Choosing an adoption agency may be one of the most important decisions you’ll make along your adoption journey. Depending on what type of adoption you are pursuing, some factors will differ, but no matter, you should always do your research and ask lots of questions.
1. Consider the adoption agency’s reputation.
Before you sign on with an agency, make sure they are reputable and licensed. Whether you are adopting publicly or privately, domestically or internationally, choose an agency that meets and maintains state requirements (these requirements vary state to state). Most agencies will provide you access to other families who have used their services so that you’re able to learn about their experiences – first and foremost to decide whether or not this is the right path for you, but also to encourage a support group relationship between adoptive families. This is a great way to gauge an agency’s standing within your community, as well as its reputation in the adoption community.
2. Look into the agency’s costs.
Ask for a fee breakdown, including common personal expenses associated with the process, before you begin. An agency with a solid track record will want you to be aware of the cost of adoption before entering into an agreement for the sake of all parties involved, most especially the child. While it may seem “wrong” for agencies to charge families who wish to open their loving homes to children, as with any other organization, in order to keep their doors open, both public and private agencies require fees to support their programs.
3. Inquire about training provided to clients.
Ask what type of training an adoption agency offers to adoptive parents. Are you planning on a special needs adoption? If so, will they work with you to determine whether or not you are fully prepared? Are you adopting internationally? Do they offer guidance concerning transracial and multicultural families and what you can expect? Does the agency offer counseling to domestic birth parents? For these scenarios and many others, do they offer support before, during, and post-adoption? Many types of adoption actually require by law that you complete training in order to be considered for a referral – make sure that your adoption agency is knowledgeable and able to provide you with the information and support you will need to complete your adoption.
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