While some choose to pursue adoption through an attorney or consultant, most prospective adoptive parents work directly through a licensed placing agency. Here’s guidance on how to choose an adoption agency:
1. Choose an agency that will clearly explain each stage of the adoption process, prepare you for the needs of your child, clearly disclose all existing and potential fees, and serve your child well. This includes your child’s biological family, and your family in the process.
2. Schedule a free consultation or attend an information session to inquire about an agency’s programs and resources offered.
3. Check online reviews or ask for agency recommendations from people you trust who have previously adopted.
As you continue to consider different agencies, it is helpful to identify the ways an agency is involved, to the greatest extent practicable, in supporting the adoption triad (birth family, adoptive family, and child). Primary focus should remain on protecting the child’s best interests. Here are a few questions to consider as you begin:
Does the agency provide counseling services, legal guidance, and practical support to biological parents—regardless of their choice to parent or make an adoption plan for their child?
How does the agency proactively confirm the legal adoption status of children whose files are prepared for adoption?
In the case of intercountry adoption, is the agency accredited and approved to provide services for Hague Convention adoptions?
Should the adoptive and birth families agree to a level of openness in adoption, does the agency have the expertise and experience to guide each person involved through the decisions required?
How does the agency prepare families for adoption? What educational and ongoing resources are available for families and their child to access during the process and post-adoption?
Finding an agency you feel comfortable with and trust is an important aspect of the adoption journey. It may take some time, but it is well worth your effort.
As you begin narrowing your list of potential agencies, we’ve compiled some questions to consider and agency information and resources to help begin your search on our extensive resource, HowToAdopt.org.
For more help and resources along your adoption journey, we invite you to check out each area of our work.