Adoptive Families Blog

The 6 Most Important Questions to Ask Adoption Agencies

Posted by Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P. on February 18, 2020

Woman writes notes and gets answers to her questions to ask adoption agenciesThe adoption professional or adoption agency you hire will impact your entire adoption experience. For anybody considering adoption, it is important to understand as much as possible before you adopt a baby. With hundreds of adoption professionals available, asking the right questions can help you designate a clear path for forward movement in the process.

You will find that many questions provide you with the assistance you need to understand the process as well as to choose an adoption agency. Whether you want to adopt a baby or a child, these questions will prove helpful.

What Kind of Availability Do You Have?

Adoption is a challenging process, and it can be an emotional journey too. This means that your needs might not fit into a 9 to 5 schedule. If you have questions or need support from your adoption agency, you might want them to be responsive outside of business hours. You can develop reasonable expectations when you ask about availability ahead of time and adjust your communication.

You also need to know about the adoption agency's availability in terms of wait times. Is there room for you to be on the roster? When will an agent be able to handle your case, and what does the average caseload look like for agents?

What Kind of Wait Time Should I Expect?

The wait time to adopt a baby can vary from adoption agency to agency and location to location. Each couple is different too, and the wait time can depend on some factors that you choose. For example, couples who want a closed adoption might wait longer than couples who want an open adoption. Couples who have very specific requirements regarding race, age, gender, and special needs may also wait longer than those who have very few requirements.

Along with that same reasoning, you might want to ask about the agency's success rate. How many parents end their contract with the agency with a child? If the success rate seems low, you might want to consider why this is.

In many cases, adoption agencies make it easy to peruse profiles of prospective birth mothers who are considering placing their children.  This may give you an idea of how many people are currently looking for adoptive families and how you can adjust your requirements or expectations to lower your wait time potentially.

agency-notesWhat Are the Costs?

The costs associated with adoption are a big concern for new parents. If you want to adopt a baby, you need to have a realistic idea about the pricing. Are there fixed fees you need to know? What kind of medical expenses are you expected to pay? It would help if you got information about costs and pricing in writing before you sign any contracts or put any money down.

Unfortunately, the adoption process is not always linear. Some people do back out of the process, which can be difficult for anybody to deal with. What happens if the birth parents change their minds? Will you lose your money if a prospective birth mother decides she wants to parent or chooses another couple at the last minute? Nobody wants to think about these types of events, but they do occasionally happen, so it's smart to plan ahead.

What Support Does the Adoption Agency Offer?

Adoption agencies provide different types of support. Some give only logistical assistance, while others might also offer emotional, medical, and legal care. Ask the adoption professional about the resources available for adoptive parents and birth parents. How will the agency assist you with the transition that follows placement?

What Are the Steps Involved in the Process?

One of the first steps involved in the adoption process involves screening of all adoptive families. What does the screening look like? What kind of adoptive families are eligible to work with this adoption agency? What will your home study consist of?

You might also want to know at what point you will communicate with potential birth parents. In fact, you should also ask how those considering adoption for their child can find you and what information they might want to know about you.

How Can I Communicate With Potential Birth Parents?

Some adoption agencies act as a middle person for all communication between adoptive parents and potential birth parents. Others are open to providing each party with the other's direct contact information. You can tell the agency what you are comfortable with.

No matter what kind of adoption you are interested in, you should take care in choosing the agency you hire. The agency can significantly impact your entire adoption journey, so do not be shy with your questions.

Get started with your adoption research today by booking a complimentary one-on-one phone call with one of Lifetime's adoption professionals!

Call Lifetime Adoption at 1-800-923-6784 to schedule your call.

Topics: questions to ask adoption agencies