Choosing the Right Adoption Service: Your Ultimate Guide
Choosing an adoption service is a very important part of the adoption process. Read this guide to learn how to choose the right one.
There are currently over 100,000 foster children waiting to be adopted in the United States. With so many kids in need, families that are willing to open their hearts and their homes can permanently change these children’s lives for the better.
However, adopting isn’t a simple process. In fact, it can be long, confusing, and overwhelming. The average adoption length can vary from months to years, and it requires lots of research, paperwork, and money.
Because of this, it is understandable that you may feel intimidated and uneasy in starting the adoption process. You may have no idea where to begin or how to navigate it from start to finish.
It can be scary to do this alone. Luckily, you don’t have to!
Read this guide below to help you choose the right adoption service for you! Once you’re done, you’ll be one step closer to adopting!
Do Your Research
Once you decide to adopt, one of the most important first steps is to research as much as you can about adoption. This includes researching adoption agencies.
Using an adoption agency is one of the most popular methods of adopting a child. These adoption agencies will assist you with your adoption journey – from helping you become approved to adopt to finding the right child.
Adoption agencies are businesses, and, like other businesses, there are lots of differences between one agency to the next.
As you gather information on agencies, determine which of the following factors are important to you:
- Public vs. Private – Public adoption agencies are those that are run by the local state or county government. Private adoption agencies are instead run by a private company, but they are licensed by the Department of Social Services. This means that they must pass annual inspections. Public adoption agencies tend to be cheaper but take longer.
- Local vs. National – You can find both local and national adoption agencies. Is it important that you can meet your adoption facilitator face-to-face? Or are you okay with mainly communicating on the phone but having a wider range of options?
- Small vs. Large – Some agencies are very large and manage countless adoptions. Others are small and take on less. There are pros and cons to both as the large agencies tend to have more experience, but the small ones usually can give you more individualized time and focus.
- Profit vs. Non-Profit – Adoption agencies are run like a business and can make a great deal of money. If you’re uncomfortable with a company profiting from an adoption, non-profit may be the best bet for you.
- Services Offered – Many agencies not only handle the adoption process for you but also provide services to help you before and after the adoption. This can include counseling and educational classes.
Meet With Top Adoption Agencies
Now that you’ve gathered information on adoption agencies, it’s time to narrow down the list to your top contenders. Once you have this, you can reach out and schedule an interview.
When you interview them, it’s important that you’re feeling them out to see if they would fit well with you and your family. Adoption is a lengthy process, and it is important that you’re with an agency you feel confident with.
Some questions you may ask:
- How many adoptions did you do in the last 5 years?
- What are your staff’s experience and education?
- What is the average length of time for adoption with your agency?
Click here to check out a list of other questions to ask potential adoption agencies.
In addition to these questions, it’s also important to ask them about the fee structures. Typically, you must sign a fee agreement when you select an agency. It is important to have an attorney look this over, especially one that has experience with adoptions.
Select The Right Adoption Service
Now that you’ve met with your top adoption agencies, it’s time for you to choose the best fit for you. Once again, remember that adoption is a long and emotional process. It is important to choose the agency that you’re not only comfortable with but also confident in their ability.
Some last checklists to help you make this final decision include:
- Investigate complaints – You can check to see if your top adoption agency has any complaints filed against it. You can look into this through the Better Business Bureau, State Licensing Board, the Attorney General, and even the Hague Complain Registry (for international adoptions).
- Check out reviews – Read any and all reviews on your top agency – from positive to negative. If there are any negative reviews that you feel uneasy about, it may be worthwhile to reconsider another agency.
- Compare Costs – Compare your top agency’s costs with some of the other agencies. Depending on your budget, this could change your mind.
- Compare Pros and Cons – lastly, do one last comparison of the pros and cons of your top agency with the other contenders.
Once you’ve done one last analysis, choose the adoption agency best suited for you and your future family! Make sure to remember that the right adoption agency for you may not be the right adoption agency for someone else. Listen to your instincts and choose the one that feels right to you.
Start Your Adoption Journey Now
This guide outlined the steps on how to adopt a child with the right adoption service. If adopting is truly in your heart, you should now be fully prepared to start this journey.
If you need further assistance with adoption or have questions, please contact us here. At Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda PLLC, we have a vast amount of experience with family law, including adoption, and would love to help you grow your family.