In our last article, we covered some of the most common questions women facing an unplanned pregnancy ask themselves about adoption. But once you’re interested in placing your baby for adoption, once you think it might be the best choice, how do you decide on the best adoption agency for you and your child?
Finding The Right Adoption Agency: 6 Questions
If you’ve ever searched for agencies in your area, you know that there are a lot. While their names and appearances change, most promise the same thing: to find the right home for your baby.
Here are 9 questions to ask when you call that might help you narrow down your options.
1. Will This Cost Me Anything?
Some expectant mothers stop considering adoption because they think it will be expensive. Legal fees, hospital care, it all adds up. Most, but not all, adoption agencies will actually cover all of a birth mother’s necessary expenses throughout the adoption process.
If finances are a concern for you, ask if the adoption agency covers your expenses.
2. Will Support Be Available After My Baby Is Placed With An Adoptive Family?
After placing their child for adoption, most birth mothers experience a wide range of emotions, and many of them are difficult. Adoption, placing your child, is a form of loss and most women experience it that way.
Speaking with counselors, or support groups made up of other birth parents, can really help you cope with these feelings, and overcome them.
Ask if an adoption agency runs, or can refer you to, other people who have gone through the same process.
3. How Will I Know That My Baby’s Adoptive Parents Are Safe?
With this question, you’re basically asking how an adoption agency screens prospective adoptive families before presenting them to a biological parent? Do they run background checks, perform home studies themselves, or outsource that to another organization?
In a home study, an adoption agency will assign each prospective adoptive family a caseworker. Then, over the course of up to six months, the caseworker will conduct a thorough review to determine the family’s parenting styles, reasons for adopting and fitness as parents.
4. Can You Help Me Stay In Touch With My Biological Child?
If you’re considering open adoption, it’s likely that you want to maintain some contact with your biological child and their adoptive family. Will the adoption agency help you do that? How? Do they have social workers that can accompany you on a home visit?
Think of this question as asking: “will you have my back, even after the adoption is finalized?”
5. Are There Any State Laws That I Should Know About?
Every state has different adoption laws, and your agency should have a thorough understanding of them.
For example, birth fathers have different rights depending on where they live. Some states require that birth fathers be notified of their child’s adoption beforehand, while others leave it up to them to declare themselves as parents.
Ask what the law is in your state, and then bring up any concerns you have about the requirements. Finally, ask how they can help you meet the law’s stipulations.
6. Can You Accommodate My Unique Situation?
This is a catch-all question that you can fill in with any particular details of your situation.
One example is if your baby has been diagnosed with a particular medical condition before birth. Do they have families that are willing to adopt children with unique needs?