The process of choosing an adoption agency can seem intimidating, especially if this is your first time doing so. Fortunately, the journey can be broken down into steps to help you make this decision with confidence. If you’re wondering where to begin, we’re here to help.
Below, we break down the steps to selecting the best adoption agency for your needs. Read on for a step-by-step guide on how to choose an adoption agency.
How Birth Mothers Can Choose an Adoption Agency
As you search for the best adoption agency, you may feel overwhelmed by the choices. To narrow down your search, we’ve created a list of important things to look for. This will help you determine whether the agency will fit your needs.
Here are five steps to take to determine the best adoption agency for you.
1. Research Adoption Agencies
To make the best decision, you need information on potential adoption agencies. So look online to discover agencies near you. Working with an agency that is near you can give you peace of mind. You can meet face to face with the professionals that will be assisting you in your journey.
Make sure the agency you select is trustworthy. To do this, examine the credentials of the agencies as you browse them. Look for things like how long they have been serving the community and reviews of their service.
Additionally, search the agency on the Better Business Bureau website to see if they are registered and highly rated.
Another important note is to determine if the state licenses the agency. To do so, simply contact the licensing specialist in your state who can provide you with information on the licensing status of agencies you are considering.
2. Find An Agency That Supports the Expectant Mother
Now that you have found several respectable agencies, it is time to narrow down the results.
Think about your needs as an expectant mother throughout the process. For example, do you need financial assistance and support? Are you interested in the option to select the family that your baby will be placed with? Do you need an emotional support system during this time?
Look for an adoption agency that supports the needs and wishes of the expectant mothers they serve. The adoption process and expectant birth mother’s role will likely be explained on the agency’s website. But don’t hesitate to contact the agencies you are looking at and ask for more information. You can ask for the exact ways they support expectant birth mothers and what the process looks like in detail from the expectant birth mother’s perspective.
3. Make a List
Now that a picture of the agency you want is coming into view. The next step is to compile your top choices into a list. Writing down the potential agencies will help you to have a more clear idea of your choices.
Additionally, writing lists can aid in reducing anxiety. It’s a small step, but it can make the decision feel more manageable. If possible, rank the agencies based on how you feel about them.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
As mentioned above, asking questions can help clear up doubt or confusion. It can also help you to narrow down your list. With your list of agencies in hand, call each one and ask specific questions you have about them.
Ask detailed questions that will help you gain a better understanding of the agency's operations, such as:
- What types of adoption do you offer?
- How do you select the adoptive families that you work with?
- How many birth mothers are you currently counseling?
Pay close attention to the way the agency answers your questions. Is the person on the phone friendly and comforting? Do they respond in a timely fashion to your emails and phone calls? The tone and attitude of the staff is a reflection of the agency. Keep this in mind as you search.
5. Utilize Resources
You are not alone in your journey as an expectant mother. Many have been in your shoes, and you can turn to a community for support in this situation. The National Council for Adoption provides different online resources for birth mothers across the country. Consider joining one of these groups to learn more about what other birth mothers have done.
We understand that there are so many factors that go into this important decision. That is why breaking the process down into simple steps can offer clarity and keep you moving forward. Remember that throughout this journey, you are not alone.
How Families Looking to Adopt Can Choose an Adoption Agency
With so many adoption agencies out there, selecting one can begin to feel like an overwhelming task. Luckily, there are many resources available for families looking to expand via adoption. While this may feel like unchartered territory, you are walking down a road that many families before you have walked.
Here are some tips on how to choose an adoption agency that is right for you.
1. Choose the Type of Adoption
First and foremost, determine the type of adoption you wish to pursue. Certain agencies specialize in local adoptions, which involve placing a child with a family in the same state.
There are many types of adoption agencies, including domestic and international adoption agencies.
Domestic adoption refers to the placement of American born infants for adoption by their birth parents. International adoption agencies facilitate adoptions between birth parents and adoptive families in different countries.
It is vital to work with an adoption agency that specializes in the type of adoption that you want.
2. Conduct Thorough Research
With the type of agency figured out, it's time to find potential adoption agencies. One of the first things to do is to ensure the legitimacy of the agency. The Child Welfare Information Gateway is a branch under the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Here you can find a detailed list of how to evaluate private adoption agencies across the country.
One suggestion on the list is to ask agencies for references to contact past families. Another is to contact the state’s attorney general to determine if legal action is being taken against the agency.
3. Ask Detailed Questions
Browsing websites and reading reviews help in collecting information on agencies. However, speaking directly to adoption professionals can yield more in-depth insight. There are many elements involved in adopting, such as timing, costs, placement and more. So be sure to form a list of questions to ask as you call agencies.
Here are some examples of questions to ask:
- How many children did you place this past year?
- What is your process for matching birth mothers with adoptive parents?
- What support services do you offer for families that you work with?
- How long have you been operating in the adoption space?
- How soon after we apply will we start the interview process?
4. Connect with Other Adoptive Parents
A great way to learn about the process is to speak with people who have been through it. Connect with families who have adopted in the past to ask about their unique adoption agency experiences. Adoption support groups offer adoptive families and potential adoptive families a way to connect with and learn from each other.
If you have more questions about the adoption process, a professional, caring adoption agency can help!
Texas Adoption Center cares deeply about the birth mother and the families they work with. They are a licensed center with a team of caring and supportive specialists.
Their goal is to empower you to make choices with confidence, looking to the future with hope, happiness, and stability in mind.
For more information on the adoption process or to begin your journey, contact Texas Adoption Center today!