Choosing to adopt a child is a heartfelt journey, one that is as profound as it is transformative. It is more than just becoming a parent; it is about embracing a child with love and warmth, irrespective of shared genes. This decision demands thorough research, careful planning, and unwavering dedication because it is about your future family.
From digging deep into adoption rules and agency credentials to engaging in meaningful dialogues during agency meetings, every step should be considered and thoughtful. If considering international adoption, you are uniting two cultures, adding more layers of joy and complexity to your adoption journey. Despite the challenges, the reward is immeasurable—a loving family, where bonds are defined not by blood, but by shared love and life.
This blog is here to assist you on your adoption journey. We have compiled a comprehensive list of questions that will help you prepare for this significant transition in your life. Use these as a guide to navigate the process, ensuring that you are well-equipped and informed every step of the way. Let’s embark on this beautiful journey of creating a loving family together.
During Preliminary Research
- Is the agency’s license current and valid as per the social services department of the state in which the agency operates?
- Can you confirm the financial stability of the agency? For non-profits, have you cross-verified their financial situation on oversight platforms such as Guidestar.org?
- Has the agency been involved in any unresolved complaints or disputes? Did you verify this with the Better Business Bureau?
- Does the agency hold membership with professional adoption organizations like the Joint Council of International Children’s Services or the Council on Accreditation?
- For international adoptions, particularly from countries part of the Hague Adoption Convention, is the agency accredited to handle these procedures?
During Your First Meeting
- What is the longevity of your agency’s operation and its experience in the field?
- What was the number of successful placements the agency made last year, specifically from programs that align with your interests?
- Have there been successful placements with prospective parents sharing similar circumstances as yours?
- What is the time-frame for initiating and completing the home study after application? When will the approval status be known?
- If not approved, is there a process to understand the reasons and possibly appeal the decision?
- Can you detail the expected timeline from home study or dossier approval to being matched with a birth mother or child?
- Can you explain the complete fee structure, including the breakdown of costs and payment schedule for each program? Does it include post-placement visits, home study, and fees to the placing agency?
- Does the agency produce an annual financial report for client review?
- Can clients receive a copy of their rights with the application form?
- Does the agency have a quality assurance policy to address any concerns during the adoption process?
- Can you detail the post-placement requirements and the support services offered pre, during, and post placement?
- What is the plan of action if an adoptive parent finds themselves unable to parent the adopted child?
- Can you share statistics on adoptions that have been disrupted or dissolved?
Extra Questions for International Adoption
- Can you confirm the stability of intercountry adoption in the preferred country? If regulations change, are there alternative country programs available?
- Does the agency, or its partners, hold valid licenses in both the U.S. and the child’s home country?
- Does the agency employ facilitators or private attorneys in the child’s home country? How is their compensation structured?
- What extent of information is provided about a referral before travel? How comprehensive and accurate is the medical data?
- Can you elaborate on the travel requirements and assistance provided for travel arrangements?
- Does the agency have bilingual representatives who are respected by authorities in each foreign country to aid in obtaining a child’s referral and provide assistance upon arrival?
- Are there any country-specific fees or mandatory donations separate from the agency’s fees?
- Do the fees include the child’s transport, visa processing, and medical examinations?
- Does the agency handle the preparation of dossiers, obtaining various stamps and approvals, and arranging translations?
- Are adoptive parents expected to provide financial support for the child between referral and homecoming?
- Does the agency provide financial aid to the orphanages from which they place children? How frequent are the agency representative’s visits to these orphanages?
We trust that these carefully curated questions will provide valuable insights and guide you smoothly on your adoption journey. We understand that every step taken is with a heart full of hope and a dream of creating a loving family. As you navigate this significant path, may these questions bring clarity and confidence. We wish you all the best as you embark on this beautiful journey towards parenthood. May it be filled with love, joy, and countless cherished moments. “Embrace the adoption journey with thorough research and unwavering dedication,” advises Attorney Shawna Woods of Atlanta Divorce Law Group.