The adoption agency you choose will be your guide through the scary, confusing process of adoption, so it is absolutely worth taking time to consider all available options. Being prepared and doing your dues ahead is the key to ensuring you’ve made the right choice in the end.
When choosing an adoption agency, there are a few essential parts of the process to help you determine if you’ve picked your best option:
Research is perhaps the most important part of every step in the adoption process. Being prepared and armed with the factual information is crucial for the success and happiness of your family.
Start by looking up adoption agencies online, and don’t be afraid to judge your options at a high standard. Consider whether you want to adopt domestically, via foster care, or through international channels. Be diligent in your efforts, fact-check your sources, and make phone calls to connect with each adoption agency on a personal level.
Once you’ve narrowed down your options and enter the adoption interview stages of the process, you’ll have to provide some very detailed, personal information about yourself. Look up common adoption interview questions and have the answers prepared ahead of time.
Depending on the adoption agency, you may be asked about subjects such as:
Your education and family background
Your financial situation and career
Your health, including your age
Your current lifestyle and personal history
Any religious affiliations
Your marital and relationship status, including if you are LGBT
Throughout your interview with each adoption agency, ask questions. Lots of questions. The more you know about the institution upfront, the better prepared you can be if there are any hiccups or concerns along the way.
Start with the essentials and work your way into specifics: Cost? When are fees due? How long does the process take? Is there a particular age range they specialize in? Is there a home study/what does the home study look like? What are eligibility requirements? Do they have references from successful, legitimate adoptive parents? What countries/governments do international adoption agencies interact with? For foster care adoptions, what is there to know in terms of siblings, teenagers, and special needs?
Be thorough in your questions and diligent in your listening. Pursue any red flags immediately, and if the fit is not right, move on to the next adoption agency on the list.
Find Proof and Listen to Your Gut
Even if the interview goes well, you’ll want to fact-check any claims made – especially if what the adoption agency offers appears too good to be true, or if the agency is particularly pushy. For instance, if they don’t affiliate with other reputable institutions, demand all fees upfront, state that they don’t provide services after the adoption has gone through, don’t have proper accreditations, or don’t offer an itemized list of expenses, it’s time to move on.
The adoption agency selection process is a time to listen to your gut. If any of the potential candidates feels off or rude or unhelpful, be it their website or their personnel, ask yourself if you want to want to deal with that throughout the stressful process. The decision you’re making is an important one, both for yourself and your future family. Make it wisely.