Choosing a Quality Adoption Agency: A Guide for Expectant Parents

There are many factors you should consider when choosing an adoption agency.

Chelse Schults October 22, 2016

Finding a quality, moral, and ethical adoption agency when you are considering an adoption plan for your child is essential. This decision is the first of many soul searching and brave decisions you will make.

The importance of choosing to place your child is unmatched in the parenting world of most.  Aligning yourself with professionals that are looking out for you and what is best for your baby is key. A quality agency will make you feel supported and informed as you move through the process of adoption. Here are seven ways I would share with someone I love who is looking to choose a quality adoption agency.

Do research AKA Google.
1. Do research AKA Google.

Educate yourself about the different levels of openness in domestic adoption. Some adoptions are very open from day one. Some are more structured. Some communicate through an agency or mediator. Think about what type of relationship you want with your child post placement. How well do you want to get to know the parents you choose? Look for a local agency that shares the same philosophies you have about openness. (Example search: 'Open adoption Agency Michigan' or ' Newborn Adoption information Michigan')

If googling isn't your thing, you can ask your doctor, a pregnancy crisis center, or your church for recommendations. Most religious organizations offer public services in the counties they are located in. You probably do not have to be associated with that religion to receive information or help. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

Get pregnancy counseling.
2. Get pregnancy counseling.

When you first make contact with an adoption agency, you will probably speak with a pregnancy counselor. This person should be advocating and fighting for YOU! This is the person that should be answering all of your questions. They should be providing and guiding you to all of the resources and information you need. This should be about you and your child. If you are looking for housing, medical care, clothing food, etc., the pregnancy counselor should be able to point you in the direction of any resource you need. This should NOT be adoption counseling.

Possible questions to ask: How long after placement will I be able to receive services? What will counseling look like leading up to the birth? How will I be supported in the years following placement if needed?

One of the main reasons we chose our agency was because it offers pregnancy counseling first and is a family support resource in our community. They are an adoption agency second.

Does the agency's practices align with your own morals and values?
3. Does the agency's practices align with your own morals and values?

Look at what fees are charged to adoptive families. Some agencies charge different fees to adoptive families looking to adopt children of different races. Consider asking this question up front.

Choose an agency that educates adoptive families.
4. Choose an agency that educates adoptive families.

Just because an agency says they only facilitate open adoptions, it could still mean a variety of different things. You need to know how they educate the families. Our agency required 12 hours of open adoption education classes. These classes were also offered to all of our extended family. Open adoption is kind of new and sometimes seems scary to new adoptive parents. A quality agency will provide education for everyone touched by adoption. This should also include your extended family.

How will the pregnancy counselor/agency support you in choosing a family?
5. How will the pregnancy counselor/agency support you in choosing a family?

Are you able to choose a family from an online matching site like Parent Profiles? What if you already have a family picked out and they live in a different state? Will they help you to get in contact with them and the professionals they are using? Does the agency limit the number of families they allow in their pool of waiting families? These are all questions you should consider.

If you choose, will you be able to meet the family of your choice before placement?
6. If you choose, will you be able to meet the family of your choice before placement?

Our agency facilitated the first meeting between myself, my husband, and the expectant parents. The pregnancy counselors set up the meeting at a restaurant in their city. The pregnancy counselors attended along with our social worker. It was very reassuring knowing that we each had a professionals supporting us during the emotional first meeting. The conversation was lead by myself, my husband, and the expectant parents. The professionals jumped in when there were long silences, helping us all to remember important topics that we wanted to discuss.

If you decide to parent, a quality agency will support your plan to parent.
7. If you decide to parent, a quality agency will support your plan to parent.

The pregnancy counselor should always be ready to support whichever plan you choose and is right for you. If you do not feel that you can parent right now, you may feel differently after more resources are presented to you. They should help you get there if you choose to parent or place. If you ever feel pressured, get out and find the resources you need.

No one understands your situation better than you. Choose a quality adoption agency that is right for you and your situation.

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Chelse Schults

Chelse is passionate about empowering herself and other women to live their best life. She does this with her fashion marketing company built with her husband. Fitness goals, running marathons, and circuit training at 4:30am support her love of coffee. Keep up with her on Adopt Mom Style where she shares her stylish adventures about motherhood via adoption and foster care.


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