Not all adoption agencies are created equal. When researching an adoption agency, it is so important to do your research before committing. If you have committed to an agency and the things they are telling you seem too good to be true, they probably are. If you feel uneasy or sense something is not right, run the other direction. Though money is at stake, so is the ease and legality of your adoption process. Here are four red flags that may tell you that you need to find a new adoption agency to call home:
1. They Don’t Support the Rights of Birth Parents
An ethical agency should be one of the first things you look for when it comes to making a selection. An agency that does not require that birth parents be represented by an attorney may not be the best way to go. It is in your best interest to make sure that the birth parents are represented so there are no issues with birth parents feeling coerced. The agency is representing you and taking money from you. It is clear that they have your best interest in mind. With that, they also risk losing a client and funds if birth parents choose to parent instead of proceeding with the adoption. While one would hope an agency would not place pressure on birth parents, but it, unfortunately, does happen. Make sure your agency provides or requires that birth parents be represented.
2. They Have Poor Reviews
Trust those who have come before you. While as with any review platform some reviews can be embellished or false, look for ratings and common themes. Also, keep in mind that positive reviews can also be false or embellished. Read reviews thoroughly and feel free to question the agency about them. It is also wise to join some adoption communities in your area or online that may offer agency recommendations.
3. They Try to Cut Corners
If you have ever heard of an adoption being overturned, it is because some legality was missed in the adoption process. If you are in your adoption process and your agency is suggesting something underhanded, take the money you have left and run. If your agency says something to the effect of, “The law says this, but here is a loophole” or suggests keeping a birth parent out of the information loop so that the adoption remains secure, take this as a sign to begin searching for another representative. While it is not always easy to leave an agency, it is so important to make sure all legalities are filed. At the very least, if you are in this situation, hire an adoption attorney as additional support if necessary.
4. They Seem Unavailable
You will need your adoption agency throughout your adoption process and beyond. There will be questions, follow-up, emergent paperwork and multiple other needs that you will have that simply cannot wait. If you are with an agency that takes forever to return communication, it may be worth it to seek a new agency. If they are unavailable, the wait time for an adoption match may be longer as well. Some agencies are simply understaffed and overrun with clients. Make sure your agency can give you sufficient attention and availability so you can feel confident that they will be there when you need them and are working on your adoption with a sufficient amount of time and effort.
For help finding an international adoption agency, visit Adoption.com/international.