If you’re considering adoption, one of the first steps is to identify an adoption professional to assist you through the process.

Before you commit to an adoption agency, do your homework. Research agencies or adoption attorneys online and take advantage of opportunities to meet with them in person. Here are some questions to consider as you look for an agency that is the right fit for you.

  1. What requirements does the agency have for prospective adoptive parents?

  2. What is this agency’s experience, history, and background?

  3. How quickly do agency staff members respond to questions?

  4. How often does staff communicate updates to prospective parents?

  5. What types of pre-adoption education and post-adoption support services are provided?

  6. How many placements has the agency made, and how many does it typically make in a year?

  7. What educational materials does the agency recommend to prospective adoptive parents?

  8. What fees does the agency charge, and what is the timeline for expected payment?

  9. Can the agency provide references from several families that have adopted through the agency?

  10. If you are pursuing intercountry adoption, can the agency explain its activities and available support in-country?

Choose a reputable, licensed adoption agency or attorney. Every state clearly defines which entities can place children in an adoptive home, and what standards those agencies need to meet and maintain. Look for experienced professionals. Agency staff should be able to provide their background, educational qualifications, and years of experience. If the agency is working in other countries, it needs to be Hague-accredited.

All adoptive families should be concerned with the ethics of placement and should search for an agency or adoption attorney that aims to best serve children, birth parents, and adoptive parents.

Lastly, adoptive parents need and deserve quality pre and post-adoption services and support. The goal of adoption is not only to place a child in a family, but for a child to thrive in a family.