Shopping For An Adoption Agency

Shopping for an adoption agency can be a difficult task when you consider all of the options.  Here are some questions for you to ask when interviewing them:

Placement

How many children did you place last year?  Were any of the children placed through the program you desire?  Do you place with single parents?  Do you place with gay parents or same sex couples?  How long will it take from homestudy approval to placement of a child?

After placement, what support services do you offer?  What happens if there are issues after adoption and I am unable to parent the child?  Do you have any support groups for adoptive parents? 

If you adopt a domestic infant, do you offer any post-placement counseling for the birth parents?

Financial

What types of programs do you offer?  Do you have written costs for each program?  What is the process if I am not selected for placement?  Are there any additional fees not covered in the contract, such as homestudy, travel and visa if the child is coming from an international country? 

International adoption

Do you help with travel arrangements for international adoption?  Do you have a social worker or representative that is bilingual in each foreign country?  What preparation do you offer for children of a different race or culture?  Which agencies do you work with in each country and are they licensed in their country?  How many children from that country did you place in the last few years? 

Red Flags

Be wary of agencies that promise placement before your homestudy and complete application, offer free homestudies, or agencies that state the birth parents will relinquish rights before birth.  Ensure your contract mentions the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC).  Be suspect of agencies that do not have licensed social workers with experience in adoption. 

Investigate all prospective agencies.  When something seems too good to be true it probably is. 

Consult other parents that have adopted or are currently in the process on FertileThoughts.com for honest reviews and experiences!  And FertilityAuthority.com has a number of resources on adoption!