Adoption is a highly specialized field that focuses on placing children with families and providing services to ensure that these placements are permanent. In recent decades, the emphasis of adoption practice has shifted from helping families find children to finding safe and permanent families for children.
Adoption workers are now expected to have extensive knowledge and understanding of the recruitment and assessment of adoptive families, the placement of children with a variety of strengths and needs, and supportive post-adoption services to promote attachment and permanency for children.
Ask The Adoption Agency
When making the decision to adopt an infant an adopting couple will come across a number of agencies willing to help them in their cause. Some adoption agencies deal only with International adoption, others only domestic and there are those that will work with all forms of adoption. Choosing the correct adoption agency for your situation is critical to a successful and speedy adoption process.
The scenarios that could affect whether an adoption ends successfully or with heartbreak are endless. It is key, when contacting and visiting adoption agencies, to ask important questions in order to logically select the right company to work with.
What are the costs?
Although, not important in the scheme of the emotions surrounding the adoption of an infant, different families have different resources and some agencies have different fees for different situations. The one caveat to be ware of is hidden fees; some adoption agencies tack on at the end or during the process of adoption.
Ask up front a detailed list of every possible fee the agency might charge or will charge. This way you are aware of what the final agency bill might be, or what adoption options you may want to or not want to choose. Also, obtain information from the agency representative as to when certain fees are expected to be paid. During the process of the adoption, many agencies expect funds at certain stages of the procedure.
It is also important to inquire about refunds. Some adoption agencies have a no refund policy; others will refund monies depending on what stage the adoption is at and others refund most or all of the costs paid.
What is their experience?
The number of adoptions they perform will also prove to be critical to the success of the adoption process. If the adoption agency handles a mind boggling number of adoptions each year they may not be able to provide the quality of support and service one would expect from an agency. Of course, if this is the case and they employ an equally high number of competent associates.
On the flip side of over extending themselves, some adoption agencies do not perform enough adoptions per annum to accrue the kind of experience needed to be able to offer the proper advisement when out of the ordinary circumstances occur. It should be realized, however, that some agencies pride themselves on the fact that even if they do not perform large numbers of adoptions, they provide a higher quality of support.
When discussing the experience of a particular agency, ask for references. Even though privacy is a major concern with most adoptions, there will be a handful of people willing to discuss their experiences with the agency.
What is the average wait time?
For most parents looking to adopt an infant, this is the most important question to ask. Adoptive parents have already made the decision to adopt and sometimes the wait can seem like the most difficult aspect of the entire process.
Most adoption agencies will have this information directly in hand and often take pride in the fact that their wait times are shorter than those of other agencies. However, simply because an agency purports a short waiting period does not mean they are the best adoption agency to deal with.
It is important to not solely base the decision of what adoption agency to choose simply because their wait period is shorter than their competitors. Take into account what steps and procedures each uses, it could be the one agency has a shorter wait time than another because they skip over valuable aspects of the adoption process.