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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.

She should be a daughter, not a mother…

Meet Victoria.  Victoria is smart.  Very smart.  She has earned numerous awards and accolades in school.  She loves to dance.  And she loves to help care for the children in the orphanage.  The children look up to Victoria, as they would a mother.  They listen to her.  They respect her.  They love her, and she them.  Victoria has a deep love for her orphanage family.  And while that love is strong, she still feels a burning desire to be a part of a proper family. victoria-3

Day in and day out, Victoria puts her all into everything she does – into her studies, into her English learning, into her dancing, and into her nurturing.  She gives and gives and gives of herself.  It is about time she is the one receiving – the one receiving  a mother’s love, a mother’s nurturing, a mother’s praise, and a mother’s encouragement.

Victoria will age out in April 2017, ending her chances of being a daughter forever.


For more information about Victoria, please visit our website at, or email  The family that commits to adopting Victoria is eligible to receive $2,000 in grants through Madison Adoption Associates.

Mucosa of what?

Nov 1,ECG: nodal tachycardia Oct 26,chest X-ray: lung marking of both lung was obvious Sep 14, gastroscope: 1.upper gastrointestinal bleeding,2.mucosa of the end of stomach eminence, varicose veins of the end of stomach3.HP negative Sep 12 ,upper gastrointestinal barium meal:no obvious varicose vein was found for the stomach and esophagus, Sep 9,UCG: hepatomegaly,damage of liver.Spleen and kidney was obvious engorged  lymph node was found in abdomen cavity, abdominal dropsy(-) Sep 9,chest x-ray:lung marks was a bit obvious.

Have I lost you yet?  I’m definitely lost.  Lost in trying to figure out how this jumbling of medical terminology describes Linus.  I mean, what on earth is ˜mucosa of the end of stomach eminence’?  Of course I can ask a doctor.  I can delve into his medical history (and I will if considering his adoption) to gain a better understanding of his physical well-being.  But that would be a disservice to him if I stopped there, as it would only be telling me such a minuscule part of what makes Linus Linus.  Linus is so much more than this cacophony of medical terms.  He is so much more than MALE, DOB 8/10/2004, HEPATOMEGALY.

Let me tell you a little bit about Linus.  Linus is a lover of the arts.  He is a performer, an actor, and an artist.  Check him out on stage, putting on a show (he’s on the left)!  Linus Linus enjoys performing, and is eager to explore different avenues of artistic expression.

Linus also loves to draw, and is quite good at it!  What is this drawing of Linus?  Is this a picture of a distant memory you have of your childhood before you lost all that was familiar?  Or, is this a current dream of yours? Linus 3 A home to call your own and a sister to pick flowers with as the happy sun shines down on you both?  Either way, I see happiness, I see optimism, I see Linus’ heart, in this drawing.  I see so much more than MALE, DOB 8/10/2004, HEPATOMEGALY.

Linus is an artist.  He is an actor.  He is talented.  He is a good listener.  He is so much more than MALE, DOB 8/10/2004, HEPATOMEGALY.  So, of course, ask your doctor what hepatomegaly is.  But, more importantly, ask yourself why not.  Why not bring this budding artist into your family and allow him to flourish in the home of his dreams?Linus 2

Linus is available for adoption through Madison Adoption Associates.  There is a $5,000 Bright Futures Grant available for the family who adopts Linus.  Please email Sarah at, or visit our website at, for more information about Linus.


Austin edited 4He turned 5 this past summer.  How did I miss it?  Of course, he was doted on, it was celebrated, there was a party with friends, and gifts, and cake, but yet, I still missed it.  I was there.  I was fully present for my son.  What I am referring to is how I missed the significance of this milestone¦.of this particular age.  You see, as an adoption social worker, it is well known that children 5 and older are significantly less likely to be adopted than their younger counterparts.  Especially boys.  While I have often internally compared my babies to the babies from China that I work hard to find families for, they were still just that¦..babies.  But the fact is, babies find homes.  Babies get families.  Babies are chosen and wanted. 

Kids, not as much. Austin edited 3

So, here I sit, once again, thinking of my Murphy, as if he were one of those waiting in a Chinese orphanage.  I used to picture him in a crib.  But, now that I realize the significance of his age, he would have been better off in a crib.  In a crib, he would have had a better chance of being chosen.  Now, now that he is over 5, with a ˜defective’ heart that may need prolonged medical treatment, he would wait.  Possibly forever.  With no family to step forward for him.

I think of Murphy.  I think of Murphy, and I find solace in knowing that he is not living in those shoes.  But that doesn’t erase the thoughts.  The thoughts of a 5-year-old boy, with a ˜bad’ heart, living in an orphanage, waiting.  Makes me immediately think of Austin.  Austin.  Has a heart condition.  Murphy.  Has a heart condition.  Austin.  Has a ready smile.  Murphy.  Has a ready smile.  Austin.  Extroverted.  Murphy.  Extroverted.  Austin.  Loves cartoons.  Murphy.  Loves cartoons.  2 boys.  2 boys with so many similarities.  2 boys born into completely different circumstances.  But 2 boys nonetheless.

Austin edited 1Austin is my Murphy in another body.  He is not a diagnosis.  He is not an age.  Austin is an amazing, joyful, hyper, sweet, snotty, sassy, shy, loving, naughty, obedient, sometimes disobedient, feisty, sensitive, active, creative, little boy, whose odds of being ˜chosen’ went down immensely when he turned 5 this past February.  Don’t let him be a statistic.  Give him the family he so deserves. 

Austin is eligible for a $5,000 Bright Futures Grant through Madison Adoption Associates.  Please contact Sarah at for more information, or visit us on our website at

What would you do for your best friend?

Meet Wayne.  Wayne is 12 years old and is deaf.  He has been living in an orphanage for 10 years.  He has been deaf since birth (at least we think¦.as he was found deaf at the age of one and a half).  Meet Charlie, Pete, Tom, and David Wayne’s best friends who have also been in the orphanage for the past 10 years, give or take.  These five are joined at the hip.  They have been through it all together loss, grief, the unknown, the familiar you name it, they’ve lived it with each other.

When the boys were old enough to realize that Wayne couldn’t hear, they all desired to be able to communicate with him.  Here is where this story goes from ordinary, to extraordinary and inspiring.  While Wayne was learning sign language, the other four boys took it upon themselves to learn as well, so as to ensure that Wayne never felt left out.  They studied, they watched, and they practiced.  This wasn’t required of them, or asked of them.  They are children.  They are boys.  They are orphans.  But in this situation, they did not, and do not, see themselves as anything other than Wayne’s best friends.  They love Wayne, they noticed what Wayne needed, and they provided.  These boys, who have their own special needs, who have their own desires for a family, who have their own trauma and loss, saw their friend in need, and acted, no questions asked.

Each one of these boys taught themselves sign language for their best friend.  These boys, who have so little, only witnessed their friend, who had even less than them, and they stepped up.  What have you done for your best friend?

All five of these boys are available for adoption though Madison Adoption Associates.  They range in age from 10-13, with varying special needs¦all at risk of aging out.  Our Associate Director recently met up with these young men, and could only describe them as amazing, unbelievable, inspiring, soft-spoken, and absolutely perfect.  Let’s show these boys that humanity is as good and pure as they are, and bring them home to the families that they so deserve.  We could all learn a lesson of selflessness from Wayne, Pete, Charlie, Tom, and David. 

Edited - Shanghai boys

Pete, Tom, and Wayne all have a Bright Futures grant of $5,000 towards their adoption.

Due to David and Charlie’s ages, all agency fees are waived for their families.

Please contact Sarah at for more information, or visit us at our website at

Special Focus: What We Didnt Know


We had her picture on the counter of our kitchen for two weeks and we were quiet about her.  The information of a little girl that Madison Adoption Associates was hoping to place in a family sat before us.  Adoption was not new to us, in fact it is where we started as we built our family. We had two children, wild and hilarious boys, running around the house. Both were healthy.  What did we know about adopting a child listed as “special focus”?

What did we know about special needs?

We knew we were overwhelmed. We knew we had a lot of learning to do. We knew we had to talk to doctors, and specialists, and seasoned parents. We knew we had to have faith in the Lord and trust in one another as well.

I remember one evening after we had said the YES to her I cried and cried to a friend about the “what if’s” and when the crying was over I straightened my shoulders and resolved that whatever we didn’t know would be ok.

Sure, there have been a few medical procedures we had not planned. Yes, there has been more intensive speech therapy than we knew to expect.  It is true that she is sensitive in ways that the boys are not, some due to trauma of abandonment, and in other ways just because of her spirit.  I don’t want to lie to you.  Adopting a child labeled as “special focus” has had surprises and we have at times walked a road that led to exhaustion and tears together.

But, if your asking. If your asking me what is it like to adopt a “special focus” child then this is what my answer would be.

Last evening as the sun was setting on our farm my husband roared his 1947 Massey Ferguson tractor and the baby of our family, just 18 months old, went wild with excitement. He could hear it from inside and he wanted a ride. It was freezing outside. I bundled him from head to toe in warmth until he could sweat even in a freeze. As I put on my coat I noticed that she was there bundling up too. We walked out together and she took his little glove covered hand and bent low. With one hand around his back so that he could not fall and the other in his she walked him across the acre to their Daddy. She walked so careful, so tenderly, with such purpose. She walked that baby in safety and when they reached the tractor she turned to me and waved. And, from the porch where I had watched intently I melted into a muddle of tears.

You see, there were many things we did not know when adopting a special focus child. And one of those things was that we were saying that YES to one of the most compassionate souls we have ever met. We didnt know we were saying YES to a little girl who would bundle up, stoop low, and walk her baby brother across a frozen field just because she wanted to love.

Special focus children hold the hearts of Madison Employees in their hands. They are special focus because they tend to be more difficult to place due to their age, special needs, and medical needs.  Madison offers grants to help place “special focus” children into loving families.  I dont know what your questions are about special focus children, but I want you to know one thing for sure.

There is more to that child than the special needs glaring at you from the page, and there is more to you than the uncertainty you may feel in your heart about adopting a child with special needs.  Bring their huge capacity for love together with yours and even a frozen field in February can be warmed.


The Power of Choice

amandablogThe Power of Choice 

by Amanda Felizardo


Your entire life since infancy you are taught to make good choices. After all the choices we make often define our character and who we are and will become as adults. There is power in choices and we seek out friendships, fam


ily, and God to assist us in making the best choices for ourselves and those around us.


As adults you can choose where to live, what c


ar to drive, what job to pursue, who to love, and who not to love. Your choices are endless and so is the power in them. While we live in a culture where we have the freedom to make life’s choices when does that power go too far? Say in Adoption?


Many countries though not all, all

ow for families to choose the sex of their child. This gives families a choice they would never have when conceiving; the choice to have a son or daughter. But did we ever consider the choice these children did not have? The choice to not lose their parents and then to have to be defined by their sex?

Statistics show that 80% of adoptive parents w


ould like to adopt a girl. But did you know that 80% of waiting children are boys? Not to say adopting a daughter is not a wonderful thing but  consider that a child is passed over simply by being the “wrong” sex?

God promised us in John 14:18 NLT œNo, I will no


t abandon you as orphans I will come to you. It was a promise to all mankind who would trust in the Lord. It was promises that although our savior was ascending back into heaven that we would not be left without a father. This statement was not limited to our gender, age, intelligence, wealth, or good deeds. It was to all God’s children- That our father would come back for us.

God showed us the ultimate choice His ultimate sacr


ifice. It was a choice to love all despite sin. Should 2016 be the year that we too learned that all children are precious despite their age, gender, and special needs? Should this be the year that we see children as God see’s us not as a boy or girl but a child of God?

Would you consider praying with me that our hearts would be filled with love and that our horizons would be expanded beyond that of gender and  to the heart of a child crying out for a family of their own?





Advocacy: Keith

4 year old Keith is newly listed with Madison Adoption Associates. Keith is diagnosed as having cataracts and developmental delays. Keith does have excellent hearing and is able to recognize the different steps and voices of his caretakers. If he hears his special caretaker’s steps or voice, he pats on the bedrails or will laugh. He can entertain himself and enjoys playing with musical stuffed animals and music boxes. Keith is a good listener and he can recognize his own name. His favorite thing to do is play outside with his caretaker and the other children. Keith is described as active and shy. Please help us find precious Keith a loving forever family of his own! MAA has asked for an update for Keith because his file was so outdated. The update will be posted as soon as it arrives.

There is a $2,000 agency grant for Keith’s adoption with Madison Adoption Associates! Other grants may be available based on the adoptive family’s circumstances. Agency grants are awarded as agency fee reductions. MAA also partners with the Brittany’s Hope Foundation for matching grants, which are given out twice a year and to families that already have their letter of approval from China.

If you are interested in reviewing Keith’s file or in adopting Keith, please fill out a free PAP Waiting Child Review Form, which can be found here:¦/¦

Madison Adoption Associates's photo.

Proud of one of our MAA families!

Making a genuine difference in the lives of children is our first love. Working with amazing families that love children and work diligently to give them a hope and future is our second.

This story is from a family we are so happy to have worked with. Its INSPRIING. HAVE TISSUE READY. BE PREPARED TO HAVE YOUR PASSION LIT UP FOR THE WORLDS ORPHANS. THIS IS A BEAUTIFUL STORY.The Oasis Blog