When individuals and couples are considering adopting a child within the United States, they will most likely have questions regarding not only the procedure itself but how to choose the best adoption agency. There are a number of agencies available to prospective adoptive parents today but the question remains which agency is the best and what makes them so.
Characteristics to Look for When Choosing a Domestic Adoption Agency
- Willingness to Answer Questions – Perhaps the most important characteristic that an adoption agency should have is the willingness to answer any and all questions within their capabilities and expertise. If the representatives of the adoption agency do not have the answers right then, they should state that they will find out the answers and get back to the prospective adoptive parents. The adoption procedure is not an easy one to understand. There are a number of forms and laws that need to be completed and abided by, respectively, and this makes the providing of accurate information imperative.
- Pleasant to Deal With – Connected with the willingness of the agency representatives to answer questions is the overall pleasantness of the representatives that you will be dealing with on a frequent basis. Because the adoption process can be a lengthy one, the prospective adoptive parents do not want to deal with a difficult person throughout this time. If the individuals working for the agency are not pleasant and in fact, disagreeable when first meeting with them, it may be best to check out some other agencies and see what their staff is like.
- Availability of Statistics – Factors such as placement rate, cost estimates, availability of children of different genders from particular areas of the country are all items which the prospective adopters want to know about. It is up to the domestic adoption agency to provide these statistics to the individuals inquiring about them.
- Upfront Cost Estimates – When looking to adopt, a prospective parent needs to know the monetary costs involved because if the cost is not within the budget of the individual considering adopting, adoption may not be an option. The individual doesn’t want to meet with an agency representative that will not give a concrete estimate of what the entire process will cost, including fees that the agency charges directly. It is also important for the individual to get these estimates in writing so that there is no room for disagreement at a later time.
- A Provided Timeline and Schedule – As there is usually a strict schedule that needs to be followed in the adoption process, it is helpful if the domestic adoption agency provides handouts that outline this schedule. Pamphlets of this sort are beneficial for the prospective parents in that they can take this information home with them and have a little privacy to look over the procedure, costs and timelines and talk amongst themselves prior to signing up with a particular agency. By having this information, the individuals may also compare information from one agency to information from another.
- Number of Years in Business – As previously stated, the adoption process is not an easy one to understand. There are a lot of rules and regulations to follow and these are of such a magnitude that adoption agencies that have just opened up their doors may not have the required knowledge that another agency which has been around for 10 or 20 years may have. However, be sure to ask if the individuals that work for the agency are experienced as the agency may be new but the individuals within the agency may have years of valuable experience. This is not to say that one should not go to a new adoption agency, it is just one more thing to consider when looking into choosing a particular domestic adoption agency.
- The Agency Members Role in the Process – One last thing to consider and ask the agency representative about is the agency and its member’s role in the adoption process. For example, will the representative be present through various pertinent stages along the way such as meeting the child for the first time, etc. It sometimes makes it easier on the prospective parents to have a little hand holding throughout the process as it is an extremely important and emotional one.
These are just some of the important aspects to consider when looking to find the perfect adoption agency that helps individuals adopt children. This is not a must have list where all factors must be present in order to sign on with a particular agency. It is simply provided to help prospective adoptive parents choose an adoption agency that will do the best work possible and to ensure that the adoption process goes as smoothly as possible.