How to Find the Best Adoption Agencies
If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering adoption, you might be wondering how you can find and choose an adoption agency. The best adoption agencies can help you make a birth plan, find an adoptive family, and navigate legal situations to make your pregnancy easier. But not all adoption agencies are the same. We’ll show you how to choose the right adoption agency for you and your baby.
What are my options?
There are many types of adoption agencies that can help you, depending on your needs. One of the best ways to narrow down your search is to think about what you value. Some adoption agencies work only locally, some serve the entire U.S. You can choose where your baby may grow up depending on how close or far you’d like to be from them.
Adoption agencies also help people with specific characteristics. Some are religiously affiliated, which can help if you want to find a religious family for your child, or if it’s important for you to be supported by people in your religion during your pregnancy. Other adoption agencies work with LGBTQ+ community adoptions, single mothers, and families in many different situations. Think about what kind of family you want your baby to grow up with. This can help you narrow down your options.
You can also look into specific services that adoption agencies offer. For example, some agencies only work with open or closed adoptions. Other agencies, like A Baby Step Adoption, have legal experts who can help guide you through all the paperwork. Another service to look for is counseling and support throughout your pregnancy, if that’s something you want.
How do I find an adoption agency?
The best way to start your search for an agency is to narrow down your search with what’s important to you. Think about the categories and services we listed above and try to identify what is most important to you in an agency. It’s much easier to search for specific agency services than to look at all adoption agencies available to you.
It also helps to visualize what kind of life you want for your child. If you want an open adoption, it makes sense to look for a local agency that provides open adoption services. If you don’t want to ever run into your child, maybe a national agency will help you find a family far away. Thinking about the type of adoption you want will help you narrow down your options.
A good place to start researching the best adoption agencies is with simple online searches, or reaching out to people in your community. Think about talking to your doctor or another healthcare provider for agency recommendations. There may also be womens’ support groups, family planning organizations, or religious groups in your area where you can look for advice.
What should I look for in an adoption agency?
One important criteria is the region that the agency serves. If you want a closed adoption, it might be a good idea to use a national agency so your geographical area is wider. Then your chances of finding an adoptive family who lives near you are fairly low. If you are considering an open adoption, then it may be best to choose an agency that serves your area, so the adoptive family will be nearby.
Similarly, location can help you get the expertise you need in the adoption process. If you pick a local agency, they’ll know the ins and outs of the laws in your state to best help you. Having local expertise can be a big help in the process, but it’s not necessary. National agencies still have experience arranging adoptions across the country.
Support when you need it
It’s important to find an agency with case workers who you trust and get along with. Many times your case worker will be your only point of contact at an adoption agency. A top priority is making sure you’re comfortable with them.
You’ll also want to find an agency that’s as hands-on as you want them to be. Some agencies will guide you through the whole adoption process and follow up with you after the birth, but others will be less involved. It’s up to you to decide on what kind of support you want — no matter what level of support you need, there’s an adoption agency out there that provides it.
It’s also important to think about what kind of medical support you want. Many agencies can help you schedule doctor’s appointments and other check ups, while some can help you cover those costs too. Think about what kind of financial support you’ll need throughout your pregnancy, and find an agency that can help you.
Range of services
Some adoption agencies are full-service, where they take care of everything from medical help to legal services. Others are more limited, but have lots of expertise in particular areas. Some common adoption agency services include financial support, family matching, counseling, birth planning, and legal support.
In some cases, adoption agencies will charge you a fee to work with them. In other cases, adopting families cover the adoption costs. It’s important to consider your financial situation and what type of adoption costs you can afford. Make sure to ask adoption agencies what their policies are and how much it will cost you to work with them.
One of the easiest ways to narrow down your adoption agency search is to look for values that align with your own. Do you want to find families who also practice your religion? Do you want to give an LGBTQ+ family a chance to be parents? Do you want to help a single woman become a mom? Thinking about what’s important to you can help you find an agency that holds similar beliefs and narrow down your search.
How do I choose an adoption agency?
Make sure the agency is reputable
After you go through all the steps above, you should have 2-5 agencies in mind. The best thing you can do is learn more about them and see how reputable they are. Some things that show how trustworthy an agency is include:
- Real stories: Can the agency provide success stories and other testimonials?
- Educational resources: Does the agency offer comprehensive educational resources and make the adoption process clear?
- Responsiveness: Does the agency respond quickly with the information you need?
- Experienced case workers: Can you find the credentials of everyone at the agency?
- Agency requirements: Are there strict or comprehensive requirements for the families who are able to adopt with them (background checks, home inspections, etc)? What is needed from an expectant mother to work with the agency (medical history, family history, father involvement, etc)?
- Overall reputation and history of the agency: Are they licensed or have necessary credentials? Do they have the appropriate team of people with expertise?
- Narrow your list down to 1-3 agencies, then get in touch with them to see if it feels right
- Ask lots of questions
- Trust your gut instinct
- Think about what fits in your life and what type of support would be the best fit — some women don’t want a lot of support, but some do. Decide what’s best for you.
- Do thorough research before committing to an agency
Choosing adoption is a major decision, and you want to make sure that your adoption agency meets your needs and expectations. There are a lot of options, but the decision doesn’t have to be difficult if you use our tips. With over 30 years of experience as an adoption agency, A Baby Step Adoption can help guide you through the adoption process. We aim to make it as easy as possible for you to choose adoption. If you have questions about the process, our caring case workers are available 24/7 to support you.