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How to Choose an Adoption Agency

5 Steps for Choosing the Right Professional

The adoption agency you work with will have a heavy hand in determining the outcome of your adoption process.

The ins and outs of this complicated process are handled by the agency. As an adoptive family, there are many steps along the way that you aren’t equipped to complete on your own. So, when you choose an adoption agency, you are choosing someone to act on your behalf. That means your agency should be someone you can trust completely. How do you find that?

While there are many amazing resources on how to choose an adoption agency, we’ll begin to answer your questions here. This guide will cover tips and best practices on how to find an adoption agency that you can trust. Finding the right agency is one of the biggest, most important steps a family will take in the adoption process.

If you have more specific questions about how to choose an adoption agency, you can request free information here.

If you're a prospective birth mother searching for an adoption agency, get connected with one of our experienced professionals by completing our online contact form. You can also call us at 1-800-ADOPTION. We are ready to provide you with information on all of our adoption services and provide you with the support you deserve.

Types of Adoption Agencies

Before diving into the steps of how to choose an adoption agency, let’s define the options. While there are a variety of adoption professionals, there are essentially three types of adoption agencies.

  • Local Adoption Agencies: These are licensed organizations that provide adoption services to clients in a specific area, typically within the boundaries of an individual state. Local adoption agencies can usually provide services to couples seeking a domestic adoption.

  • National Adoption Agencies: National adoption agencies are licensed in multiple states and work across the country. They can serve adoptive families and prospective birth parents in any state. They typically have larger staffs and shorter wait times.

  • International Adoption Agencies: An international adoption agency can help a family who has decided that adoption from a different country is the best route for them. Any international adoption agency you consider should be Hague-accredited.

How to Choose an Adoption Agency

Step 1: Decide on the type of adoption you are pursuing.

This decision is up to each individual considering adoption. Only you can know which type of adoption is going to be best for your family. If domestic infant adoption sounds best to you, then you could consider both local and national adoption agencies. There are advantages and disadvantages to each that you should consider. If, on the other hand, you think international adoption is going to be the right route, then an international adoption agency is going to be necessary for you.

Once you know the type of adoption, you can move on to the next step for how to choose an adoption agency.

Step 2: Research agencies that work in this type of adoption.

If you’re reading this, you’ve already taken action on this step. Most people turn to Google when they need information. It can be a good place to begin your research on potential adoption agencies. However, you should verify anything you find online with a professional. That leads to the next step.

Step 3: Contact agencies and ask questions.

Some things can be answered online. But for something this important, you need to speak with a professional. Make a list of your top options after researching potential adoption agencies online, and contact those agencies. You will likely get a sense of whether or not an agency is going to be a good fit for you after spending a few minutes on the phone.

When you call, ask as many questions as you can think of. Don’t leave anything unanswered. To get started, you could ask things like:

  • What kind of pre-adoption education and training do you provide? What kind of support do you offer prospective birth mothers and women considering adoption?

  • What kind of adoption advertising do you do?

  • What is your estimated cost of adoption, and what is included in that cost?

  • How do you prevent adoption disruptions, and how do you protect families if a disruption does occur?

  • How will you support my family and the prospective birth mother throughout this adoption process?

  • How is your agency licensed?

In an adoption agencies answers to these questions, you should look for things like:

  • Transparency: An adoption agency should be open and honest about what the cost of adoption will be, as well as what services are included in that cost.

  • Clarity: Some adoption agencies will throw out short wait time estimates with no clear data to support it. Look for an agency that carefully tracks numbers and gives you accurate, clear answers.

  • Professionalism: Any adoption agency worth working with will be fully licensed and have staff members who are certified experts in their field.

  • Compassion: Adoption is a personal, emotional process. If you feel like the responses are cold, the prospective birth mothers who call the agency are going to feel the same way.

Step 4: Choose the adoption agency who will serve you best.

Once you’ve done the research and asked the right questions, the next step for how to choose an adoption agency is making the decision. This choice comes down to each individual family. There’s not necessarily one right answer that will work for everyone. Based on the type of adoption you are pursuing and the needs of your situation, you can pick an adoption agency that meets the standards above and will serve you well.

Step 5: Begin the adoption process.

Once you’ve chosen an adoption agency, you can begin the adoption process. The first steps of the process will look different depending on who you are working with. Adoption is beautiful, but it can also be challenging. Prepare for a process that will include ups and downs — moments of joy and frustration. At the end of it all, your family will grow and your life will be changed forever. All along the way, a good adoption agency will support you and ensure success.

If you have questions about how to choose an adoption agency or how to start the adoption process, request more free adoption information today.

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do we need to retain our own attorney?

No, American Adoptions has established relationships with some of the best adoption attorneys in the nation. Because adoption laws vary from state to state and between counties, it is important to utilize the services of an adoption attorney who specializes in the state where the adoption will finalize, which is unknown until you match with an expectant mother. You have the right to retain your own attorney, but doing so may be an additional, unnecessary expense.

Can we choose the gender of our baby?

American Adoptions does not allow gender specificity in adoption. Any family who wishes to be gender-specific in their adoption should contact us at 1-800-ADOPTION and ask about the possibility of an exception waiver before taking any other steps toward adoption with our agency. Any families who do receive an exception to be gender-specific may also incur an additional fee, which helps cover the additional advertising costs of such a request.

Please note that gender specificity will likely increase your wait time significantly.

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