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What to Consider

As you begin narrowing your list of potential agencies, here are some questions to consider:

What is the average time for placement?

Waiting is one of the most difficult parts of the adoption process as well as one of the most unpredictable aspects. Some families wait only a short time while others spend a more considerable amount of time waiting to bring their child home. Domestic adoptions have a higher potential for a shorter placement time, but this does not always hold true.

No adoption program is without risk. Your agency can serve as a key advocate in helping you determine the reliability of the programs they offer as well as the general wait time for referral and placement.

What is the cost?

The cost of adoption will vary. Some key considerations may include the type of adoption you choose, the state in which you live, and from where you adopt.

Each agency as well as each country and state has its own set of fees. These can vary greatly. Ask your agency for a list of all fees involved, including fees paid to other parties. Discuss with your agency what happens with previously paid fees in the event the adoption does not take place. Also, consider a cost-comparison between agencies in making your decision.

What is the difference in using a licensed versus unlicensed agency?

As part of the adoption process, most agencies require parents to complete a set number of education credits or hours. These credits may include different learning opportunities, such as classes, online workshops or videos, books, or time with adoptive parent mentors. All of these activities help you prepare for the needs of your future child. (For example, education credits can likely be obtained through Show Hope’s Hope for the Journey Conference.)

Licensed Versus Unlicensed Agency

Choosing to work with an unlicensed placing agency generally carries more risk than working with one that has completed the licensure process.

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