When you’re looking for an adoption agency to help with your baby’s adoption, there are many things to keep in mind. Of course, you will want to look into adoption agencies as soon as you can, but you also want to take your time with a decision. After all, these professionals will be the ones helping you find the parents and life you’re dreaming of for your little one.
Expectant mothers thinking about adoption can find several adoption professionals who would be honored to help them through the process. Yet, with so many options available to help women considering adoption, how do these brave moms choose the adoption agency that’s right for them? If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, it’s understandable.
First, it’s important to know that not all adoption agencies, attorneys, or centers offer the same services or provide similar services in the same way. So, mothers choosing adoption should make sure they understand what to expect from the professional who will help them learn about adoption, as well as what happens as they go through the process.
In addition, it’s just as important to know what questions to ask an agency, to be honest about what you need, and to trust your gut. Choose adoption help that respects what you’re going through, is trustworthy, and is there for you.
As you research adoption, remember that the professional you choose to work with through the process is one of your choices. You make the decisions, including WHO helps you complete your baby’s adoption.
Tips for Finding an Adoption Agency
There are many adoption agencies in the United States. So to help you select an agency in the time frame you need, here are a few practical tips:
- Only work with a licensed or registered professional with a lengthy and strong track record of experience. Choose someone with years of experience.
- The professional should offer all adoption services at no cost to birth parents.
- As the birth mother, you are the one who knows what is best for you and your child. Only work with those who understand and respect this and who let you choose every part of your adoption plan.
- Choose a professional who leaves the decision of your baby’s adoptive parents to you. If you don’t want to make the decision, the agency can help you or choose the adoptive parents for you. But this decision should always be offered to you by the adoption professional.
- Look for an agency that won’t force or pressure you into any decision you aren’t comfortable with. All the choices should be yours!
- Do you need financial or medical help? Maybe assistance with housing, food, or maternity clothes? What about school? Many agencies offer support in some or all of these areas. Adoption is a choice that should be made when you are feeling stable. If you are without food or housing or are in another desperate situation, you won’t be able to make a clear-headed decision for yourself and your baby. Work with someone who understands this and will help you get on your feet so you can make better choices.
- Equally as important is whether the agency offers free counseling to birth moms before and after adoption provided by someone who does not work for the agency. This ensures that the counselor acts in your best interests, not anyone else’s.
- Only work with someone who can offer support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. After all, pregnancy isn’t something that only happens between 9 and 5, Monday through Friday!
- You will want all those around you to offer a listening ear and supporting hand; choose an agency that takes this role seriously.
- Do your research: check out the agency’s credentials, which they should list on their website. Licensed professionals are reviewed by a third party from each state the agency is licensed in, ensuring proper conduct and adding a layer of security.
- Read reviews of the adoption agency
- Watch out for “red flags.” Don’t work with an agency with these warning signs:
- No credentials or license
- No website
- Bad reviews
- They ask to be paid
- They are rude on the phone
- They seem bothered to take your phone call
Call an adoption agency and see what kind of first impression you get from the conversation. Did anyone answer the phone? Were they friendly? Are they knowledgeable? Do they sound disinterested in talking with you?
Here are 10 important questions to ask an adoption agency:
- What hours can I call or text you? What happens if I need help at night or on the weekend?
- When can I get information about the adoptive parents? How many adoptive families will I get to choose from for my baby?
- Do you have parents who share race in common with my baby, if that’s important to me?
- Do you provide counseling through a licensed therapist? Can I talk with other women who have placed a baby for adoption?
- Can I call from the hospital and get things started then if needed?
- Will the adoptive parents travel to where I give birth, or will I need to be relocated?
- What kind of services and support do you have for birth parents during and after the adoption?
- Can I talk with an attorney to get answers to my legal questions before I decide if adoption is what I want to do?
- Will the adoptive parents you work with honor my wishes about contact after the adoption?
- If I don’t want to get mail about adoption, can you send it through email or text?
Why Adoption Is So Important
One of the things we want to emphasize is that adoption impacts not only your life but also the adoptive parents and, most importantly, the baby.
So, why adoption? Placing a baby for adoption is not always an easy decision for many women, but a pregnancy choice also helps them:
- Continue to pursue their lifelong dreams without stopping their studies or putting their careers on hold.
- Reduce the financial and emotional stress of supporting a child before they are ready.
- Have peace of mind knowing their child can grow up in a stable and safe home.
Birth mothers often worry about whether their child will resent their adoption when they grow up or whether they will grow up to be healthy, happy, and successful. While these are all normal concerns, know that adopted children:
- Join families that have already planned and prepared for a child for a long time.
- Often grow up with opportunities like attending college, which may not have been possible otherwise.
- Grow up being loved by both their adoptive families and birth parents.
- Have the opportunity to know you (and other members of their birth family) as they grow up, so they will know firsthand that this was a choice made of great love and care for them.
Lifetime Adoption Agency
Lifetime is one of the largest licensed adoption agencies in the U.S. and is an accredited and Licensed Florida Child-Placing Agency. Since 1986, Lifetime Adoption’s professionals have supported birth parents in finding the right adoptive parents for their children.
We help thousands of women every year who are facing unplanned pregnancies. Our large, caring staff can help you seven days a week and provide one-on-one support about your pregnancy and available options.
You deserve to work with an adoption agency you feel completely comfortable with. With Lifetime Adoption, you will work with an Adoption Coordinator who will be your advocate and will provide support and guidance as you create an adoption plan that is right for you.
Lifetime is available 24/7. If you are looking for an adoption agency, look no further. Lifetime is ready to help. You can reach us by text or phone at 1-800-923-6784.
What Lifetime Provides Birth Mothers
Lifetime Adoption offers many open adoption services at no cost to expectant mothers, including:
- Counseling, goal setting, confidential help
- Compassionate support
- Access to nationwide adoptive family profiles interested in adopting an infant or older child.
- Help to make an adoption plan.
- Access to adoptive parents and families of different races, religions, and ages.
- 24-hour adoption hotline at 1-800-923-6784. Lifetime Adoption coordinators are available to talk to you by text or phone.
- Help with the legal adoption rights of birth fathers.
- Help with medical, public aid, legal, and housing referrals.
- Information about transportation to doctor’s offices with ride share service or bus voucher.
- Guidance about prenatal care, tips on how you can talk to your family members about your decision to place your child in adoption, and more.
What Women Have Said About Lifetime
“I really appreciate Lifetime’s care and assistance. I was looking for an adoption agency in Texas and called many places. I kept getting their answering machines. Lifetime was the first place I called where I could speak to a real person who could answer my questions right away!”
“We decided on Lifetime because we wanted to find an agency that prioritized birth mom care and resources. Throughout our pre-placement process with our birth mom, she constantly told us how helpful Lifetime had been. She often spoke of her coordinator and expressed great thankfulness for the resources and wisdom Lifetime shared with her. Even after placement, her coordinator continued communication and provided a personal phone number to allow her to be reached!”
Lifetime is Here to Help
If you’re saying to yourself, “I need to find an adoption agency near me,” Lifetime Adoption Agency could be your answer.
To learn more about Lifetime’s services and support for women thinking about adoption, call or text anytime: 1-800-923-6784. Our caring team of professionals will listen, answer any questions, and offer information, counseling, and other free adoption resources as you decide what you want to do.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on August 2, 2019, and has since been updated.
Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P., is nationally recognized as an expert on open adoption. A Certiﬁed Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P.), Caldwell is the founder of Lifetime Adoption Center, established in 1986. She has assisted in over 2,000 successful adoptions and was one of the ﬁrst adoption professionals on the Internet.
Caldwell’s life work is dedicated to educating and helping birth parents find the right adoptive parents for their child. She spreads the word about modern adoption through speaking appearances, webinars, online resources, and as a podcast show host.
She has written several award-winning books, including So I Was Thinking About Adoption, the first book of its kind. There are many reasons women choose adoption, and this short book is a comprehensive resource to make the best plan for you and your baby. Caldwell wrote So I Was Thinking About Adoption as a handy guide to the details of the adoption process.
Caldwell has made over 150 media appearances, including ABC News, CBS News, Larry King Live, CNN Headline News, NBC’s The Today Show, CNN’s The Campbell Brown Show, NBC News, KGO Newstalk Radio, CNN’s Black in America II, MSNBC, Fox, PBS, BBC, and Dr. Laura.