With so many options, finding the right adoption agency can take lots of time and effort. That time and effort is necessary, though, so that when you’re making the leap and paying a lot of money for services, that agency is total comfort to you and not a source of confusion. Here are three signs you’ve found the right adoption agency:
1. You’re comfortable with the way they speak about birth families. When you view their website and speak to them in person or on the phone, do they speak about birth mothers and birth families with respect? Do they make subtle comments that might suggest otherwise? You want to find an agency who cares just as much about birth mothers as they do about adoptive mothers. If your agency presents birth mothers with adoption information as well as parenting information so that she can make the best choice for her, that is a good agency.
2. They are transparent in their policies. You understand what they will do, when they will do it, and what to expect. This goes for emotional support, communication in general, and financial considerations. One red flag with an agency is not giving you important details up front. At one agency, I could not get my question answered until I asked for a copy of their contract. We went over the contract ourselves and had our lawyer family member review it. We found there was a time limit we were not told about up front. The contract said the agency would work with us on finding a birth mother match for a period of two years. No mention of what would happen if more time was needed. I knew some matches could take more than two years. The agency assured me, “everyone adopts within two years.” That wasn’t good enough for us. Words mean nothing if they aren’t in the contract. We would have lost all our money if not matched. When you get a contract, make sure there is either no time limit or that there is a way to recoup money lost.
3. They mesh with you. You should choose an agency that can realistically deliver what you want. If you choose an agency that places only ten children per year, then that means you are comfortable with waiting possibly a few years for a child. If you hope to adopt in less than a year, you may need to explore other agencies that do more placements per year and expand your preferences on what type of child you desire. If you pick an agency that does not allow for gender specificity and you just hope to be matched with the gender you desire, that will not be good for anyone involved. Find an agency that understands your wishes and won’t pressure you into something you’re not comfortable with. Remember, they work for you.
Are you considering placing a child for adoption? Not sure what to do next? First, know that you are not alone. Visit PregnancyHotline.org or call 1-800-GLADNEY and speak to one of our Options Counselors to get compassionate, nonjudgmental support. We are here to assist you in any way we can.