Choosing an adoption agency can be daunting. Sifting through brochures, looking online, and getting people’s opinions is a lot to process in addition to the many complex emotions you’re already thinking of when beginning the adoption process. My husband and I had a wonderful experience with our agency Caring For Kids, and here are five reasons why we chose this specific agency to facilitate our adoption.
1. Recommended. Do not underestimate the value of professional opinions when choosing an agency. The mom of one of my best friends works as a social worker for child/family services at a county near where we live. When first discussing our plans to adopt she immediately gave us the names of two agencies she’s worked with and knows to be reputable. This information was gold to us because we didn’t even know where to begin to look. I had googled a few agencies, but after reading online reviews I got really scared. So many people have had horrible experiences with corrupt places, and we did not want to have to deal with that. We took this recommendation and chose one of the agencies she suggested.
2. Location. This might not be a number one on your list, but I liked the idea of our adoption agency being close to our house. We were able to drop off our paperwork and ensure it wasn’t lost in the mail. It was also easy to get to trainings and to get our home study completed without having to make an overnight trip. There was something comforting to me about being able to swing by the agency if we needed anything from them or they needed anything from us.
3. Counseling for Expectant and Birth Parents. The single most important reason we chose CFK is this one right here. Our agency offers counseling and options for all expectant mothers who call or walk in. They never force anyone to create an adoption plan, they discuss all options and offer support no matter what decision is made. Counseling is offered and given prior to making a plan, during the surrender, and after the placement for as long as the expectant/birth mothers need or want it. No one should ever feel forced to make an adoption plan for their unborn child, and Caring for Kids treats everyone that comes in as individuals and helps them make the best decision for them and their families.
4. Welcoming Feeling. As soon as you call them on the phone or walk into their office, CFK feels like a place where the employees actually care. Everyone has time for you and your questions. Even though you know they’ve answered these same questions for countless other couples hundreds of times, they treat you as if you are the only person who has ever thought of asking that question. There is so much care and compassion from every employee, you can’t help but feel taken care of—whether you are a hopeful adoptive parent or an expectant parent, your needs are met with concern and love.
5. Continued Support. Caring for Kids supports birth parents and adoptive families well after placement has occurred. They offer birth mother retreats and have outings with families who have adopted children. They will facilitate openness by sending and receiving letters/pictures between birth and adoptive families. The counselors are always willing to meet and talk with you for any and every part of the grieving process—whether it’s one day, one year, or 10 years since placement occurred. They understand adoption changes people’s lives, and they will work with you for as long as you need it.
As with any major life decision, you need to do what feels right for you, but know that there are many great agencies out there willing to support all pieces of the adoption triad from the very beginning with no end in sight.