We are just starting off on the terrifying/overwhelming/fraught journey of attempting to find an agency that might be a good match for us, and would really appreciate any insights or cautions that those of you who have been through this or are going through this now might have to offer. We have done some looking at potential agencies already, but we are feeling very overwhelmed, and frustrated by our inability to separate the flashy/glossy/rainbows & unicorns presentation of the agencies (who are obviously trying to sell themselves to us) and the truth of the experience (for both PAPs and EMs/BPs) of those who have worked with them.
I'm interested in both reviews of specific agencies (please feel free to PM me), as well as general advice on how to choose an agency without driving oneself insane.
A few agencies that we have been seriously considering include Friends in Adoption, A Child's Hope, AdoptHelp, so we'd be especially interested in hearing about your experience with any of these agencies, but we're still in the research process and would love to hear about any other agencies as well.
A few things that are important to us in choosing an agency:
- must NOT discriminate against LGBT couples or single PAPs
- must be able to work within North Carolina
- must offer EMs and women in crisis legitimate counselling that presents them openly and honestly with ALL their options (not just pushing them towards an adoption plan)
- must not discriminate racially (i.e. lower fees for babies of colour)
We're also interested in hearing more about facilitators or adoption attorneys, if you have insight to share there (we don't know much about non-agency adoptions yet, but we will also be looking into that).
Sorry this question is so broad, but we're still very early in and new to the process, and are looking for some guidance in narrowing down the overwhelming number of options that are out there.
Thanks so, so much! We really appreciate all of your help and insight.