The following is an
overview, concerning what an adoption agencies role is in your adoption. In an
effort to help you, we also have a detailed
listing of agencies.
Home Study Agency
: Often times, you will choose an International Adoption Agency that is not in
the same state as you are. By law your home study must be conducted by an
agency or social worker that is in your state. It is therefore necessary (and
very common) to hire a local adoption agency for the sole purpose of conducting
your home study. There are a few International Adoption Agencies that have
contracts in each state with certain local agencies. If you choose one of these
International Adoption Agencies, you will b required by them to use their local
agency. This takes away the need for you to search for a local agency to do
your home study. It also takes away your choice, your control, and your ability
to shop around and get a good price, just to name a few things.
with your local yellow pages and your state social service department
when looking for your local home study agency.
under "adoption". It is of vital importance that you choose an
experienced agency or social worker to do your home study. They must be
experienced in fulfilling the requirements for conducting an
international adoption home study. They must be licensed, and will very
likely be required to provide a copy of their license to your
International Adoption Agency. Interview these people, you are hiring
them, and you need to know if you are comfortable with them. Some important issues
to cover with a potential agency are: Price? How long does an average home
study take? Is there a waiting list, or can they begin immediately? How does
the social worker feel about interracial families? How many international
adoption home studies has this agency done? Discuss your special circumstances:
Do you already have children? Are you divorced? Is there an age difference
between you and your spouse? Are you single? Are you "older"? Not married long?
You may be so comfortable with your life, that you don't realize that others
feel that your circumstances are special. What is most important is finding a
social worker that you feel comfortable with. Someone whose objective is to
bring families together. Don't worry. There are a lot of good ones out there.
Adoption Agency: There are many points that need to be made under
this category. I will try and organize this better at a later date. There are
over 200 adoption agencies that work with other countries. Your job is to
choose one of them to work with. Before you begin, ask yourself what sort of
child you desire to parent.
Do you want a young infant? A toddler? A sibling group?
Do you desire a certain sex child? With some programs
you can choose, some not, and some countries simply have way more children of
one sex available than of the other.
What countries will work with you (see Countries with
International Adoption Programs)?
Race is an issue, so we might as well address it. Do
you want a child that looks like you? If you are white, this narrows it down to
Eastern Europe, and narrows down the number of adoption agencies.
It takes longer in some countries to adopt than in
others. Choose a program that fits your time line.
Now where to start? Once again, I recommend the Report on Intercountry
adoption. It will arrive in less than a week, and it lists every country with
programs, and the agencies that are licensed in those countries. Call or write
(make a form letter) as many agencies as possible, requesting information on
the program that you are interested in. Follow up on the agencies you are
interested in by contacting their references. Some agencies deal with several
different countries. Some specialize in only one country. Some are new, some
are old. Some will hold your hand and walk you through every step of the way,
and some are for the people who want to do a lot of the work themselves.
A Personal Note : The
difference between a non-profit adoption agency and a for profit adoption
agency isn't always clear to me. The amount of money you pay will be the same.
Non-profit agencies often support orphanages in the countries they work with,
and truly try and place some special needs children. For profit agencies very
often do the exact same thing.