Choosing the right adoption agency is one of the most important factors to consider when planning to adopt. Each adoption agency may have different goals, age groups, target audiences and requirements so it is important to know what you want for yourself and your future family.
Here are our top ten tips to consider when choosing an agency:
- Decide whether you want to do a public or private agency.
Depending on your goals for adoption, there are generally two main types of agencies: public and private agencies. Public agencies are run by the state and typically involve foster care adoption, while private agencies focus on independent adoptions. Both routes offer different types of adoption, so this is the first decision prospective parents must make.
- Decide whether you want a religiously affiliated agency.
Some agencies have religious or philanthropic missions even if they have a secular name, so it is important to determine your goals for adoption and if you want to be affiliated with a religious organization while you go through the process. Sometimes religious organizations will have different guidelines and procedures than secular ones, so it is important that these guidelines align with your goals.
- Do your research.
Once you have decided to adopt, before committing to an agency make sure that you research its licensure, reputation and requirements to adopt. Research aspects of the different programs each agency has to offer to determine which agency will work best for you and your family.
- Make sure your agency has strong education and training programs.
The adoption process is a complex and vulnerable process for both birth and adoptive parents. It is important to have support and to understand the process at both a pre and post-adoption level. Services should be offered by agencies in order to help families through the adoption process at various stages.
Adoption Choices of Kansas is a licensed child placing agency that serves women facing an unplanned pregnancy and prospective parents or individuals considering adoption. We provides a wide array of services to adoptive families. We can complete your adoption home study, assist in matching you with birth parents, and provide post placement services after you are placed with your child. We are with you every step of the way to help you build your family.
Networking is incredibly important to discovering which agency to choose. Getting to learn about people’s first-hand experiences is the best resource. Talk to other families who have adopted in your community or on online forums. Read reviews and try to talk to as many people you can about why they chose the agency they used.
- Check the age and popularity of the agency.
A well established and popular agency means that in general, the agency is well managed and reputable. It will be easier to learn about the programs offered and about what other adoptive parents have said about their process. However, a popular agency will also have a long waiting list for prospective parents. These are all factors to consider when thinking about what you want your process to be like.
- Make sure staff members have the appropriate degrees and training.
It is important that the agency you choose has the appropriate licensure and that its staff members have the required training. Otherwise, the agency may not be up to par with state standards and requirements. Improper licensure is also unethical.
- Make sure it’s trustworthy.
The agency must be direct about any and all details and requirements from the state. It should also be fully honest about the fees and programs offered. If this is not the case, the agency is being unethical, and there is a risk that they are trying to scam the people they are working with.
- Check the Financial Cost of the Agency.
Depending on the agency you choose, there are different fees and some may be greater than others. When planning to adopt, it is important to know your financial plan and to understand the different fees for the different agencies. Some agencies require you to pay more money upfront, while others may have higher or lower fees for their services.
- Ask Questions.
Asking questions is an important part of determining what agency is best for you. The more informed you are, the better your experience will be.
Ultimately, finding an agency takes a lot of time and research. Understanding the different options and determining which agency works best for your needs and goals is the first step to having a successful adoption process.
Guidelines to choosing an adoption agency. (2016, September 2). americanpregnancy.org.
Choosing the right adoption agency for your family. 2019. Resolve.org.
Julianna McKenna is a college student at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana double majoring in English Writing and Psychology. She is passionate about adoption and foster care and is considering a career in adoption law or counseling. In January 2019, Julianna became an intern for Virginia L. Frank and joined the Adoption Choices Inc., team. She is incredibly dedicated to promoting children’s rights and is excited to research and advocate for children.