Selecting an Adoption Agency
When you are putting your future in the hands of other people, it is normal to feel a tad apprehensive and non-trusting. Especially when these people are adoption agencies and the media is full of horror stories about people and children being taken advantage of by adoption agencies. The first place that you should check out is The Alliance for Children for a comprehensive look at how to choose both international and domestic adoption agencies. They are a not-for profit organization that can serve as a great directory to get you started. There website is located at http://www.allforchildren.org/. They have very good resources that will get you in touch with the people in your state who can help you the most.
The next step is to start researching which kind of adoption is right for you. Whether you choose international or domestic adoption or even private adoption, you should be working with people that are accredited. This means that you have to do your research to protect yourself and the children. Even though adopting a child is a matter of the heart, you have to use your common sense and consumer mind in order to protect yourself. Research your state requirements, the paperwork you will need, the cost, the things to expect, and do random searches to make sure you are not dealing with agencies that are corrupt or have a history of ripping people off. Many adoption agencies will also help you link up with people who can help you financially. Remember that an adoption agency is supposed to put you in the best possible situation for adopting a child, and they should make things as easy as possible with their experience working on YOUR side.
Reputable agencies will likely offer informational meetings as well as social forums where you can meet and greet other people in your situation. Before signing any sort of contract, attend one of these meetings so you can get an intuitive feel as well as further information from other consumers.
The next step in choosing is to let your questions come out. There is no way that you know everything about adoption, and you are much like a student starting out. Write down as many questions as you have, even if you think they are silly or redundant and set up a time to ASK them. You should have each and every one of them fulfilled and be able to see things in writing that correspond with what the agency representative is telling you. They also should be more than willing to walk you through all of your options and not force or push you into one direction. You may want to choose an agency that does all sorts of adoption so that you have more choices.
You also need to understand the fees structure. Every agency is different; however, there are state and federal laws that are designed to help you. You should be given a fee schedule and be able to see in black and white exactly what is expected financially. Many of these fees are negotiable and others are hidden.
Perhaps one of the best resources available to parents looking for an adoption agency is to contact a RESOLVE group. There are thousands of these peer groups located across the country, and they come with a host of free information. Not only will you be able to connect with other adoptive parents, but you will also be able to talk to people who will pioneer for you and your adoptive child’s rights. This can help you to avoid becoming part of a scam and give you a list of FAQ’s that you can take to the adoption agency when you interview them.
Consider how much thought you put into purchasing furniture or a new car. You should do the same thing with an adoption agency. It is much easier to be an informed consumer from the beginning, than to be a heartbroken customer in the end, especially when it comes to adoption.