Deciding to place your child for adoption is a big decision and one that will need support, guidance, organization, experience, and love to get through. To do so, you’ve got to work with an adoption agency that has yours and your baby’s best interests at heart.
When considering adoption, you likely have about a million questions racing through your head at any one time. The right adoption agency will help you to calm your nerves, put your worries to rest, and help you make decisions that are best for you and your baby’s future.
While there are plenty of adoption agencies out there that can help you place your baby with a great family, not every agency is going to be right for your situation, preferences, or needs. Here are five questions that you should ask any agency you speak with.
1. What Kind of Experience Do You and Your Team Have?
It goes without saying, but the more experience the agency has collectively, the better equipped they are to help you through the adoption process, accurately match you with adoptive families, and support the entire journey from pregnancy to post-adoption.
You want to know that your team has been through every imaginable situation and helped as many other birth parents as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask this question, it’s not rude, it’s important?
2. How Do You Match Me with Potential Adoptive Families?
One of the biggest unknowns for birth parents is how their child will grow up. Will they be going to a good family? Will they be happy, healthy, and live a good life? Will the adoptive family raise the child like you want them raised?
There are so many questions that routinely come up about the adoptive family and how to know that you’re making the right decision for your baby. The process of matching you with potential adoptive families cannot be one that is taken lightly. There needs to be a real connection between your beliefs, views, and values and the adoptive family’s.
Learn as much as you possibly can, not only about the adoptive families that you could be matched with, but also the process in which the adoption agency goes through in order to match you with them.
3. Can I Place My Baby with ______________________?
Like we just mentioned, your beliefs, views, and values are very important in choosing the right adoptive family. That can mean anything from being sure to place your baby with a family that shares your religious views, placing with a heterosexual or homosexual family, or even placing with a single parent.
We all have things that we’ve grown up with and gone through in our lives that have impacted how we view the world. Those experiences can really start to shape the idea of the family that you’d like raising your baby. Make sure to share your beliefs and preferences with your adoption agency and make sure they can do everything in their power to find the perfect family.
4. Do You Help with Post-Adoption Contact?
For post-adoption, there are three types of contact that you may have with the adoptive family – closed, semi-open, and open. Of course, it’ll be up to you and the adoptive family as to which route is the right one, but we always encourage open adoption.
Closed adoption effectively means that you will not have contact with the adoptive family or child after the adoption. The record of the biological parents is kept sealed and identifying information is kept private from the adoptive family.
Semi-open adoption is when the adoptive family and the birth parents are in contact, typically through an adoption agency, to give the birth parents updates on their child and photographs. Typically, last names of both parties are not disclosed.
Open adoption is when the birth parents and adoptive family have regular contact (to varying degrees) and even potentially contact with the child. Open adoptions allow the child to connect more easily to his or her birth parents.
It’s very important to consider how you’d like to interact with the adoptive family, and even the child, after the adoption. Make sure your needs are met by both the adoption agency and the adoptive family.
5. What Kind of Support Do You Offer During Pregnancy and After Giving Birth?
Support means so much more than money. Of course, typically the agency will manage the support of living expenses of the birth mother during the process, but there is a lot of support needed in the form of counseling, legal advice, understanding your pregnancy, medical assistance, and guidance throughout the entire process.
You should ask your caseworker what the typical process looks like. And don’t forget about post-adoption. Sure there are a lot of moving parts during pregnancy and during the adoption process, but post-adoption is a vital piece to your wellbeing as well
Of course there are many, many more questions that you’ll have for your adoption agency and caseworker, but these are five that we think can’t be forgotten. We advise you to ask every single question that comes to mind. You need to be 100% comfortable with the agency that will be going on this journey with you.
Ready to begin the process and learn more about the process? Our experienced caseworkers are waiting to talk with you!