Questions to Ask Before Choosing an Adoption Agency
Deciding on an adoption agency can be an organizational challenge. Take this sheet or download a PDF at theadoptionguide.com/files/AgencyQuestions.pdf, and fill one out for each agency you consider.
Placement How many children did you place last year?
How many children did you place from each of the programs in which I am interested?
How long have you been placing children from each of the countries Im interested in?
(For single parents) How many children did you place with a single parent? What types of children were placed with single parents?
Timing How soon after I apply will my home study begin? How long will it take to complete? When will I know if I have been approved?
If I am not approved, can I find out why? Is there an appeal process?
How long will it take from home study approval to the referral of a child? What happens if I dont feel I can accept the child referred?
(For international adoptions) Once I accept a referral, how long must I wait for the child to arrive or until I travel to adopt my child?
Costs What will be the total cost of adopting through each program? Do you supply a breakdown of fees in writing as well as a schedule of when payments are due?
Does the fee cover the home study, all postplacement visits, fees to the placing agency (international or in-country), international processing, transportation and miscellaneous fees (visa, dossier preparation, notarization, medical exams, document translation, exit tax)?
Do you have an annual report that demonstrates fiscal accountability? How does the agency spend leftover funds? What percentage of the funds is spent on administration?
International Programs Do you have more than one foreign adoption program? Could I switch my application to another country if regulations change or a moratorium is declared?
Are the international agencies you work with licensed in their own countries? How long have you worked with them?
Do you help prepare clients for the adoption trip? Do you help make travel arrangements?
Do you have bilingual representatives respected by the authorities in each foreign country to obtain or assist with the referral of a child? Will they be there to assist me through the process when I arrive?
Do you provide financial assistance to the orphanages from which you place children?
Other Pertinent Questions Do you give clients a copy of their rights with their application form? Do you provide a contract that spells out my responsibilities toward the adoption as well as what you are responsible for?
Is there a written policy of quality assurance that will address my concerns during the process?
What kinds of support services do you offer before, during and after placement?
What if the adoption doesnt work out?
Adapted from Shopping for an Adoption Agency, Adoption Information Service, Seattle, Washington
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