If you are considering an agency adoption, be sure to understand what services
will be covered. I have seen an increasing number of agencies “networking”
placements for third parties. In these cases, the agency is not working
directly with the birthparents, leaving the prospective adoptive parents
two steps removed from the birthparents. Sometimes this translates to
a higher fee for you and no decision makers on the ground who can advocate
for you or protect your funds. When interviewing agencies ask…
- How many direct placements do you do in an average year? (where agency
works directly with the birthparents within a state where the agency is
- What is your fee structure? What percentage is due at the start? At placement?
After placement (if anything).
- How much is at risk if a case does not go through?
- What possible fees/costs that might arise but are not included in your
- How many families are on your waiting list?
- What’s the average wait time?
- What’s the length of wait for the longest waiting family?
- What does the initial payment cover?
- Can you tell me about your advertising program? Does agency invest in SEO?
- If birthparents are from outside of your service area, how do you provide
- How does the fee structure change if a birthparent is from outside of your
- How do you go about providing services to birthparents in your community?
Are they assigned a counselor to receive options counseling before a match is made?
- What happens if we are matched and the placement falls through? Do fees
paid transfer over to another case? How much? Are we given top consideration
for the next case?
- How do you take into account our goals when matching with birthparents?
Is there a system for keeping track of them to make sure we are presented
for cases that fit our goals?
- Do hospitals call you with last minute placements when a birthparent decides
to make a plan at the hospital before/after labor and delivery? How often?
- What is your philosophy about engaging with birthfathers in the case?