COVER THE BASICS:
- Carefully read the articles on selecting an adoption agency and an adoption attorney on Adoptive Families.
- 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 Building Your Family.
- 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.
- Join a listserv of other families who have adopted from the country you have chosen (find one at Adoptive Families Circle). 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://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb) 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: jointcouncil.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.)