Adoption is an exciting, yet stressful process. So many adoptive parents can easily start feeling overwhelmed with questions. It’s difficult to know where to start.
Choosing the right adoption agency is one of the most important first steps towards starting your family. You are relying on them to walk you through beginning this new chapter of your life. How do you know which agency is best for you? It’s important to really think about what you are looking for in an adoption agency to ensure a good partnership. Here are some of the top questions you should ask.
How many placements do you do per year?
This can be a good indicator of the agency’s success in making solid matches. Achieving placements can depend on a wide variety of factors, and you don’t want to go with an agency that has either far too many or none at all. This could mean there is either little to no care taken in the matching process, or that it is far too stringent.
How many birthmothers are you working with?
If you commit to an agency, you want to know that you have a lot of options. It takes many adoptive parents several tries before they connect with the right birthmother. A higher number of birthmothers may also reflect on the quality of the agency, as more birthmothers trust their reputation to help with this delicate process.
What do you expect from our portfolio for the birthmother?
This will vary quite a bit between agencies. It is perhaps the most important element in matching you with a birthmother, as this will embody her first impressions before you even meet. If the agency’s idea of a good portfolio aligns with what you value in making a match, this is usually a positive sign.
How many families are currently on your wait list?
A long list may mean the agency is in high demand, but it may also mean you will have a longer wait for you. Also, many agencies will close a wait list after they reach a certain number of adoptive families.
What are your fees and your fee schedule?
Adoption can be expensive, which isn’t surprising, considering what is at stake. While you should of course be financially secure enough to afford the service before even thinking about bringing a baby home, you should also be allowed the flexibility to pay how you can so that it doesn’t severely disrupt your budget. Some agencies may even ask for the entire fee upfront, making many adoptive parents nervous about losing money in the event of an unsuccessful partnership.
As eager as you may be to begin the adoption process, it is important to take a deep breath and take the time to find the right agency for you. This is a complicated process, you will want solid support and expertise to guide you through. Finding the right adoption agency can make the difference between disappointment and joy.