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Finding the Right Fit: How to Choose an Adoption Agency

One of the most important decisions you will make during the adoption process is choosing the right adoption agency. With so many options out there, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Let’s go over some things to consider when selecting an adoption agency.

1. Type of Adoption

Adoption, mother and girl outdoor, smile or happy being loving, bonding or happy together. Portrait.

The first factor to consider is the type of adoption you are pursuing.

There are several types of adoption, including:

Domestic infant adoption

International adoption

Domestic waiting children through foster care

Domestic Identified

Adoption of children with special needs

Adoption of sibling groups

Some adoption agencies specialize in one type of adoption, while others may offer multiple options. It’s important to choose an agency that is experienced in the type of adoption you are pursuing, as they will have the knowledge and resources needed to guide you through the process.

2. Licensure and Accreditation

Finding credentialed adoption agencies should be a primary concern for prospective adoptive parents. Adoption agencies should be licensed and accredited by the required designated authorized organizations. In the United States, the primary Hague accrediting bodies for International Adoption agencies are the CEAS (Center for Excellence in Adoption Services); and IAAME (Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity). Domestic adoption required accreditation and licensure are determined by the state the agency is working in. It’s important to check the agency’s licensure and accreditation status before working with them.

3. Reputation

Customer Experience Woman hand thumb up vote on five star excellent rating on blue background. Review and feedback concept.

Another key factor to consider is the agency’s reputation. Research the agency online and read reviews from other adoptive parents. Ask the agency for references and talk to other families using their services. There are many social media groups to join for prospective adoptive parents. You want to work with an agency that has a good track record and is well-respected in the adoption community.

4. Services offered

Different adoption agencies may offer different services, so it’s important to understand what is included in their adoption services. Agencies should include significant pre-adoption education classes on the types of adoption they offer and cultural education about the countries where they have programs. Learning more about special needs adoption, older child adoption, and sibling adoption should require even more specific education to prepare prospective adoptive parents for the future. Some agencies may provide counseling and support services for birth parents, while others may offer post-adoption support for adoptive families. Make sure you understand what services the agency offers and what their fees cover.

5. Communication

Communication is key when working with an adoption agency. Find an adoption agency that answers personally to your phone calls and emails. You want to choose an agency that is responsive to your needs and keeps you informed throughout the adoption process. Pay attention to how quickly they respond to your inquiries and how well they communicate with you.

6. Cost

Adoption, International adoption as well as domestic adoption, can be expensive, so it’s important to consider the cost of the agency’s services. Make sure you understand their fee structure and what is included in their fees. Some agencies offer grants or partner with organizations such as Brittany’s Hope, so be sure to ask about financial assistance options available with an agency.

7. Personal fit

It’s important to choose an adoption agency that feels like a good fit for you. Adoption is a deeply personal experience, and you want to work with an agency that understands your values and priorities. Schedule a consultation with the agency to understand their approach and how well they understand your needs.

Choosing the right adoption agency is a critical decision in the adoption process. Consider the type of adoption you are pursuing, the agency’s accreditation and reputation, the services offered, communication, cost, and personal fit. By doing your research and asking the right questions, you can find an adoption agency that is the right match for your family. Here at Madison Adoption Associates, we believe in the power of family and work hard to build an ongoing relationship with the families who choose us.

Preparing for the Journey: A Guide to Adopting Children with Special Needs

A boy and his father enjoy playing in the park playground with a special needs swing.

Adopting a child with special needs requires careful consideration and preparation.

As a mom who has adopted children with significant special needs, I am often asked what kinds of things I wish I had been better prepared for in this new life. I am profoundly grateful for the ways that my children have changed my life. They have taught me to fully embrace myself and this beautiful world we live in, to be authentic on every single level. Before you ask, yes, I would do it again. Yes, yes, yes.

However, I wish I had known how to prepare better!

Here are some important things to consider before pursuing the adoption of a child with special needs:

1. Understand the needs of the child:

Before considering adoption of a specific child, it is essential to understand the needs of the child you are interested in adopting. Different abilities may require different levels of care, medical attention, and support. Become a trauma informed parent! Research the child’s medical conditions, developmental delays, and potential behavioral issues to understand the level of care and support that may be required.

2. Assess your own abilities:

female hand holding a wooden cube with a question mark, concept of answers and questions, suspense and solution methods, close up

Adopting a child with special needs can be challenging, and it’s important to be honest with yourself about your abilities to provide the necessary care and support. Consider your own emotional, physical, and financial resources, as well as your support network. Carefully assess your marriage or partnership to see if there is room for the additional life responsibilities that will come along with this decision.

3. Learn about available resources:

Local resources are vastly different from state to state and even county to county. There are many resources available to adoptive parents of children with special needs, including financial assistance, support groups, and specialized services. Research the resources that are available in your area and make a plan for accessing them. Keep in mind that the future may involve a move for your family and consider how that may change your resources. A favorite starting website for many parents is: Kids’

4. Work with a reputable adoption agency:

This is crucial to the success of the adoption. Madison Adoption Associates is known for their high ethical standards and their passion for finding the right family for each child. It’s vital to have an adoption specialist who will review a child’s file with you and be honest about what they see. Working with a reputable adoption agency can help ensure that you are matched correctly to a child and their needs. It also ensures that you receive the necessary support and guidance throughout the adoption process.

5. Consult with medical professionals:

Before adopting a child with special needs, it’s important to consult with medical professionals who can provide you with a better understanding of the child’s medical conditions and potential challenges. This can help you make an informed decision about whether adoption is the right choice for your family.

6. Educate yourself on special education:

Young student with down syndrome drawing on paper at home and looking at camera.

This could be an entire series of posts all on it’s own, because this is by far the piece many parents are not fully prepared for when adopting a child with special needs.

It’s important to be aware of special education laws, resources, and services available to children with disabilities in your area. Again, county to county, school to school may have different resources. Make sure you call your local school district and discuss the resources they have for your child. This will help you advocate for your child’s needs and ensure they receive the appropriate support and services.

Adopting a child with special needs can be a rewarding and life-changing experience, but it’s important to approach the process with careful consideration and preparation. By taking the time to research and prepare, you can relieve some of the stress that will come from being underprepared and use that energy to bond as a family.