When it comes time to choose an adoption agency, you have a lot of options. “There are lots of agencies to choose from all over the country,” says Jessie McNaughton, Family Connections, Inc. So, how do you know which agency is best for you and your child? Do you choose a local Maryland adoption agency, or do you go with a larger national agency? Research!
Researching Adoption Agencies
“The most common question I receive from prospective adoptive parents is: ‘How do I know if an agency is the right one for me?’” explains Chuck Johnson, President and CEO of the National Council For Adoption. Here are some tips:
- Choose a licensed adoption agency.
- Choose an experienced agency – are staff adequately trained, with years of experience?
- Choose an agency that respects both adoptive and birth parents.
- Choose an agency that offers counseling services – pre- and post-placement.
- Choose an agency with a proven track record.
- Choose an agency that is responsive – are they quick to respond?
- Choose an agency that openly and honestly answers your questions.
- Choose an agency that you are comfortable with.
“A good adoption agency’s job is to counsel you in your decision,” says Johnson.
Benefits of Working with a Local Maryland Adoption Agency
“Working with a small, local adoption agency rather than a large out-of-state agency has many benefits,” says McNaughton. These include:
When working with a local Maryland adoption agency, they are involved in the process from the first phone call to the adoption and beyond. This also means you are able to meet your adoption counselor in person and maintain consistent face-to-face meetings or counseling sessions before and after placement. This type of intimate relationship is not available when working with a large national agency.
Open Adoption Benefits
“Perhaps the most important thing to consider when envisioning your child’s life is where you fit,” says Haley Kirkpatrick, birth mother and adoption.com contributor. “Do you see yourself directly involved in his or her life? Do you speak on the phone regularly? Do you only communicate through letters? Do you even communicate at all?”
If you plan to remain involved in your child’s life, working with a local Maryland adoption agency is best. These local agencies typically serve a specific geographic location, meaning your child remains close. “In an open adoption, this makes visits easier,” says McNaughton. “Depending on what level of openness you desire in the adoption, this can be fantastic. Placing your child with a family a town, a county, or a short drive away can provide you with peace of mind.”
Conversely, if the child and adoptive parents go to another state far away, this makes the open relationship more difficult, says Anita Stevens, Family Connections, Inc.
Some birth parents want to meet potential adoptive parents in person, rather than over the phone. If you work with a local Maryland adoption agency, this is much more likely. And even if you don’t choose to meet the adoptive parents and even if you opt for a closed adoption, “what if you decide at some point to meet the family and the child later in life?” asks Dean Kirschner, Ph.D., LCSW-C. “ There is a better chance of that if the family is local or closer.”
Familiar with State Laws
Local Maryland agencies are licensed and reviewed annually by the state government. This also means that local agencies are intimately familiar with state laws.
Adoption Makes Family, a Local Maryland Adoption Agency
The adoption specialists at Adoption Makes Family are here to help you explore your feelings and answer any questions you may have. We are a non-profit (501-C3) licensed adoption agency based in Maryland. Our experienced professionals are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help and counsel you so that you make the best decisions for your future.
Call Us Now at (410) 683-2100
If you have any questions, you can contact us by phone at 410-683-2100, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or use our online contact form.
- “Adoptive Families Blog.” The Benefits of Domestic Adoption, blog.lifetimeadoption.com/adoptivefamilies/the-benefits-of-domestic-adoption.
- Adoptions, Inc. American. “Local Adoption Agencies.” Advantages of Local Adoption Agencies, www.americanadoptions.com/adopt/local_and_regional_adoption_agencies.
- “How to Choose an Adoptive Family .” American Adoptions — America’s Adoption Agency, www.americanadoptions.com/family_profile/choose_adoptive_family.
- McNaughton, Jessie. “Family Connections, Inc. Adoption Blog.” 4 Reasons Birth Mothers Should Use A Local Agency, www.adoptfamilyconnections.org/blog/4-reasons-birth-mothers-should-use-a-local-agency.
- Stevens, Anita. “Family Connections, Inc. Adoption Blog.” Why Use a Local Adoption Agency | Adoption New York, www.adoptfamilyconnections.org/blog/bid/293306/Why-Use-a-Local-Adoption-Agency-Adoption-New-York.