Adoption and Infertility Community Group

This group is for all of those who are going through the adoption process or considering adoption while dealing with infertility. You are welcome here whether continuing infertility treatment or stopping treatment during your adoption journey. This group is an open forum for us to discuss every aspect of adoption, from our hopes, and fears to details of the adoption process. Please feel free to share without judgement and be kind in all your responses.

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info packages and forms

I have recieved several info packs and forms and was just wondering has anyone else found it really overwhelming? how do you choose an agency? how do you find out the next steps to take etc?

Replies

roadfullofhope
roadfullofhope

It is very overwhelming. We went to information meetings at a couple of agencies. When we went to the meeting for the agency we are currently working with we just knew that this was where we needed to be. We really liked this agency because they are very child focused. They also offer a lot of resources for birth mothers. I think most agencies offer informational meeting. Those might be very helpful for you.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Agreed. It was quite overwhelming. I too attended an informational meeting at one agency. I decided that my chances were better using an attorney as I'm single. I used the agency for my homestudy and they were kind enough to recommend some attorneys. I feel like with an attorney I'm getting a lot more hand holding than I would with an agency and don't have to worry about too many of the details. This is working out very well for me.
Group Founderalanabanana
alanabanana

I received lots of packets as well. They are overwhelming. I must say a lot of the steps of adoption are overwhelming. From choosing an agency, attorney, or facilitator to the home study. I don't have advice as like you I am at the beginning but I want you to know I am here for you!
GirlAtHeart
GirlAtHeart

I relied on word of mouth references as my starting point. Then, we met with the agency to make sure they were legitimate, etc. Personally, I like an agency who helps you walk you through it all (for a fee of course). In other words, one that doesn't leave you to do part of the process out there on your own.

We are doing international for our adoption and it's a total package. They walk you through choosing the child as well as the final adoption process (you have to finalize the process twice - once in that country and once stateside, so the birth certificate and citizenship is in order). They are there for every step.

Our agency is out of state. We did not have to go meet them in person, but we did for peace of mind. They checked out. They were on the larger size (but not huge), which I preferred. There are also smaller agencies, but I wanted a place that had enough staff to process and address our needs in a timely manner. I thought smaller might be intimate, but I was worried about the timeframe. The clock is ticking for me!

Something else- the paperwork seems hard but it's not if you break it down into chunks. We've already done it all for foster care, so we have experience with this process. Mainly, gathering your documents like birth certificates, marriage, divorce, tax returns, bank statements, etc. will give you a leg up in the process. These are things you can start now. Also, you will need a financial sheet with assets and liabilities. It's basically what you own (house, cars, cash in banks, furniture, equity, etc. minus what you owe. And finally there's the autobiography. You can start that now and fix or adjust to what they are looking for. Also, prepick some references and have their information ready for the agency. They will have to write about you and your husband and give their opinion of you.

The process is overwhelming at first but it's really not. The main thing is don't delay. Knock a few things out at a time, maybe a few per week. Before you know it, you'll have it all ready to turn back in.

From there, you have classes and interviews. They ask about you, your upbringing, your history and if married, your relationship with DH. They may even ask what you argue about. They just want to assess the type of person you are to create a profile. They are looking for honesty and not the perfect couple.

This Tuesday, 12/11, we have our second homestudy appointment (I just wrote a journal if you want to friend me). This is where we turn in all the paperwork and do our interviews. I'm nervous but since we did this for foster care, I know what to expect.

Good Luck everyone! I am not the expert but I've been doing adoption research since 2009 while we were still doing ivf. I've gotten lots of info over the years.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I spoke to and received info on about eight agencies before deciding. What ultimately made my decision easier was the agency I chose was a non profit with an excellent reputation and (bonus) more reasonable fees then others. I spoke with the, a few times and went to a seminar and found everyone supportive and felt very comfortable so that was a huge deciding factor too. Even after I made the decision I kept looking, mainly out of habit, but I finally just had to stop myself and commit or I'd never start moving forward.
theletter12
theletter12

I first started researching online. Since information was free - I asked about 20-25 agencies for their packets. I specifically looked into pricing upfront, we had a very limited budget. Some agencies do a sliding scale fee based on income. The first decision was domestic or foreign. We ruled foreign out pretty quickly due to the costs and time needed to travel for most countries.

I then found out that a local adoption attorney offered a consultation for a small fee that would recommend agencies that they had dealt with. My IF counselor also recommended a fellow patient to me that had just adopted as well who agreed to speak to me about her experience. From the adoption lawyer we got a good list and sought out information packets.

We then did phone interviews with the agencies we narrowed it down to. There are some good online lists of what to ask an agency to make sure they are legit and ethical. In the end, for me it was important to be able to go to the place and meet the workers - to have more help as we knew nothing about adoption. So we chose a local agency.

I liked some out of state agencies but again - cost of travel was a big factor as well as time off from work. I was only give 7 days off for adoption - and then I took 7 weeks off with the FMLA - I wanted to have as much time with my child as I could and didn't want to waste it traveling. If you don't know anyone who used the agency you are looking into - see if they have a list of people who would be willing to talk to you about their experience. Another factor was how much money they wanted upfront - but then again I said I was on a tight budget which some people don't have to deal with.
moonbeams
moonbeams

It is overwhelming. I did most of my research online. There were several agencies I ruled out by simply looking at what info was on their websites. I then called and requested informational packets from my top picks. (I made sure to call and see how they treated me on the phone. One agency was ruled out this way due to how horrible I was treated on the phone each time I called).

As they started coming in, I took a step back and DH and I made a list of our priorities. Things like price, wait time, what is required during the homestudy (some agencies require more classes than others, as an example), age/health of children placed, etc etc etc. And we put them in order of what we deemed most important. Then I went back and looked at the packages, making a list of what our priorities were with their information in those slots. I was then able to have a short list I could compare side by side of each agency. It was very obvious who our top 3 agencies were after doing this. I called each of them again and had a list of questions for them. After those 3 phone calls, I knew which one I wanted to go with.

It is also super important to talk to other people who have used that agency before. Each agency should have a list of people willing to discuss their experiences that you can contact via email or phone who are not otherwise associated with the agency. I emailed on average 3 people per agency, to make sure I got at least one response.
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