were their experiences?
Asking for referrals is often a good way to find an agency.
Further help in choosing an adoption agency is available at the following resources:
For intercountry adoptions, visit the U.S. Department of Stateís Adoption Service Provider Search to find providers that are accredited by the Council on Accreditation.
You can also find info on locating an agency at the Child Welfare Information Gateway. And, for state adoption and foster care information, check out the AdoptUSKids website.