1. Understand Your Needs
Choosing an agency starts by understanding your needs and desires. It’s not enough to know that you want to adopt a child. Determine if you want to adopt domestically or internationally; what age child you are willing to adopt; whether or not you are willing to adopt a special needs child; and so on. These are vital factors in determining if an agency is right for you.
2. Research Their Adoption Policies
While all adoption agencies in the United States must follow the same set of standards, as outlined by the Hague Convention, most adoption agencies also have their state regulations as well as own internal set of standards that dictate who they are willing to work with. These standards may consider age, family structure, and a host of other issues. You’ll want to ensure any potential agency is a good match for you.
3. Are They A Non-Profit Agency?
When an agency is a registered non-profit, it means they are vetted and approved by the government as a tax-free, not-for-profit entity. We believe the reasons for working with a non-profit agency over a for-profit agency should be self-evident.
Adoption is an ever-changing process with regulations and standards that are constantly in flux. This is especially true in international adoption, where you’re dealing not just with standards set by the United States, but with standards set by agencies and international organizations all across the world. That means experience is important. You want to work with people who have, to put it in layman’s terms, seen it all.
5. They Are Involved in Charitable Efforts
An adoption agency is not merely an agency that exists to match you with a child. A good agency exists to better the lives of children. Look for involvement in or the creation of charitable programs like EAC’s own Project Sunshine, Holiday Hope, and others. This signals that the agency is focused on what’s truly important: the children.
6. Read Reviews… but take them with a grain of salt
The Internet is awash with sites that allow people to air their views on any given restaurant, business, or in this case, adoption agency. Take advantage of these tools to see what kind of experience others have had. However, when reading reviews, it’s vital to be smart about what you take at face value and what you take with a grain of salt. This is especially true when it comes to something as emotional and trying as adoption. Someone fueled by disappointment is more likely to vent on the Internet than someone who is now preoccupied with their beautiful new family. And finally:
7. Do You Feel Good About Them?
When all is said and done, sometimes the best thing you can do is go with your gut. If something tells you these are people you can work with, listen to your instincts. You’re going to be going through an emotional, potentially long process. You’re going to want allies on your side you feel good about working with.
And ultimately, that’s what this list is all about. Helping you find people who will assist you during your journey towards parenthood.
CELEBRATING OUR 25TH YEAR of assisting families in completing international adoptions! European Adoption Consultants, Inc (EAC) is a non profit 501(c)(3) international child adoption placing agency. EAC is Hague Accredited, China (CCCWA) Licensed, and approved to complete adoptions in many countries around the world. As one of the larger international adoption agencies, we have assisted in over 8,000 adoptions since 1991. Currently we have adoption programs in China, Bulgaria, Poland, Uganda, Ukraine, India, Panama, Colombia, Honduras, and Haiti.