- How many children did you place last year?
- How many children did you place from each of the programs in which I am interested?
- How long have you been placing children from each of the countries I’m interested in?
- (For single parents) How many children did you place with a single parent? What types of children were placed with single parents?
- (For gay and lesbian parents) How many children did you place with gay or lesbian couples? What types of children were placed with gay and lesbian parents?
- How soon after I apply will my homestudy begin? How long will it take to complete? When will I know if I have been approved?
- If I am not approved, can I find out why? Is there an appeal process?
- How long will it take from home study approval to the referral of a child? What happens if I don’t feel I can accept the child referred?
- (For international adoptions) Once I accept a referral, how long must I wait for the child to arrive or until I travel to adopt my child?
- What will be the total cost of adopting through each program? Do you supply a breakdown of fees in writing as well as a schedule of when payments are due?
- Does the fee cover the home study, all postplacement visits, fees to the placing agency (international or in-country), international processing, transportation and miscellaneous fees (visa, dossier preparation, notarization, medical exams, document translation, exit tax)?
- Do you have an annual report that demonstrates fiscal accountability? How does the agency spend leftover funds? What percentage of the funds is spent on administration?
- How are prospective parents matched with expectant mothers?
- How are birth mother expenses handled? Are prospective parents asked to reimburse specific expenses, or do they make a contribution to a fund that covers expenses for all the expectant mothers who work with the agency? Is there a cap on birth mother expenses?
- Do you offer counseling to expectant mothers?
- What happens if an expectant mother match falls through?
- Do you help negotiate post-adoption contact?
- Does the lawyer pressure you or make you feel uncomfortable with the decision-making process?
- Do you have more than one foreign adoption program? Could I switch my application to another country if regulations change or a moratorium is declared?
- Are the international agencies you work with licensed in their own countries? How long have you worked with them?
- Do you help prepare clients for the adoption trip? Do you help make travel arrangements?
- Do you have bilingual representatives respected by the authorities in each foreign country to obtain or assist with the referral of a child? Will they be there to assist me through the process when I arrive?
- Do you provide financial assistance to the orphanages from which you place children?
Other Pertinent Questions
- Do you give clients a copy of their rights with their application form? Do you provide a contract that spells out my responsibilities toward the adoption as well as what you are responsible for?
- Is there a written policy of quality assurance that will address my concerns during the process?
- What kinds of support services do you offer before, during and after placement?
- What if the adoption doesn’t work out?
Adapted from “Shopping for an Adoption Agency,” Adoption Information Service, Seattle, Washington.
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