For the same reasons you wouldn’t hire a barber to deliver a baby, finding the right professional for your adoption is important. Luckily, depending on your state of residence, you may have more options than you realize.
In some states, all adoptions must go through agencies. In others, adoption attorneys and/or facilitators are allowed to perform some of the functions of an agency. Regardless of the route you choose—and you may choose more than one—you will need to be certain you’ve chosen the best professional possible for your adoption and your family.
Since your adoption journey is bound to last a while, you need to find someone you get along with, who makes you comfortable, and whom you will gladly trust your future with.
Although you will want to follow your gut instinct in the process (much of what makes a relationship work well has a lot to do with feeling), start by getting the right answers to the important questions.
Although you will not be the expert, remember: You are the client. That means you must be satisfied. So, it is wise for you to thoroughly and carefully prepare to interview your potential adoption professionals.
Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Find out how happy others were with your potential professional.
Naturally, this can save some time in the decision process. Get referrals from former clients, and ask for opinions from others in the field. Also, establish how long they have been in business, how many adoptions they have completed in that time, and how many have failed.
2. Read the provided literature.
And ask questions about anything that may be unclear. There is no such thing as a dumb question.
3. Learn the professional’s prefered criteria for clients.
These could be minimum and/or maximum ages, marital statuses, baseline incomes, acceptable health issues, etc. You may or may not appreciate their criteria.
4. Ask how long their adoption cases normally take.
Get a feel for the professional’s attitudes toward potential birth parents, and find out how involved they will be in the process if you decide to work with them. Additionally, you might want to ask about their policy on expectant parent rights and open adoption.
5. Find out exactly what services are provided.
This includes pre- and post-adoption, and for all parties participating in the adoption. Since your adoption professional may need to outsource some of those services, find out the qualifications of those who provide the services.
6. Review the contract you will sign.
Understandably, you would benenfit from getting a detailed itemization and timetable of all costs and fees you will need to pay.
Are you and your partner ready to start the adoption process? Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98 to begin your adoption journey. We have 130+ years of adoption experience and would love to help you.