Agency question--need your advice (kinda long)

We've ramped up adoption research since the summer, and DH is wrapping his brain around the idea. We've attended some seminars and he's started to get into the process. At this point I'm letting him drive the timeline for the most part, but he figures once his job settles down in January we can take the full plunge. We know we want to do domestic infant adoption through an agency. As a funny aside, DH is now walking through the house on a weekly basis trying to figure out what we need to do for a homestudy!

Anyway, we live in the middle of nowhere and we basically have 3 agencies we're looking at.

Agency 1 has an office on our main street. It's a church-based organization that we've contacted, but they have a habit of being very unresponsive. We heard a rumor their wait times are 3+ years and they will only let you adopt a child born in your home county (???).

Agency 2 is in our general area, but likely a hike from our home. I've heard rave reviews from one person, but I'm very hesitant. They haven't been around for very long and seem to say "we can do this and that for you" but don't get into details.

Agency 3 is about an hour from our home. It's been around over 20 years, and we've attended 2 seminars that went really well. They seem very knowledgeable, are extremely transparent, and we feel really comfortable with them.

Would it be a horrible idea to just go with Agency 3 when we're ready (likely Jan/Feb 09), or should we really sit down with all 3 agencies to make a final decision?

I know it's a personal decision, but we all know it's a big one, and I just wanted some experiences on how much research and face-to-face conversations you had before you chose who you chose.

Re: Agency question--need your advice (kinda long)

  • hey! - I personally would go with #3.  Plus an hour drive is NOTHING when you live in the middle of nowhere.

    I don't like #1, kinda weird.

    But, if it was me, I would just go with your gut (#3) and not worry about sitting down with the others - but that is just me, I am a big believer with going with your gut.


  • Hi, I would cross #1 off the list, not being responsive now is a fairly bad sign of things to come.  If you are really undecided, #3 sounds pretty good, but maybe research or sit down with #2 to be sure?  Perhaps that have a new way of doing things or a different approach that would make everything they promise possible?
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  • Reading that my gut says # 3 all the way. I think once you want to plunge in waiting on one that is not responsive would be really frustrating.
  • NUMBER 3.............ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!!!! They sound the most experienced and driving the hour will not be that big of a deal for your peace of mind knowing that you are in good hands..........we have to drive a little over an hour to our main office and it actually is a nice way to talk to your hubby without any other distractions.  GOOD LUCK and let your gut do the picking.............
  • The agency we are using has a tiny office near us that is really only for birthmoms, not adoptive parents. Their real office is 2.5 hours from us, and we haven't been there, and I don't think that we have an reason to go there.  They do have a SW in our area so she could easily meet with us, which made things simpler, she is the only one we've had face-to-face contact with.  We did have to drive 3 hours for our training class, but that was the only real disadvantage.  But we even looked at agencies based out of state to see if they were licensed here because we also live in a pretty remote area.

    My vote is go with which ever agency you feel most comfortable with, regardless of distance.  You will probably have more interactions on the phone or by email so you won't be traveling too them very often. 

  • I say #3 sounds right to me, but as pp said you could always research abour 2&3 before makign your decision.

    #1 sounds too wierd.....we went with the only private adoption agency int he city when we adopted my nephew out and our experience as birth family was awful, and we now kno more then we want to about how terrible they were with adoptive parents as well. We had little time & choice in the matter, luckily we have a happy outcome with a wonderful family & an open adoption. But for sure explore your options & go with your gut instinct.

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  • Thanks ladies. The funny thing is, #2 is the one I feel most weird about. Everything seems really sketchy, and the one glowing review made me suspicious that the reviewer actually works for them.

     Thanks again for all your input.

  • I might be echoing everything you've already heard etc, but just wanted to give you my input as well.  My DH and I had 2 agencies that we were deliberating between.  For us the choice was the one that was the most well established and the quickest to respond with really thorough information.  We decided that if we're going to be paying the amount of money and investing our emotions and allowing ourselves to be so critiqued and evaluated, we needed to be comfortable that we could call at any time with questions and get quick responses.  We needed to feel that they were on our side and working with us and not that we were some random file.  Also, we needed to work with someone that gave not only the option that we wanted (IA) but someone who supplied many options and was equally established in all of them so that if we changed our mind or if we wanted to pursue adoption again in the future and do domestic this time, that we wouldn't have to start the search all over again.  Our agency is about an hour from our home as well and we've had to make the trek a few times but every time we do we come home feeling like it was very worth it and feeling like we're in good hands.


  • Sounds like in your heart you already know what to do.  I'd definitely avoid #1 - a three year wait is insane, even domestically for a newborn, and if they're unresponsive, you'd be dealing with that during your entire wait time, and that would make anyone go crazy:)

    Best of luck and let us know what you decide!

    "Our children are not ours because they share our genes... they are ours because we have had the audacity to envision them. That, at the end of the day...or long sleepless night, is how love really works." Adoption Consultant Blog
    Personal Adoption Blog
  • It sounds like you're already leaning towards number 3. In our experience we had it narrowed down to 3 pretty quickly based on our initial phone interviews. We then called/emailed 2 for more in depth interviews based on the packets we requested. We were already leaning toward one when we then got 2 very good recommendations from people that had placements within the last year. It's 2 hours from our place but we've only had to go twice so far and I don't think we'll have to go back anymore at all although I'm not sure.
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