If you have internet access, finding an adoption agency is easy. In fact, your problem will be narrowing your options down. It’s better to focus on finding one that’s right for you and your family. Once you know your budget, you’ll need to know what type of child you are interested in adopting, whether you want local or long-distance services, and whether the reputation of the agency is acceptable to you.
What type of child will fit into your family? If you only want a newborn, then domestic infant adoption is the way to go. A google or google maps search can show you local agencies, or check this adoption directory for ones in your state. For an idea of questions you should ask them, browse this article. If you’re open to older toddlers, international adoption may be an option. Click here for information on how to choose a country. If you are ready to open your home to an older child or even a teenager, then foster care is the best avenue. Contact your county’s department of social services (sometimes called other names like “family/protective services”).
When you visualize going through the adoption process, is it important to sit down in-person with your agency’s workers and see them often? Do you value the close proximity of the agency where the birth mother may also be local and therefore easier to visit in an open adoption? For many, local feels more comfortable. Others, however, choose a nationwide agency based in another state. Or they choose international adoption. Another point to consider is whether the birth mother will have in-person counseling with the agency.
Do you know the agency’s culture/values/reputation? In order to determine the whole picture, visiting their website is only a start. Talk with the agency’s director and social workers. Google them. Read reviews on adoption sites. The best way to gauge their reputation, though, is word of mouth. I’ve heard great things online about one agency; however, the last two people I’ve talked to who used them or were waiting in their pool were unhappy with their experience.
You can also contact an adoption lawyer and see if they can provide a list of reputable agencies they’ve worked with. Ours even gave us a list of agencies she advised against. All of this research seems confusing and never-ending, but it will be worth it when you finally settle on the best plan for your family.