Finding the “Just Right” Adoption Agency

We know there are a lot of questions about adoption, and we wanted to share the information we’ve learned. Some of you have asked us questions you have, and we’ve done our best to answer them directly. We know that others may have the same questions, so we are also sharing here. We’re tagging these posts as “Information Series” in hopes it will be easier for everyone to find.

We’ve mentioned online and during conversations about “meetings” or “adoption orientations.” People have asked us about these meetings. What are they? Simply, they are meetings held by adoption agencies to discuss their programs and adoption, in general.

Some may recoil at the thought of an adoption agency. They are somewhat mysterious to those not touched by adoption. We felt this way until we goldilocks2learned more about the process and the services these agencies provide to pregnant woman, birth families, adopted children, and adopted parents. Not all agencies are bad. We believe most of the agencies and social workers we’ve met have the best interest of the children at heart. Obviously, we plan to choose an ethical agency that provides services we feel are important to the lifelong commitment of adoption. Finding the agency to fit our needs is a lot like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Some are too big. Some are too small. Hopefully, after comparing all the options, we’ll find the one that is “just right” for us.

How do we and other prospective adoptive parents decide? It isn’t easy. No two agencies are exactly alike. There is a lot to be considered when comparing agencies. Some things to consider when looking for that “just right” agency, include types of adoption provided, counseling, training, wait time, and cost. Each consideration should be given a lot of thought to be able to make the best choice emotionally and financially. While cost is a factor, most agencies charge very similar prices for a wide variety of services.

Through websites, reviews, and recommendations, we’ve been comparing off and on for the last year. We finally made it to an orientation/information session this summer. It was a little nerve wracking to attend one of these meetings. We didn’t know what to expect at all, but we left feeling very enthusiastic. Smaller agencies offer one-on-one meetings. In some ways, we like the smaller meetings, but people in the group meetings ask really great questions that we may not have considered. The meetings are held by adoption social workers who explain the adoption programs they provide, the agency background and culture, and adoption details and laws. Some information is repetitive, but we usually pick up something new each time. The cultures and how an agency views adoption varies from agency to agency.

Regardless if we find someone considering an adoption plan ourselves, we still will need an adoption agency. Why? Well, the state wants to be sure that those adopting a child are fit to parent. That makes sense to us! This is done through the home study process which involves mostly training, interviews, paperwork, and background checks. We’ll be writing a post (or several) just on the home study process later.

There is not one size fits all when it comes to adoption agencies. What fits one couple may not suit us and vice versa. Besides choosing an ethical agency, there is no right or wrong choice. Prospective adoptive parents do what any parent does. They make the best decision they can.

Now, we get to the part where we want to hear from you! What questions do you have about the adoption process? Leave us a question or comment below, or if you feel more comfortable, you can email us at recipe4family@gmail.com.

BW Chris and Jess Heart Signature

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