If you are thinking about trying to adopt a child then at some point you will have to be in contact with an adoption agency. There are differences in agencies and their policies. That being said, there are mainly 3 types of adoptions agencies for you to choose from. They are:
• Private adoption agencies
• Public adoption agencies
• International adoption agencies
Private adoption agencies generally deal with babies born locally or in states that are neighbors to the state they are in. They also have a tendency to only handle healthy babies or newborns.
Public agencies will be the ones to deal with children who have special needs or older healthy children.
International agencies will deal will adoptions of children from other countries. They will handle all of the paperwork, visas and deal with the foreign adoption agencies for you among other services.
No matter which adoption agency type you go to, there will be differences in what they want and do. Most of them will look for prospective parents to be married for at least 2 years and be between 25 and 45. They also prefer couples to singles and may decide that you are not a good candidate if there are already children in the home. All of them will insist on you proving that you have the means (financially) to properly raise the child and provide for them. Many will only adopt children to people who are of the same race too.
How to get started
First you need to make a list of prospective adoption agencies and call them. Ask them what they can do to assist you in your quest for a child. Ask them to send you informational material about their agency as well as a fee schedule and application form.
Do not lose hope if they tell you that their waiting list is closed. Simply leave your name and number and make a note of the agency, who you spoke with and the date so that you can call them back in a few weeks. This does happen frequently with agencies.
What to ask
• What types of adoptions do they handle?
• What are their requirements?
• How long is the waiting list?
• How do you get on their waiting list?
• What is the application or registration process?
• What are their policies regarding home studies?
• What are their fees?
• Will they send you information?
• Are their fees on a sliding scale or fixed?
• Can you choose the sex of the child you want?
• Is foster care used between birth and placement?
• What happens if the genetic parents change their minds and want to keep the baby?
• Do you need a lawyer?
Those are some good questions to get you started but there will be many more concerns and questions that you will have. Anytime you think of another thing to ask, write it down.
Adopting a child is a very long and complicated process with many aspects and a great deal of money involved. Do you due diligence before making the decision to adopt so that you will not be confronted with any surprises.