Jun 6, 2012

Tips for Choosing an Agency

Choosing an agency is a daunting task and probably one of the most important decisions you'll ever make! If you're stumped on where to start, here are a few tips I used and should have used!

  • Get as much free information as possible. This may mean informational packets, online webinars, free seminars, etc. A lot of agencies give the same info about the process and then only differ in a few ways. 
  • Get information from at least 20 agencies. Even if you are set on one in particular - I learned something new from each agency packet about the process or I was given another website, resource, or just awesome quote. 
  • Once you've narrowed your search down to your top 5ish, make random phone calls at all times of the day/week to see how phone friendly they are. This was a big deal for us and we found that a lot of agencies had unfriendly phone and business hours. Also, if your married, have your spouse also call to see if you get the same information, tone, and assistance. 
  • If they give you definite time-lines, RUN. No one can know for sure when you'll get a referral. 
  • Ask for references. The good ones will gladly provide some although it may be after you've paid a small fee (usually a small $50-100 fee)
  • Ask for a list of preferred home study agencies if they don't do them in house. 
  • If considering domestic adoption, ask about their birth parent care. Make sure you're choosing an agency that properly takes care of (legally, physically, mentally) the birth family. 
  • Check online resources - look for agencies with a lot of good reviews, and not just one website. Just because an agency has 5 stars on one website, that doesn't mean they will on all sites and it doesn't mean it's true data. 
  • If you have a question, ASK IT! If they don't answer your question, ask again. If they still avoid your question, either confront them a third and final time or move on. 
  • Start talking. A lot more people have been touched by adoption than you realize and will be able to give you good (and sometimes horrible!) advice. 
  • Ask about financial assistance. That might mean talking to your financial adviser, bank, parent, whoever - just make sure you have a way to pay for things before you start the process. 

I think that's mostly it but I'll come back and add to this if I remember a few more things :)

1 comment:

  1. Just wanted to drop by and say hello :) Hope you guys are having a nice summer ((hugs))