Agency adoptions in the U.S.

 

The social worker also obtains the genetic and health history on a child and the child's birthparents, and can tell you the agency policy regarding disclosure of that information. "Disclosure" in this circumstance refers to providing complete and accurate background information about a child to the person or persons considering adopting that child. The issue of disclosure is the main legal issue in an agency adoption, at the time of placement and throughout the life of the adoptee.

For example, you may want more information about the birthmother's prenatal care, or in the case of a toddler or preschooler from another country who has been living in an orphanage, more information about the child's health status. Agency workers could tell you that they have done everything they can to obtain that information, and have told you all they know.

You must decide whether you feel comfortable with that amount of information. Also, you must consider future access to information. For example, if the birthparents' health status changes and they inform the agency, will the agency inform you? It is a good idea to find out what the agency policy is on this and whether it is within the State disclosure statutes.

Selecting a Reputable Agency

How do you determine if an agency conducts its business reputably and lawfully? One way is to gather information from several agencies, the State licensing and/or adoption specialist, and a variety of adoptive parents.

After comparing and contrasting information from several adoption agencies, you will start to differentiate between the agencies that appeal to you and those that do not, ultimately narrowing your choice to one agency. If the agency or its staff has a fairly long history of placing children, if the State adoption specialist and/or licensing agency has not received many complaints about an agency, and if adoptive parent groups and former clients seem satisfied, chances are you will be satisfied, too.

 

Source: National Adoption Information Clearinghouse

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