While I could probably write a book on this topic, I won’t! I’ll leave that to the professionals. 🙂 What I will do is give you my honest journey working with two agencies and my opinion on some things to think about when choosing the right agency for you.
In the beginning of my adoption journey I was presented with a couple agencies. One was bigger and well known while the other was much smaller and catered to special needs adoptions. At the time I wasn’t sure if I wanted to foster-to-adopt or go straight towards adoption so, I decided to go with the bigger company since they catered to both. I’ll interject here and tell you “go with your gut”. When making this decision, I felt like I should’ve gone with the smaller agency, but I listened to my head instead of my intuition. As if my head were some kind of expert on adoption at this time. lol
To make a long story short, I found myself still waiting for a status update on my application approval after 3 months of working with this agency. That’s when I knew it was time to move on. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of large agencies that move at a consistent pace. Unfortunately, the agency I was working with was significantly understaffed. Since switching, my adoption has gone much smoother and quicker.
Some things to think about when choosing an agency:
- Look up ratings on the agencies you’re considering and read reviews.
- Try calling the agencies office a few times to see if they answer or return your calls in a timely manner.
- Interview the agencies. Yep! I said it. This has to be a mutually beneficial partnership. This will give you an opportunity to find out what their process is and get a feel for how comfortable you are with them.
- Find out the experience the agency has on the kind of adoption you’d like to pursue (I.E. domestic, international, foster-to-adopt, special needs, infant, etc).
- Does the agency provide any kind of post-adoption support for you or your child? Ask!
- Listen with your head and an open heart.
Adoption is heart-centered. Sometimes I have to remind myself that it is important to listen to both my head and my heart in important matters such as these. Sometimes the decisions we have to make don’t always make logical sense and I have to remember to go with my instincts. If I could go back and have a little chat with myself, my one piece of advice would be “Hey, you. Follow your gut.” 🙂
Author – Simone Jennings (@simonejennings)