Your Guide to Adoption Agencies in Washington
Your Guide to Adoption Agencies in Seattle
Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Job opportunities, vibrant culture and trendy neighborhoods — all tucked into one of the most beautiful corners of the country — are attracting tens of thousands of newcomers each year. While many of these people come to Seattle as young professionals, they stay in Seattle as families. And many of them consider adoption as a way to start their families. If you are thinking about adoption in Seattle, you’ll need to work with a Seattle adoption agency. Most people have a lot of questions about agencies.
- What do adoption agencies in Seattle do?
- What types of agencies are there?
- How can I find the best one?
What Do Adoption Agencies Do?Adoption agencies play a vital role in the adoption process. There are administrative and legal requirements that are difficult to fulfill without the help of an agency, not to mention emotional counseling and other steps within the process. For couples considering adoption, the adoption agencies in Seattle will assist you in creating an adoptive family profile, finding an adoption opportunity, completing the home study for adoption, facilitating communication between yourself and the prospective birth mother, meeting all post-placement requirements and finalizing the adoption. When you’re a prospective birth mother, a good agency will help you create an adoption plan that you are comfortable with. The agency will assist you in finding the right adoptive family for your baby (which you get to choose!) and in creating a birth plan at the hospital. Agencies will also facilitate any legal adoption financial assistance for you throughout the process. Whether you are a hopeful parent or a prospective birth mother, the best way to ensure a successful adoption is by working with an agency.
Types of Adoption Agencies in SeattleThere’s more than one way to adopt. Couples starting or growing their family through adoption will need to decide which type of adoption is right for them before doing anything else. Once this decision is made, you can choose the type of adoption agency that fits. Adoption agencies in Seattle tend to specialize in certain types of adoption, which can be broken down into three categories:
Private Adoption Agencies in SeattleA private adoption agency works with prospective birth mothers and hopeful adoptive parents. If you are a pregnant woman considering adoption, you will need to contact a private agency. If you are a hopeful parent with dreams of adopting an infant, a private adoption agency is the route for you. Private adoption agencies in Seattle come in two forms: local and national. Smaller, local agencies work specifically within the county or the state. They often have smaller staffs, which can mean face-to-face interaction with your social worker (good) and longer average wait times for an adoption opportunity (bad). National adoption agencies have larger staffs, work across the country and some (but not all) offer things like financial protection for adoptive families and 24/7 support for prospective birth mothers. Consider the pros and cons of a national vs. local adoption agency and make the choice that will be best for you.
Seattle Adoption and Foster Care AgenciesAnother option for adoptive parents who want to adopt from within the U.S. is foster care adoption. There are more than 10,000 children in Washington’s foster care system, and more than 2,000 are waiting for adoption. Most waiting children are older — from age 5 to in their teens — which is something families should be prepared for. Foster care adoption can be an amazing way to start or grow your family, and you can do this with the help of a Seattle adoption and foster care agency.
International Adoption Agencies in SeattleFor families open to adopting outside of the U.S., there are international adoption agencies in Seattle that can help. International adoption has become less common to due increased cost, political tensions and other geopolitical factors. However, it’s still something that thousands of U.S. families do each year.
Finding the Best Adoption Agencies in SeattleEach adoption is unique because each person is unique. This means that the adoption agency that is best for you will be a personal choice. You may value some aspects of an agency more highly than others. In general, here are a few things to look for:
- Experience: How many placements does the agency make each year, and how long has it been around? The more experience, the better chance of a successful adoption.
- Average Wait Times: Does the agency find adoption opportunities for most people within a year, or does it sometimes take two, three, four or five years? Typically national adoption agencies are able to offer shorter average wait times.
- Straightforward Honesty: Does it seem like they are hiding something? Trust your gut. If you ask about adoption costs and get a vague answer, there will likely be hidden fees along the way.
- 24/7 Availability: This is especially important for prospective birth mothers. Your needs don’t always come up between 9–5. Find an agency who will answer the phone when you need it most.
- Licensed Professionals: Some adoption professionals are subject to virtually no oversight or objective review, which leaves you vulnerable to unethical practices and shortcuts. Find an adoption agency that is fully licensed and give yourself peace of mind from knowing that things will be done the right way.