Once we decided to go the domestic adoption route, we then chose to use a private agency so that we could have more assistance with the entire process, would be assured of expectant/birth mother counseling, and could look for lower fee ranges. We worked with a local faith-based agency, and its fees were more than reasonable.
We liked the fact that they worked only in our state, not the entire country. It gave everything a “small-town” feel. We felt an immediate connection with one particular employee we met at the beginning, and our caseworker ended up doing our home study and counseling our son’s birth mother.
—Amy, via e-mail
Many of the adoptive families my husband and I had begun meeting told us (without us even asking) about a local attorney. We met with him, and he ended up recommending the agency we used. The business card he gave us is now displayed in our daughter’s scrapbook!
The woman who owned our adoption agency is a wonderful professional with lots of experience. She gave us great referrals, and we called every one of them. And, although she cautioned us that there are never guarantees, she said that her wait times to be matched with a birth mother tended to be no more than one-and-a-half years. Of course, there were other deciding factors—we liked her answers to all of our questions! Four months later, we had completed our home study. Three months after that, we were matched with our daughter’s birth mother. And about five weeks later, we were there for her birth!
If I were to give tips for finding the right adoption agency/professional, I’d say to start by meeting other parents who have gone through the type of adoption you are seeking. They have wonderful stories to share, and often give great advice. Decide what is important to you and write down all of your questions (and the agencies’ answers). You and your spouse should both meet with them in person if you can, then go home and review together privately before you decide.
We adopted through foster to adopt. Our two little boys, ages five and six, are brothers who were in permanent custody of the county. It took two very emotional, difficult years to finalize, but we persevered. The only things that made us successful were the support network we had—especially from workers with the county—and the prayers of friends and family, and the determination to see it through
Testimonials and technology made all the difference in our chose of adoption agencies. We heard other adoptive families raving reviews about the agency and even taked with them privately.
The other important advantage to our agency was its vast online resource center, with a step-by-step guide to the paperwork, fees, links to get INS forms, and so on. Whenever we had a question after-hours or needed to know what came next, we could look it up online and get the most accurate information. It was a huge help as we waded through the piles of paperwork.