Exploring the adoption process can be overwhelming, confusing, and scary. It can seem like uncharted territory. And that can be intimidating. This is also the case when working with adoption professionals in order to place your child with an adoptive family. Navigating these professional interactions and relationships alone can cause you to feel uncertain of the process as a whole and even your decision to place. But you don’t have to feel that way. And you don’t have to work with the first adoption professional that crosses your path. If you, at any time, feel uncomfortable with the specific professional with whom you’re working, end that relationship and find a professional that works best for you and your situation.

Preparing yourself for your interactions with adoption professionals will help you remain calm, feel comfortable, and completely understand how the process is progressing. One way to prepare yourself is to compile a list of questions you would like to ask him or her. But if you’re new to the process, knowing which questions to ask can be difficult. Before you begin the process of working closely with an adoption professional, take a look at the list of questions below, and keep them in mind.

How long has he or she been involved with adoption? You’ll want an adoption professional that has ample experience in the process, the laws, and the requirements. Choosing an adoption professional who has this experience can save you confusion, time, and missteps in the future.

Is he or she licensed or certified?Remember that each state has different regulations and guidelines for adoption professionals. Check with your individual state first. Then, check with the adoption professional. If it is required in your state for adoption professionals to have a specific license or certification, confirm that your adoption professional has that. If not, you’ll want to find someone new with whom to work.

What exact services will he or she provide to you? Before agreeing to exclusively use the adoption professional, make sure you wholly understand what the contract or agreement entails. This is important in order to establish expectations between the two parties. This way everyone involved with have a clear knowledge and understanding of what is expected.

Is he or she willing to give you professional referrals? This one might be a little tricky because of confidentiality. But, if his or her former clients are willing to speak with you, take them up on those offers. They can provide you with excellent and thorough feedback on the specified adoption professional.

What is his or her average process time for a client? This will give you a small idea of what to expect if you choose to work with him or her. When you ask around, you’ll find that some adoption professionals have a quicker estimated time. But because of the length of the adoption process in general, it can be tough to estimate. This is because the process consists of many other professionals working together and separately to reach the end goal of a legalized adoption.

These are just a few of the many questions you can ask. Remember to ask any question that you have. Adoption professionals are there to help you along this journey. They are there to guide you through with their knowledge of the laws and regulations and their professional experiences. Asking questions is not rude or demeaning. It shows that you are concerned for your child. It shows the love you have. It shows your bravery and courage as you move forward with whichever option you feel is the best for your life and your baby’s life.