Be ready with a list of questions to ask a potential agency before you decide to sign on as a client. “Look for an agency that considers who you are and what kind of match you are hoping for, and can give realistic feedback regarding your chances of success,” says Susan Watson, the director of domestic adoption and birth parent services for Spence-Chapin, a nonprofit adoption agency in New York City. “Who, in general, are their birth parents? How are matches made? How many adoptive parents are they working with at any given time and how many placements do they do a year? Does the agency operate under any core principles (for example, do they discourage or encourage open adoption?) or a pro choice stance in counseling birth parents? Is the agency a good fit in regards to their philosophy and practice?”
It’s also good to ask questions that speak to an agency’s stability -- how long they’ve been in business, their staff’s level of expertise with your type of adoption, and how long they’ve been involved in the program you’re considering, Gilman suggests. If you’re considering an international adoption, you may want to ask about the stability of that country’s adoption program, as several popular programs, including Vietnam, Guatemala and China, have closed or drastically slowed in recent years.
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