Choosing an adoption professional to work alongside you is an important step in the adoption process. No matter what type of adoption professional you’re hiring, there are some crucial questions to ask before committing. Most of these questions we’ve listed will apply to the hiring of qualified adoption facilitators, adoption attorneys, social workers and private agencies.
As you start your search for a professional who will become your partner in building your family through adoption: We’re sharing a list of 20 questions that you can ask adoption professionals in a phone interview. Feel free to save this list to your phone, Internet favorites, Pinterest, or simply print it out.
- What state(s) are you licensed in?
- How long have you been in business?
- What are your fees?
- How many adoptions were completed last year?
- How many waiting adoptive families are you working with right now?
- What’s the average wait for families that look like ours in terms of marital status, age, race, and adoption preferences we’re open to?
- How do you find pregnant women and mothers who are thinking of creating an adoption plan for their child?
- What services do you provide, both for birth mothers and for adopting families?
- What kinds of info and education do you provide to birth mothers and birth fathers about open adoption?
- Is counseling offered to birth mothers? What type of counseling?
- Is the adoption counseling for birth mothers provided free of charge to them?
- Do you have a formal adoption contract?
- Do you assist in the compliance with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children if we happen to adopt a baby from another state than our own? How much familiarity and experience do you have with this Interstate Compact?
- How does your company communicate with adoptive parents?
- What are your office’s business hours?
- Who are we to get in touch with when we have questions? Will there be one person be assigned to us?
- How long should we expect to wait for a response to an email or phone message?
- What is your policy if our match falls through after we’ve paid fees and/or expenses?
- Who is responsible for the birth mother’s medical costs and living expenses?
- How do you assist and facilitate open adoptions?
Make sure to take notes during your conversation, and note the date and person you spoke to. Create a file on each adoption professional you contact. Then, you can stick all the info and notes about them in their file.
It’s smart to write down how you felt the conversation went. Did someone answer the phone during business hours, or did you have to leave a voicemail? Did you feel rushed? Also, consider how courteous they were and how well-educated they seemed about adoption. Was the adoption professional’s website helpful? How promptly were phone calls returned and mailed material sent?
With planning and determination, you’ll feel assured in the adoption professional you decide on. Doing the research now will save you not just in money but in time as well. By being prudent, taking notes, and asking questions, you too can adopt a baby successfully!
Founder of Lifetime Adoption, adoptive mom, adoption expert, and Certified Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P).
Since 1986, adoption expert Mardie Caldwell has been dedicated to bringing couples and birth parents together in order to fulfill their dreams.
“Many years ago, I was also searching for a child to adopt. We didn’t know where or how to get started. Through research, determination, and a prayer, our dream of a family became reality. I started with a plan, a notebook, assistance from a caring adoption consultant and a lot of hard work; this was my family I was building. We had a few heartaches along the way, but the pain of not having children was worse!
Within weeks we had three different birth mothers choose us. We were overwhelmed and delighted. Many unsettling events would take place before our adoption would be finalized, many months later. Little did I know that God was training and aligning me for the adoption work I now do today. It is my goal to share with our families the methods and plans which succeed and do not succeed. I believe adoption should be affordable and can be a wonderful “pregnancy” for the adoptive couple.
I have also been on both sides of infertility with the loss of seven pregnancies and then conceiving by new technology, giving birth to a healthy daughter. I have experienced first-hand the emotional pain of infertility and believe my experience allows me to serve your needs better.
It is my hope that for you, the prospective parents, your desire for a child will be fulfilled soon.”