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Choosing Your Adoption Resource
At The Cradle we ensure that all members of an adoption are treated with respect and honesty. Unfortunately, not all adoption resources take this approach. If you are considering adoption as an option for your pregnancy, make sure you choose your adoption provider carefully. Here are some things to think about:
1. Your adoption resource should respect you and your decision-making process at all times. What to look out for.
2. Ask if the resource is federally tax-exempt. Why is this important?
3. Make sure your adoption agency thoroughly screens and prepares adoptive parents. What to look for.
4. Does the agency brag about spending a lot of money on advertising and outreach to "Birth Parents"? Why is this important?
5. How Long has the adoption resource been in business? Why does this matter?
6. Does the agency have an adoption agenda? Do they offer to house you near them and away from your own home? Why is this important?
7. Will you have face-to-face meetings with the agency's counselor? What you should expect.
8. What if your baby is born with special medical needs? What you should know.
9. Does your adoption resource allow adoptive families to select the gender of the baby they want to adopt? Why is this important?
10. Ask if the adoption resource is a licensed child welfare organization. Why is this important?
11. Does the provider immediately ask you for personal information or show you profiles of families waiting to adopt Why is this important?
1. Your adoption resource should respect you and your decision-making process at all times.
While it’s easy for any organization to SAY they respect expectant parents and their decision-making process, many clearly have an adoptive parent focus, profit motives and an adoption agenda.
If on a website you see expectant parents who are considering adoption referred to as “birthparents”, be wary. Calling anyone who has not yet made an adoption decision a birthparent may be an indicator that the organization has an agenda --- they wish for all expectant parents to choose adoption.
An easy way to learn how an agency really feels about expectant parents is to look at how they address adopting parents’ concerns. Look through the Adoptive Parent section of their website and see..... Read More
2. Ask if the resource is federally tax-exempt.
Federally tax-exempt organizations (those with a 501(c)3 status) are subject to a lot of regulatory scrutiny. They must prove to the government that they are not conducting adoptions for the purpose of making a profit.
Don’t be fooled by an agency that says it is “non-profit” but isn’t a 501(c)3. Non-profit status is meaningless unless... Read More
3. Make sure your adoption agency thoroughly screens and prepares adoptive parents.
It may surprise you how much this differs by agency. When considering placing a child for adoption, you deserve to know how the agency screens people interested in adopting. You want to make sure that your child will be safe, of course, but may also wonder how the adoptive family will tell the child about you and your adoption decision.
You need to rely upon an agency that takes time to really understand who the prospective adoptive parents are and that they understand how important it is to talk openly about adoption to the child from a very young age. And, even if you are not sure you want an open adoption with ongoing direct contact, you deserve to have that option should you change your mind later and want to reach out to the child and family later on. Read more
4. Does the agency brag about spending a lot of money on advertising and outreach to "Birth Parents"?
Ask the agency how much it spends on counseling services to expectant parents before, during and after the adoption. Is it as much as the agency spends on advertising?
Don’t take the agency’s word for it. Ask them.... Read More
5. How Long has the adoption resource been in business?
The internet has enabled many startup adoption resources. Many of these organizations will not stand the test of time. Yet adoption is a decision for a lifetime.
A recent blog post from an adoptive parent searching for connection to a birth family tells the story well.
I need to know if there is anyone on this list who knows of a pro-bono attorney who could take on a case from the standpoint of "birth parents rights." The agency from which I got my daughter was closed by the time my daughter was two. Per our agreement, I was to send pictures each year, but my daughters' birthparents and birthgrandparents are not receiving pictures or letters of updates. Read More
6. Does the agency have an adoption agenda? Do they offer to house you near them and away from your own home?
Adoption is one of the biggest and most important decisions an expectant parent will ever make. Reputable agencies will encourage you to have trusted family members be a part of the counseling process. If you are living across the country from friends and loved ones, you will be isolated from having their support and perspectives during your decision-making time.
Read a note sent to The Cradle by a sister of a Cradle client who came to us considering placing a baby for adoption who ultimately parented the child instead.
7. Will you have face-to-face meetings with the agency's counselor?
If the agency you first contact arranges for a different agency’s representative to meet with you, you should wonder how well you will be served throughout the adoption process.
Ask your counselor how she or her agency gets paid for providing services to you. Is it on an hourly basis? Read More
8. What if your baby is born with special medical needs?
Every expectant parent wants the same thing for her baby: that he or she be healthy. And, usually, this is exactly what happens. But sometimes, babies are born with unexpected medical needs such as Down Syndrome or other genetic problems. Look at what kinds of promises your adoption resource makes to prospective adoptive families. Does your resource make statements such as.... Read More
9. Does your adoption resource allow adoptive families to select the gender of the baby they want to adopt?
Adoption isn’t supposed to be about creating “designer families”. It’s supposed to be about giving your child a family who can provide him or her with those things that you do not feel ready to provide. Nature doesn’t let you choose the gender of your baby; an adoption resource should not let an adoptive family choose the gender of their baby. Read More
10. Ask if the adoption resource is a licensed child welfare organization
Being licensed means that the organization has oversight. Someone looks over their records, client materials and general operations to ensure they are complying with the law. It also means that you as a client will have someplace to register a complaint if something goes wrong or if you don’t like the way you’re being treated. In short, it provides clients with added security that important matters are being handled appropriately.
Make sure that the adoption resource you choose isn’t misrepresenting themselves. If, for instance, you see Illinois Adoption on a website and that organization isn’t in fact licensed in Illinois, be wary! Read More
11. Does the provider immediately ask you for personal information or show you profiles of families waiting to adopt?
Personal information helps the provider decide how marketable your baby is; how many prospective adoptive parents might be interested in your baby. They’ll focus on your race, the father’s race, your health and potential pregnancy complications. Read More