Whether you’re an adoptive parent or a woman considering adoption, your choice in adoption agency will significantly impact your experience. But reputable adoption agencies can be hard to find. Not only that, but you may be wondering what separates a good adoption agency from a great one.
Below, we’ve written a guide to everything you need to know if you’re looking for the best adoption agencies, along with some of the things you should be looking for in an adoption professional. To get started, let’s talk about the five things that the top adoption agencies have in common.
1. 24/7 Support and Guidance
Adoption can be an emotional and challenging experience for prospective birth mothers and hopeful adoptive parents. Even if you think you have everything figured out, there will be moments when you need to speak to a social worker as soon as possible — regardless of what time of day it is. Some questions, especially for prospective birth mothers, can be extremely time-sensitive.
The best adoption agencies understand that help should be available 24/7. If you’re calling an adoption agency to receive more information, and the only voice that you hear comes from an answering machine, that is a red flag. It means the adoption agency may not be available later on when you need them the most, and they could end up being a frustrating adoption agency to work with once your adoption really starts to progress. All in all, you should feel supported every step of the way, no matter when you contact an agency.
2. Nationwide Advertising
With some adoption professionals, advertising services may be limited to a particular region or state. This generally leads to a lower number of adoption opportunities and a longer wait time for hopeful parents. It also gives prospective birth mothers fewer families to pick from, which means it may be harder to find the perfect fit for your adoption plan.
The best adoption agencies, however, advertise their adoptive parents across the country to help increase the chances of finding an adoption opportunity in a shorter amount of time. A sign of a great adoption agency is one that invests heavily in their advertising services.
3. Financial Protection for Adoptive Families
Sometimes, an adoption opportunity might not work out the way that you hoped. Adoption disruptions can happen for a variety of reasons — and many of them will be out of your control. Although your worst fears might not come true, you’ll still want to make sure that your financial investment is protected. The top adoption agencies will have a risk‐sharing program in place for their adoptive families.
Make sure that, in the event of a disruption, any financial investment that you made will be refunded directly to you. Some adoption agencies have a “rollover” policy that automatically applies those lost adoption funds to your next adoption opportunity, but the top-rated adoption agencies will return your fees to you, so you can decide when and whether you want to move forward again. No matter what your next steps are, you should be able to move forward on your own terms.
4. Financial Transparency
The cost of an adoption is typically one of the biggest concerns for adoptive families. But, any adoption agency you choose should be able to provide an accurate estimate of what you’ll be paying. A great adoption agency will always be transparent and honest, and will give you the up‐front cost of their services before you make any decisions.
If you find an agency that advertises low‐cost or free adoptions, you should probably steer clear. You should also keep an eye out for surprise fees that pop up the longer your adoption goes on. Remember to do plenty of your own research about costs and what you should expect to pay, which can depend on the type of adoption agency you choose.
By far, the best type of professional that you could work with is a full‐service adoption agency. This means that everything you need for your adoption can be found with just one organization. With other adoption professionals, such as adoption consultants, adoption law firms and facilitators, you’ll only receive help with just a few or even one of the necessary adoption services. A full‐service adoption agency will be dedicated to helping both prospective birth parents and adoptive families every step of the way.
9 of the Best Adoption Agencies to Consider
If you’re having trouble finding the best adoption agencies to meet your needs, here are some places to start your research. To make it even easier, we’ve broken up this list by agency type, starting with the best domestic adoption agencies. These agencies are typically considered the best at what they do in the United States, but if you have any questions about their services, don’t be afraid to reach out.
Best Private Domestic Adoption Agencies:
- American Adoptions – American Adoptions is a full‐service, fully‐licensed domestic infant adoption agency. They work with adoptive families and prospective birth parents across the United States. They have many notable services, which include their risk‐sharing program for adoptive families, short wait times, emphasis on 24/7 birth parent support, and so much more. To learn more about them, please call 1-800-ADOPTION at any time.
- Gladney Center for Adoption – With Gladney Center for Adoption, hopeful families have the choice of domestic infant adoption, international adoption, and foster care. This means plenty of options to find the program that’s right for you. Prospective birth parents can also reach out to an adoption specialist at any time to learn more about their options. To get started, contact 817-922-6000.
- Alliance for Children – Alliance for Children can help hopeful parents and pregnant women considering adoption across the United States, from finding matching opportunities to providing birth parent counseling. To speak with an adoption specialist today, please call 817-335-7172.
Best International Adoption Agencies:
- Spence‐Chapin – If you’re looking for an agency that can guide you through every step of the international adoption process, this is a great option. They have programs for hopeful parents in several countries, so you can adopt from the country that’s right for you. They also offer post‐adoption support to help answer any questions after your adoption is over. They can be reached any time at 212-369-0300.
- Holt International Adoptions – Holt International is a Christian organization dedicated to building families in over twelve countries. They also offer international home study and post‐placement services, so hopeful families won’t need to work with another professional for this necessary step. Hopeful families can find out more at 816-822-2169.
- Children of All Nations – Children of all Nations currently has several programs open for hopeful adoptive parents. They also offer services outside of adoption, such as their home study only and re‐adoption program. To get started today, take a look at their photolisting. You can also give them a call at 512-323-9595.
Best Foster Care Agencies:
- KidsPeace Foster Care – At KidsPeace, families have the option of traditional foster care, therapeutic foster care, respite care, or kinship foster care. Because they are also able to provide 24/7 ongoing support and guidance for their families, they are a great option. You can learn more about how to become a foster parent on their website.
- Bethany Christian Services – Bethany Christian Services helps create families in the United States and around the globe. They also have plenty of services to support families who are interested in providing a permanent or a temporary home for a child in need. To learn more about how to become a foster parent with their agency, please contact them at any time on their website or by calling 800-238-4269.
- Nightlight Christian Adoptions – This organization also offers foster care services in several states. They also offer foster or adoption training for families who are ready to become a foster parent. To learn more about their foster care programs, you can call 502-423-5780 or click here to get started.
To find the best foster care agencies and more local resources in your state, check out AdoptUSKids.org
Find the Best Adoption Agency Today
While there are many other qualities that make an adoption agency great, these are just a few top-rated adoption agencies among birth parents and adoptive families. Finding good adoption agencies can be a challenge, but it is well worth the effort to keep looking for the right one. If you have any questions about the adoption agencies on this list, don’t hesitate to reach out to the adoption professional for more information.