How to Choose an Adoption Agency in Missouri
One of the most important early choices you’ll make when considering adoption is deciding which adoption professional to use. Your adoption agency and the professionals that staff it will have a profound effect on your happiness with the adoption process.
Learning how to choose an adoption agency in Missouri is an important part of every adoption journey. You’ll need solid information to make the right decision. Knowing what questions to ask an adoption agency in Missouri can set you up to make the best choice in the context of your needs.
For almost 30 years, American Adoptions has been providing the services and support prospective adoptive parents like you need and deserve. To speak with one of our adoption specialists about what questions to ask an adoption agency in MO, simply call 1-800-ADOPTION or fill out our free online form when you’re ready.
You can also continue reading below to learn the five steps for finding the right adoption agency and a few helpful questions to ask adoption agencies in MO that can guide your choice.
How to Choose an Adoption Agency in MO [5 Steps]
Before you can know how to find an adoption agency in Missouri, you need to understand the steps behind this critical decision. Every situation is unique, but most families seeking to adopt undergo these 5 steps when choosing their adoption agency.
Step 1: Select the Right Kind of Adoption for You
Finding out how to choose an adoption agency in MO starts with choosing the type of adoption you want to pursue. That’s because each adoption type has specialized agencies.
For example, families hoping to adopt an infant domestically should work with a local or national private domestic adoption agency. But, there are certain pros and cons for both local and national agencies to bear in mind. On the other hand, if you’re trying for an international adoption, you’ll need a Hague-accredited international adoption agency.
Step 2: Look Into Agencies Handling the Type of Adoption You Want
Once you know the type of adoption you want, the next step in how to find an adoption agency in MO is researching those agencies to trim down your list. It’s a good idea to begin by looking through information online. That should include agency websites and online reviews posted by people who have experience working with the agencies.
Step 3: Reach Out to Prospective Agencies and Ask Plenty of Questions
It’s not hard to find information online about most agencies. But you’ll really want to speak with a professional personally to get a true feel for what you can expect from an adoption agency.
After selecting your top agencies, make sure that you prepare questions to ask adoption agency staff. Then, contact the agencies you’re considering and ask as many questions as you need to get an idea of whether that agency is a good fit for your situation.
Step 4: Choose the Best Adoption Agency
Only you know what you expect from an adoption agency, so the choice is yours to make. Once you’ve done your research and asked all the right questions to ask adoption agencies in MO, you can feel comfortable making a decision and picking an adoption agency that meets your specific needs and preferences.
Step 5: Begin Your Adoption Journey
After learning how to find an adoption agency in Missouri, you’ll be ready to start the adoption process itself. The first step is often the most exciting one because it means your journey to having the family you’ve dreamed of is underway. With the help of the adoption agency you’ve chosen, you’ll have the guidance and support you need to navigate the process.
Top 7 Questions to Ask Adoption Agencies in Missouri
You now understand the process, but you may be asking, “How do I know what questions to ask adoption agencies in Missouri?” While you’re sure to have questions unique to your own situation, below, you’ll find a few that can highlight specific qualities and services offered by the agencies you’re considering.
First, you should keep in mind when preparing these questions to ask adoption agencies in MO that you’re using the answers to search for qualities like:
- Professionalism: You deserve the support of a fully licensed adoption agency staffed with certified experts who hold degrees in social work or counseling.
- Transparency: You deserve an adoption agency that’s honest and transparent about things like the cost of adoption and what that cost covers. Accept nothing less than full candor.
- Clarity: It’s not unusual for some adoption professionals to offer abbreviated wait time estimates without verification or documentation. Only trust agencies that carefully track numbers and provide clear accurate answers.
Continue below to find some common questions to ask adoption agency professionals in Missouri when looking for an agency that matches your circumstances.
1. What’s the usual wait time for an adoption opportunity?
Like some other questions to ask adoption agencies in MO, the answer will be different depending on the kind of agency you’re adopting from. Remember, large national adoption agencies like American Adoptions generally feature shorter wait times than local agencies because they work with more expectant birth mothers from across the U.S.
2. What kind of adoption disruption protections do you offer?
Adoption disruptions can create emotional and financial challenges for hopeful families. The best agencies protect families from the financial fallout of disruption. American Adoptions works to prevent disruptions through birth mother counseling while also offering a risk‐sharing program that provides a refund if an adoption disruption occurs.
3. How do you help prospective adoptive parents find an adoption opportunity?
Adoption opportunities may come from a personal connection or robust advertising and matching services. It’s important to learn how agencies match parties in adoption. Large national adoption agencies like American Adoptions have significant advertising budgets so they can find possible matches nationwide instead of only in the local area.
4. What’s the average cost of an adoption through your agency?
Posing these questions to ask adoption agency professionals is a great way to learn whether an adoption agency is committed to being honest and transparent about its costs. Not all agencies embrace candor, though. Please be suspicious of agencies that charge recurring or hidden fees that transcend your initial cost estimate markedly.
5. Will the cost of my adoption go up if I don’t find an adoption opportunity quickly?
It’s not uncommon for unscrupulous adoption professionals to quote low estimates to bring in hopeful families only to upcharge critical services later. Other agencies base estimates on “best-case-scenario” pricing without accounting for adoption disruptions or other complications. Please research and compare the services offered in the context of cost.
6. How does your agency maintain licensure?
Fully licensed agencies offer the peace of knowing your adoption will meet the legal and ethical standards in MO and beyond. Working with a national adoption agency like American Adoptions brings the extra benefit of licensure in many states. That means they’re reviewed by multiple states annually and meet the highest threshold of quality.
7. Does your agency have additional standards beyond the state requirements for adoptive families?
It’s important to know whether the agency has its own requirements that go beyond the state’s criteria. For example, some adoption agencies have age and marriage requirements for adoptive families other than those found in Missouri law.
How to Find an Adoption Agency in MO [Why American Adoptions is the Agency for You]
At American Adoptions, we strive every day to be the best in the field. You can always depend on our compassionate, experienced professionals to serve birth mothers, adoptive families, and adoptees with kindness and compassion and to provide ethical, professional service.
What makes American Adoptions so special? Here are a few of the benefits that American Adoptions offers:
- Honest, accurate wait time estimates: At American Adoptions, we pride ourselves on providing prospective adoptive parents with the shortest possible wait times. We work hard to balance the number of completed adoptions with the number of families we accept at one time.
- Reduced wait times: American Adoptions works with expectant birth mothers and hopeful adoptive families nationwide. We also aggressively promote our agency and the hopeful adoptive families we serve through a variety of advertising means. The result is shorter wait times for adoption opportunities, as most families get an opportunity within 9 to 12 months.
- Fair, transparent cost estimates: With American Adoptions, you never have to wonder whether you’ll get stuck with escalating costs and additional fees if you don’t find an adoption match quickly. Our cost estimates are as accurate as possible, and we don’t levy unpredictable additional fees during the adoption process.
- Full licensure: Our staff is fully licensed to complete adoptions and adoption home studies in Missouri. We are reviewed each year to assess our compliance with adoption agency standards. As a national agency, we’re held to an even higher standard than local agencies because we are reviewed annually in all 50 states.
Final Considerations on How to Find an Adoption Agency in Missouri
Learning how to choose an adoption agency in Missouri is easier if you know what questions to ask adoption agency professionals. You can also lean on your gut feeling when speaking with agency staff. If you’re comfortable with an agency and the answers they provide are satisfactory, you can move forward in confidence toward your adoption goals.
If you still have questions, we’d love to help you get answers. If you’re interested in speaking with a professional about choosing the best adoption agency for your situation, please call 1-800-ADOPTION or complete our free online form. We’d be happy to help whenever you’re ready to begin.
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