February 26th, 2009
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Some of us choose the country we want to adopt from and then find an agency that works with that country. Others of us find an agency through word of mouth or have a local agency close by and they decide to adopt from a country that agency works in. Ether way is fine, the most important thing is to find an agency you work well with and is ethical! I cannot stress this enough.

I remember requesting information from several agencies and being surprised at how different agencies function. One agency sent me a HUGE envelope filled with papers, articles and copies of things. It was all out of order and then they requested money to cover the expense of sending the package to me. This turned me off immediately. It was overwhelming to get so much information at the same time, and seeing how out of order it was made me leary of their organization skills.

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Another packet of information sent to me was so vague and didn’t have the price list I had requested for the different countries they worked in. Their website was very dated and not user friendly. I enjoy communicating over email and the internet, and I didn’t get the same vibe from this particular agency.

Once you settle on two or three agencies I would call them during office hours and set up an interview via phone or in person if the agency is close. You will get a lot of information by doing this and learn more about how the agency works. If there are any red flags that you may not work well together I would trust your instincts. Again, the important thing is to work well together. There are no perfect agencies out there. There will always be circumstances when both you and your agency miss communicate or drop the ball on something. How you work things out is key.

I would also ask for references from people who had recently adopted through this agency. Join a web group or to to get the general feel of how the agency is respected. There may be a few unsatisfied adoptive parents with any agency, but if multiple people voice the same complaint I would take that to heart.

Check out the agencies with the Better Business Bureau in your city or state. Look on the US State Department’s website to see if they have Hague accreditation.

Before sending in your application you also want to find out the agencies time line for your adoption, how they communicate things like court dates and paper work. Also make sure both you and the agency are on the same page with the adoption you are planning on. If you want to go out of birth order with your biological children or are a single parent adopting, make sure your agency supports those choices.

Will they allow you to choose the sex of the child? Do they have any religious requirements? What type of follow up assistance do they offer? Offer counseling? Heritage camps or get togethers? Does the agency do humanitarian work in the countries they work in as well as adoption placement? Lots of important questions that can easily be over looked.

Deciding on an agency is very important. They will be in your lives for the next year or more, if not for the rest of your life! We had a wonderful experience with our agency and continue to support there varias projects in our children’s country. I will not endorse any agencies on my blog for obvious reasons. I will however, encourage you to go with an agency that has worked with your chosen country for a while unless you love being a trailblazer!

Adoption.com has a directory of agencies that work with International Adoptions.

Rainbowkids.com also has a directory of agencies.

Do you have any suggestions for finding an agency? I would love to hear from others on this subject.

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3 Responses to “Deciding on an Adoption Agency”

  1. Robyn C says:

    I completely agree that one should choose an agency with an established program in your country of choice. From what I understand, several African countries are beginning to open up to international adoption. In that case, I imagine it would be best to go with an agency that has another program in Africa? We were looking into adoption from Africa in 2005, when the only open countries (it seemed to me) were Ethiopia and Liberia.
    And thank you for mentioning ethics! That’s something that we sometimes forget about in our zealousness to parent.

  2. Mandy W says:

    I would go with an agency with experience in Africa. I believe that Ghana is open now for older child/special needs adoption. Liberia is closed but for special needs adoption. Ethiopia is still thriving, but adding more paperwork all the time and being tougher on single moms it seems. There may be a few others open, I need to get an updated list!

  3. suemae says:

    March 10, ’09

    Deciding On An Agency

    The deceit and trickery often used to extremes by adoption lawyers, social workers and other such practitioners in practically every adoption/child placing agency means to the mother–who truly may be willingly considering placing out your child to be adopted by others–YOU MUST INVESTIGATE not only agencies but more important the lawyer(s), social worker(s), doctor(s), cleric(s) and any other person functioning as an adoption practitioner who run the agencies. To pass along some tips however that I’ve learned since losing my only child from my only pregnancy to a concealed (closed) adoption and then being denied even basic identifiable information–about my son even after he became an adult–please let me make a few comments hence.

    The recent Utah criminal convictions for adoption fraud–of Karen and Scott Banks who operated the scam agency “A Loving Adoption” in Wellsville, Utah–is not the only adoption criminality in Utah. Before this the owners of a different Utah adoption agency, located in the city of Sandy, also were forced to cease operations because their adoption organization was under criminal suspicion.

    Senator Orrin Hatch is a board member of Children’s Aid Society of Utah where “social worker” Colleen Burnham and lawyer/lobbyist David McConkie forced me to sign over custody and the parental rights of my son. Colleen Burnham and David McConkie terrorized me to sign the Affidavit and Release form they’d shoved in front of me.

    After that Senator Hatch helped falsify (corrupt) my records not only at the federal level but also those in state and local government agencies. He still acts as a conduit to the federal system of records and helps David McConkie–who’s a Utah adoption predator–falsify the records of natural mothers whose child[ren] he takes and adopts out under a concealed (closed) adoption.

    Television commercials advertising adoption services within the state are broadcast outside of Utah. These are intended to lure unsuspecting especially un-married mothers into the state to surrender their/her usually illegitimate-born child[ren] for adoption.

    Do NOT be induced by these commercials. Though these ads may seem enticing don’t be fooled!

    Whether you know your baby’s father is almost not important. However it IS better if you do. If you don’t you should try to determine YOURSELF who he is because otherwise your grief will be worse.

    David McConkie operates Utah’s PATERNITY registry. This gives him great though UNFAIR advantage over you if the matter comes down to him taking your baby, and so depriving you of your child, because you can’t name the baby’s dad.

    My son’s father’s name is Gary Christensen. In 1978 I told not only Gary but also everybody else involved in my situation. Despite this David McConkie who represented CAS of Utah and Colleen Burnham with help from Senator Hatch ripped my child away from me regardless.

    My point in all this is to tell you to BEWARE! DON’T be tricked to act against your will.

    Thank You,
    Kathy Caudle
    Natural Mother

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