The adoption process is full of choices. Today, you can choose an adoptive family for your baby. You can also choose to meet that family. You even have the option to keep in touch with your child and his or her adoptive family over the years. These are all choices made in your adoption plan.
As an expectant/birth parent, you also have the right to choose an adoption agency that can help you design your perfect adoption plan. The right adoption agency will educate you on your many options, prepare you for the adoption process, and help you make informed decisions each step of the way. The right adoption agency will be there to support you now and in the future.
How will you find the best adoption agency for you? Look for the following positive signs of a reputable adoption agency.
- They provide you with more than one option. A good adoption agency will encourage you to explore all of your unplanned pregnancy options before making a final decision. They will take the time to educate you about each one of these options so that you are fully confident in your choice. Not only this, but the right adoption agency will also continuously remind you that it is okay to change your mind at any moment during your pregnancy.
- They advise you regarding all of your legal rights. As an expectant/birth parent, you have the right to make all decisions regarding your child up until the adoption takes place. Look for an adoption agency that works with adoption attorneys who can advise you on all of your rights as well as the specific laws in your area. For example, they should be able to help you understand the exact period of time you have to make a decision and how long you have to change your mind.
- They offer many types of adoption plans. The right adoption agency will give you more than one choice when it comes to making your adoption plan. You should always have the option to design a closed, semi-open, or open adoption
- They prepare you for the ups and downs of the adoption process. Adoption is a very positive choice for women facing an unplanned pregnancy, but it can also be a complex and deeply emotional decision. The adoption agency you choose should help you understand what to expect before, during, and after the adoption takes place. They should be open and honest every step of the way. The right adoption agency will help you understand and cope with your emotions.
- They express a lifelong commitment to you and your baby. How will the adoption agency support you after you place your baby for adoption? Do they offer ongoing counseling services following the birth of your baby? Do they have support groups? Can they help put you in touch with your child down the road? The right adoption agency will commit to you for years to come.
- They are not-for-profit. Many adoption agencies today are in the business to facilitate adoptions and to profit from those adoptions. A non-profit adoption agency, however, is not looking to make money. Rather, they are looking to find the best possible home for your child. Non-profit agencies are often the best adoption agencies to pursue.
If a prospective adoption agency exhibits any of the following, it is likely they do not have you or your child’s best interest in mind. When choosing an adoption agency, consider these warning signs:
- They give off a sense of urgency. If the adoption agency you are considering wants you to make a decision quickly, you may want to reevaluate their intentions. Some adoption professionals will want you to “make a decision by tomorrow” without fully educating you about your options or the adoption process.
- They advertise “big budgets” and luxurious accommodations to recruit pregnant women. If the adoption agency is advertising big bucks and hotel suites to expectant parents, take it as a red flag. Adoption agencies that attempt to recruit pregnant women are likely to pressure you into a decision later on or make you feel unable to change your mind. This may also indicate they are only concerned with big profits, not you or your baby’s best interests.
- They only show you glowing reviews and testimonials. Adoption agencies that only share glowing reviews or testimonials from other birth mothers may be ones to question. This type of adoption agency may not give you the most accurate view of adoption. They may only provide you with adoption’s fairy tale endings. They may glamorize adoption to be the perfect solution, even when adoption may not be right for you and your baby.
- They are not a licensed adoption agency. Ask the potential adoption agency for their license and a phone number to call to check their legitimacy and authority. If they cannot provide you with that certification, they are not a licensed adoption agency.
At Adoptions With Love, we truly believe that the more informed you are about adoption, the more positive you will feel about each choice you make throughout the process. The best adoption agency for you will be open and honest as you consider the positive choice of adoption.
For questions to ask a potential adoption agency, download our free eBook, the Guide to Choosing an Adoption Agency.