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How to research an adoption professional



COVER THE BASICS:

  • Carefully read the articles on selecting an adoption agency and an adoption attorney in this Adoption Guide.
  • Once you have selected a list of adoption agencies or adoption attorneys for consideration, read details about each one's philosophy and programs in the online adoption professional database on theadoptionguide.com.
  • Search our adoption agency directory to find an agency you're interested in. Then, use the link at the top of the webpage to request information from that agency.
  • Read the adoption agency or attorney written materials (whether online or in print) carefully.
  • Call each agency or professional to ask the "Questions to Ask an Adoption Attorney" and "Questions to Ask an Adoption Agency."

TALK TO PARENTS WHO ADOPTED THROUGH THE ATTORNEY/AGENCY YOU ARE CONSIDERING:

  • Ask the attorney/agency to give you names of client families who adopted recently, as well as families who adopted a year or more previously.
  • Consult an online site where parents post comments about their adoption experience, such as adoptingfromrussia.com or adoptachild.org.
  • Join a listserv of other families who have adopted from the country you have chosen (find one at theadoptionguide.com/tools/support-group-search). Post a request there for feedback about the agency or professional you are considering.
  • Join a local parent support group (find one in our searchable database), and ask other parents about their experiences.

RESEARCH WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS:

  • Check with your state adoption unit (find it on http://naic.acf.hhs.gov) to see whether there have been complaints in your state.
  • Check the licensing status of an agent or attorney with your state licensing unit or the local bar association.
  • Check the financials of any non-profit adoption agency on guidestar.org.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau: bbb.org.
  • Find out if the agency is a member of the Joint Council of International Children's Services: jcics.org.
  • Find out whether the agency is accredited by the Council on Accreditation: coanet.org. (Do not be overly concerned if it is not. COA accreditation is still fairly rare.)

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