Ask AF: An Agency Hurdle

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Q: My husband and I had a bad experience with an adoption agency. We didn't even get to the formal homestudy stage before a social worker came for a chat and said things about our home, like the lack of furniture (we had recently moved). Does this information go into a database of some kind? Should we work with another agency?

A: I'm sorry that you had a disappointing first experience with an adoption agency. That agency may not release any information about you without your permission. It will not go into a database that is accessible to an outside party.

Another agency you apply to will ask whether you have applied to adopt in the past. You should respond honestly. You can say that a homestudy was not completed, and you'll probably be asked why. Adoption agencies know that various agencies have different requirements and perspectives.

Though you feel you were wrongly assessed, you might consider the agency’s complaints. Is there a real problem? Is there anything you would alter or remedy before restarting the process? 

-- Pat Hoopes, MSW, LICSW
Director of Clinical Services, WIde Horizons for Children

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