How do I know which is the best adoption agency to go with?
You have decided adoption is the right choice for you and your child. What is your next step? You might ask friends or family or go online, where you find many different adoption agencies, so how do you choose the best agency to go with?
There are some key factors to look for. First, you want to check their reputation and find out what resources they provide.
An adoption agency’s ethics are very important to review before choosing an agency. You want your adoption agency to have your best interests at heart and look out for you. You can check out what other expectant mothers who have worked with the agency have to say about their experiences. For example, a birth mother from Lifetime Adoption had this to say:
“I really appreciate Lifetime’s care and assistance. I had called a lot of adoption places and kept getting their answering machines. Lifetime was the first place that I called where I was able to speak to a real person who could answer my questions right away!”
Being available for you is very important as well. What happens if you go into labor in the middle of the night? Will you be able to talk to someone from the agency on the phone? Will they coordinate with the hospital staff and contact the adoptive family? Make sure the agency you choose has someone available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays. You need to feel secure knowing there is always someone who can help by calling or texting anytime.
Are you in need of help with pregnancy-related expenses, maternity clothes, or labor bag essentials? While each state has its own laws about pregnancy-related expenses, your adoption professional should be able to explain what options you have and arrange for the help you need. Can they provide maternity clothes and toiletries and get you a labor bag for when that big day comes? As a birth mother, you should not have to struggle to get the essentials you need during pregnancy.
One of the most important parts of the adoption process is choosing the adoptive parents for your child. Does the agency have a large selection of screened and qualified adoptive parents nationwide? You need to find the right match for you and your baby. You may have a certain type of lifestyle or a particular faith you would like your child raised in. You may want a family that lives in your state or another state. You will want to find a family open to the same post-adoption contact you would like. You may wish to have visits twice a year, and so you can be the one to choose a family who would like the same.
Adoption is a loving and brave choice. However, it is also hard and emotional. Make sure your agency provides counseling at no cost to you. Licensed professional counseling is important as your counselor will help you work through the emotions you might have. Peer counseling is another valuable resource that should be available to you. A peer counselor is a birth mother who will talk with you about her adoption experience and who will listen to your story, share her story, and can truly understand what you are going through.
Counseling is not just important during your pregnancy. You may need additional support coping with your emotions after the adoption is final. Will your agency provide that support? What if you are placing a toddler or older child for adoption? Will they provide a counselor to create a transition plan and follow up after to make sure you, the adoptive parents, and most importantly, the child are adapting well? These are important resources that need to be available for you.
Here are some questions you can ask the adoption coordinator you speak with when you contact an adoption agency:
- What if I need help from a coordinator at night or on the weekend? Are there only certain hours I can call or text you?
- How do I find out about what adoptive parents are available? How many families are there for me to choose from, and where are they located?
- Can I choose the race of the family I want for my baby?
- If I choose adoptive parents from another state, will I have to go to them when it is time to have my baby?
- Is counseling available? Are there other women who have placed their baby for adoption I can speak with?
- Can I speak with an attorney before I commit to adoption to get some of my legal questions answered?
- What if I am at the hospital and just gave birth? Can I still make an adoption plan?
- Can I get any help with maternity wear and other pregnancy-related needs?
- Do your adoptive couples honor post-adoption contact agreements?
- Is it possible to communicate with you through text and email if I don’t want things sent to me in the mail?
Make sure you feel comfortable with the adoption agency you choose. You should never feel pressured. A good adoption agency will make you feel valued as a wonderful mother making a hard decision to give her baby the best life possible. Access to resources, education, legal representation, and counseling are all necessary parts of the adoption process.
Lifetime Adoption, Inc. is a Licensed Florida Child Placing Agency. (License #100084254)
Lifetime Adoption Center is a BBB Accredited Business with an A+ rating
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