Picking the adoption agency

choose an agencyAs we worked on our home study, I began to research adoption agencies. Having no idea what to expect and knowing virtually nothing about how adoption works, I was kind of flying blind. Immediately, I found several agencies that excluded couples who hadn’t been married for a number of years, single parents and gay couples. Jamie and I had only been married for a year so we wouldn’t have been accepted anyway, but I didn’t want to work with an agency that discriminated based on sexual orientation or anything else. So, I started to explore blogs and forums where people talked about their experiences with various adoption agencies. One agency kept coming up and was reviewed positively in every post I read.

I visited their website and learned that they don’t discriminate against anyone and they believe that every couple or single person can be matched with the right birthmother. They don’t use a waiting list, bur rather the birthmother chooses the family she thinks would make the best parents and if the adoptive parents agree, a match is made. One big difference I noticed from other agencies is that they do extensive counseling with birthmothers and their families prior to showing them any adoptive profiles at all and they only match birthmothers with adoptive parents in the last trimester. Both of these things help ensure a successful adoption with no surprises along the way. Another bonus is that they have a nationwide network and can work with birthmothers and adoptive parents from any state. A nationwide search means that their average wait time to be matched with a birthmother is an incredible 6 months. That blew my mind: if all things worked out on an average timeline, it would only be 6 months to a match with a birthmother in her last three months of pregnancy. So, we could very well have a baby in 9 months – just like a pregnancy.

I was liking what I was reading and decided to watch a few video testimonials from adoptive parents. This is where it gets crazy. The first video I watched, I noticed that the adoptive mother looked an awful lot like she belonged in my family. She looked so familiar. She looks just like a distant cousin of mine, I thought – one I hadn’t seen a picture of in years. I emailed my mom and asked if said cousin had adopted and it turns out she had, though my mom was fuzzy on the details. My mom gave me her email and I immediately sent her a note to see if it really was her. She called me that same day and told me all about her struggle with infertility and the incredible experience she had adopting her daughter. She couldn’t say enough wonderful things about the agency and adoption in general–and I made up my mind right then that this was a sign and that this agency would be the agency to help build our family.

I believe that when you’re on the right path in life and going after what you want, the universe conspires to help you along. This connection with my cousin to the adoption agency we were considering was just one of the many things that has made me realize that we are following the right path to a family and are exactly where we need to be.

4 thoughts on “Picking the adoption agency

  1. Pingback: Adoption runs in the family: my cousin’s happy adoption story | Adopting Charlie

  2. SherriB

    Thank you for creating this blog. I am starting from the bottom and working my way up. I too am in the beginning stages of the adoption process. Right now I’m trying to do as much research as possible and am so overwhelmed with choosing an agency. Would you mind sharing the name of the agency you are using? I know you mention that the universe conspires to help you along…well I’m still waiting for that to happen. Thanks again for sharing your story…it is very inspiring!

    1. Thank you for reading, Sherri. I wish you the best of luck in your adoption!

      We are using an adoption law center called AdoptHelp. They aren’t an agency, per say, but rather they help us find a birthmother match and then create the adoption plan, work through the legalities, and help us finalize. They are located in CA but we are in VA. It depends on which state you live in and what the laws are whether or not you can work with a center like that. We had a couple of specific criteria: we are not religious so it was important for us to choose a center/agency who did not discriminate in regards to religion and that wasn’t faith-based. That narrowed it down quite a lot. We really liked their programs for birthmothers, the extensive counseling they do before matching birthmothers that contributes to their success rates, and that they work with single parents and gay couples as well (because we think great parents come in all kinds of packages). The most important part was that we had a very positive reference from a family member.
      I would make a list of the things that are important to you when looking for an agency/center. When you narrow your list, read reviews, blogs and online forums looking for personal experiences. I never read a bad one about our center – it was nothing but good reviews. Also, consider your budget and research costs of different agencies.
      Best of luck to you and please do keep me posted on your progress!

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