Here’s what you should know about before you visit local adoption centers near you. 

When facing an unexpected pregnancy, you’re more or less likely to come to the realization that you’re not ready to parent just yet; and that’s completely okay. Know that you’re giving your baby a chance at a good life through adoption. That’s where adoption centers come into play.

Adoption centers, also known as adoption agencies, are places to go when you’re looking to place your baby for adoption. Depending on what state you live in, it’s good to do your research on the local adoption centers in your state. (Take a look on Adoption.com to find out local adoption information and services near you or this Adopting.org article adoption agencies near me). 

Finding a local adoption center near you might seem like a daunting task, but reading this article will help you know just what to expect when you go to an adoption center.

1. Learn about all of the different kinds of adoption services

As an expectant parent looking to place your child for adoption, you can start preparing by choosing what type of adoption center you’d like to work with. Here’s a list of the different kinds of services local adoption centers offer and details about each one. 

Private Adoption Services 

What is a private adoption? Private adoption services assist with newborn adoption placement. 

Open Adoption Services 

Open adoptions allow you to remain in contact with your baby and the adoptive parents once your baby is adopted. Check out Adoption.org to learn more about common open adoption rules and benefits.

Closed Adoption Services 

Closed adoption keeps all your information completely confidential from the adoptive parents. Once your baby is adopted, you’ll have no contact with the adoptive parents. Learn about the benefits of a closed adoption and speak with your agency about whether or not closed adoption is right for you.

Foster Care Adoption Services 

Foster care adoptions may be completed through the state. Birth parents may have their parental rights terminated by the court before or while a child is in foster care. Once those rights are terminated, a foster child may be eligible for adoption. Learn more about what your parental rights are and what TPR is

Expectant Mother Adoption Services 

Some adoption centers place an emphasis on services for expectant mothers looking to place their babies for adoption; these centers strive to help you in the best way possible. Read this Adoption.com article to learn about “8 Things Every Expectant Mother Should Know Before Placing Her Baby For Adoption.”

Single Parent Adoption Services 

Single hopeful adoptive parents may be eligible to adopt your baby. Take a look at this article on Adoption.com about a single adoptive mother’s story: “How I Knew Single Parent Adoption Was Right For Me.

Special Needs Adoption 

Hopeful adoptive parents may be looking to adopt a baby or child with special needs. If you find that your baby will have special needs, local adoption agencies can help you start the process. Check out Adoption.org to learn the “10 Things Adoptive Parents Need to Know About Special Needs Adoption.”

Transracial Adoption Services 

No matter race, babies and children can be adopted into a multi-race or multicultural home. Transracial adoption services can help connect you with hopeful adoptive parents from all backgrounds. If you anticipate placing your baby in a transracial or transcultural home, a local adoption center can help you feel peace of mind throughout the process. This Adopting.org article is all about “Transracial adoption.”

Religious Adoption Services 

If you’re religious, finding a local adoption center that has your religious values at heart would be a great place to start with your adoption journey. This Adoption.org article goes over “How Christian Agencies Are Different From Other Agencies.”

If you’re wanting more information about adoption centers, follow this guide on Adoption.com

2. Know who you’ll be talking with at the adoption center

At the adoption center, there will be staff members that go by various titles. The staff at any adoption center near you should be kind, resourceful, knowledgeable, courteous, pleasant, compassionate, and helpful. If you haven’t yet spoken to anyone over the phone, one of the main staff members you’ll be speaking with is an adoption counselor. Learn more about what exactly an unplanned pregnancy counselor can do for you. 

Read more about how to pick your adoption professional and this article about finding the right adoption professional

3. Ask about the center’s adoption placement process 

What is an adoption placing process, and how do you know what makes a great adoption placement? Check out this Adoption.org article, “How Does an Adoption Process Work,” and watch this video from birth mothers called “How Do I Start the Adoption Process.” The adoption placing process is different for everyone. There are different options and choices with adoption. The adoption center staff will ask about what type of family you’d like your baby to be placed with, what your hospital plan is (watch this Adoption.com video: “Birth Moms Talk About Making a Hospital Plan”), and life after the adoption is finalized.

For more information, check out “10 Things Birth Parents Should Know After Adoption Placement.”

4. Figure out what benefits the local adoption center provides 

As an expectant parent, it’s vital to know exactly what services are beneficial to you before, during, and after placement. It helps to ask questions about what services the adoption center provides. Here are some common (and often free) services that are provided to expectant parents.

Medical Assistance

The adoption center staff can help you find a doctor, help you apply for health insurance, and help you with medical expenses.

Transportation Services

The adoption center should make sure you have means of transportation to and from your doctor appointments.

Financial Assistance

The staff at the adoption center may help you pay for utilities, phone bills, maternity clothes, and rent. 

Housing

The adoption center staff may help you find housing and assist you with rent.

Counseling Services

You can get free counseling services within the adoption center. You can speak with a pregnancy counselor either by a 24/7 hotline or in person. 

Education and Job Services

The adoption center staff can help you apply for college, help you apply for a job, and more. 

Creating an Adoption Plan

Making an adoption plan is one of the first things you will do with an adoption professional.

Post-Adoption Support

The adoption center will be there for you even after the adoption process ends. There are also support groups for birth parents as well. If you’re struggling to cope after adoption, you can read these inspiring articles: “Why Birth Mothers are Important,” “How Do I Find a Good Support Group for Birth Mothers,” and “10 Things Birth Parents Should Know After Adoption Placement.”

Learn more about your options while facing an unexpected pregnancy and check out this Adoption.org video: “What Support Can an Adoption Agency Offer Me.”

5. Ask about the prospective adoptive families 

Another way to prepare for a visit to a local adoption center is to have an idea of what type of potential adoptive family you’d like for your baby. One way to see what a great adoptive family would look like is to look at some great adoption profiles.

It’s also crucial to know the red flags expectant parents should watch for in adoptive parents and to not be afraid to ask questions about the adoptive parents. The adoption center would want you to choose a great family for your baby, and the choice is yours to make.

6. Choose the local adoption centers near you that have great reviews and do your research

Reviews say a lot about an adoption center. If you happen to find one near you that has glowing reviews, make an appointment or go to the website to check it out for yourself. What makes an adoption center great? 

Great Service

You should feel happy and satisfied with the service you receive at the adoption center. The staff shouldn’t be pushy or try to steer you away from the choices you wish to make for you and your baby’s future. They should be supportive, informative, and helpful to you. 

Responsive to All of Your Questions

The staff at the adoption center should take all of your questions seriously and respond to any questions or concerns you may have.

Respect for You as an Expectant Parent

The staff at the adoption center should have the utmost respect for you and respect the choices you make for your baby. 

Confidentiality

The staff should keep your information and what you discuss between the two of you. If you find the staff gossiping about other birth parents, they don’t show confidentiality. 

Family-Focused

If the adoption center is constantly focused on money rather than finding an amazing family for your baby, find another agency that’s more family-oriented. 

Comfortable Rules and Regulations

Every adoption center has rules and regulations to abide by. But if you see rules and regulations you don’t agree with such as overstepping into your personal life, age limitations, religious beliefs, etc., you should find an adoption center that aligns with your comfort.

Puts You and Your Baby First

The most important thing that an adoption center should abide by is putting you and your baby first. The staff should make sure your well-being is a priority. They’ll be sure you are seeing a doctor, having your needs met, finding a great adoptive family, and aware of the support available to you after the adoption placement. 

To know more, look at this Adoption.org article about finding a reputable agency, and this Adoption.com article on finding an ethical agency

Finding a local adoption agency doesn’t have to be a struggle. Be prepared to find a reputable adoption center that will do the best they can to help you find a great adoptive family for your baby. Remember that it is important to learn about all of the different kinds of adoption centers, know who you’ll be talking with at the adoption center, ask about the center’s adoption placing process, figure out what services the local adoption center provides, ask about the prospective adoptive families, and choose the local adoption centers near you that have great reviews. 

I wish you the best of luck on your adoption center search and I hope this article helped you to feel more prepared for your visit to a local adoption center.