The most important thing you will do in preparing for the complicated adoption process is to gather and research the most current information available.
Part 2 of: Adoption is Extremely Complicated. Don’t do it (without doing your homework)!
Last week I wrote about the first four things you should do in preparing for the complicated adoption process. We didn’t even get to selecting an adoption agency. See!!! I told you it was complicated!
Once you have completed the four steps in Part One of this article, you’re ready to select an adoption agency. This could be the most important decision you make in the complicated adoption process. The first four items from Part One of this article play a large part in which adoption agency is right for you. Adoption agencies are businesses and whether they are “for profit” or “not for profit” they need to have a cash flow to keep people employed and cover business expenses. Just as you do in working with any business that you are entrusting with your home and family, you need to make sure you are working with the best.
A truth in life that seems to be even more prevalent in the complicated adoption process is that dissatisfied people are far more likely to leave a review than people who are happy.
Get recommendations and then use an internet search engine to research the agencies. Another good place to start is http://www.adoptionagencyratings.com/ where people from any side of the adoption (adoptive parents, birth parents, adoptees) can leave a one to five star review. BE CAREFUL HERE. Larger agencies will have more bad reviews. Just because you find a lot more bad reviews on an agency that does thousands of adoptions per year does not mean they are worse than an agency with only a few bad reviews that only does tens of adoptions per year. A truth in life that seems to be even more prevalent in the complicated adoption process is that dissatisfied people are far more likely to leave a review than people who are happy.
Though you might not think it pertinent as an adoptive parent, what birth mothers are saying about an agency matters. If you really want to know the true heart of people who work in a business, watch to see how they treat their contacts when they can no longer get anything more from them. How will the agency treat you once they have cashed the check? Will they continue to give you support if your new child struggles and you become a resource drain rather than a cash provider?
Every action and reaction will eventually be scrutinized by the person most affected and least able to influence this complicated adoption process: the adopted child.
The day will come when you answer to your child for how she joined your family. If your agency has a reputation of intimidating, pressuring and manipulating birth mothers, your child will eventually find out. Imagine your child lumping you in with an agency that “tricked” their mother into placing them for adoption. Remember, every action and reaction will eventually be scrutinized by the person most affected and least able to influence this complicated adoption process: the adopted child. Don’t imagine that you will be immune from consequences simply because you didn’t perform unethical deeds if you wrote checks that were the incentive for coercion. The right (or wrong) adoption agency could very well affect the quality of relationship you have with your child even decades after the adoption is finalized.
I spent 25 years building and international business and I quickly learned that financial success was a side effect of doing a good job and being among the best of providers. Adoption agencies do not need to sell their souls to the devil to turn a positive cash flow even though they work in the complicated adoption process. The best agencies are those which always do their best to help the adopted child, the adoptive parents and the birth parents. Yes… such agencies lose a bigger percentage of children who could potentially be placed for adoption because they support birth mothers and encourage them through the most difficult times of their lives rather than preying on them in something as intimidating as the complicated adoption process. Because of the economics of such situations, these agencies might be more expensive (up front) than others. However, those costs will pale when it comes to treatment for a child that feels like they were wrongly placed for adoption. And the emotional cost to adoptees, adoptive parents and first parents in such situations is immeasurable.
Economics doesn’t help to lessen the raging waters of the complicated adoption process. Adoptions are down significantly from their peak several years after the turn of the century. That has resulted in the failure of uncounted adoption agencies. Many more are on the brink of financial disaster. Those agencies that are struggling the most are the most desperate to get cash as soon as possible and that puts parents working with them in a very vulnerable position. If an agency goes out of business while you are under contract with them, chances are that you will lose any money you have paid them without any recourse. Make sure you know that an adoption agency is fiscally sound before you enter into a contract with them.
There is more I want to tell you about preparing for the complicated adoption process so there will be a third part to this article. But when it comes to choosing the right adoption agency, you can’t be too careful. You should spend at least as much effort on this aspect of preparation as any other. I’d tell you to be as wise as a serpent, but I think I’d be stealing that line from another source…
Often, readers receive as much help from other readers in the comments section as they do from the blog article, itself. Please be generous with your thoughts and experiences in the comments section. There are lots of people who need what you have to share. This is your chance to help them.
Read more articles by John M. Simmons about Adoption
Return to John M. Simmons’ blog
Register to ensure you don’t miss anything. Click here to sign up for notifications. This is all you need to be qualified for occasional giveaways like the Kindle Fire that Kristy Goulart won in July!