Checklist of Questions to ask Private Adoption Agencies

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WomanGeneral Questions

____Do I need to provide medical evidence of infertility to work with your agency?
____Do any special requirements apply to the programs I am most interested in, such as marital status, age, weight restrictions?
____What is the typical timeline from home study to referral in the program I am most interested in?

Fees

____What are your fees?
____Are there special country or program fees I should know about?
____Do you have a sliding-scale fee based on income?
____Are there any fee reductions for adopting a special needs or older child?

Location

____Are you licensed to place children in my home state?
____Do the country programs I am interested in exercise any restrictions that would prevent your agency from placing a child with me?
____Have you worked with other families in my area? If so, is it possible for me to connect with them?
____How much of an adoption community can I form by working with this agency?

(If agency is located out of your state)
____What additional paperwork will be required since I live out of state?
____Do I have to use a social worker in my state who has been pre-screened by your agency?
____If not, can you recommend social workers in my area?

Experience

____How long have you placed children through the program I am interested in?
____How many children from that country/program have you successfully placed with families?
____Have there been any disrupted adoptions? If so, why?

____What kind of post-adoption services does the agency provide?
____Does this agency view adoption as a life-long journey?
____Does your agency offer programs and services to adult adoptees?

Ideaology

____Does the agency (or its international affiliates) forbid my traveling to pick up my child?
____Was this agency founded on religious principles? If so, what are they?
____What is this agency's policies and attitudes with regard to search? And open adoption?
____Will this agency recognize that my child has a right to search or not search for his/her birth parents, based on individual temperament?
____If my child conducts such a search, will the agency respect this right and assist in locating the birth parents and reuniting them with my child?
____If the agency does provide assistance, how old does my child have to be to initiate his/her own birth parent search?
____What is the agency's policy on parent-initiated searches?
____How will the agency protect my family's right to privacy if my child does not wish to be contacted by her birth parents?
____What kind of parenting classes or instruction does the agency offer?
____How will the agency adequately prepare us for the unique challenges of raising a child of (in many cases) another race?

--by Dottie Enrico

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