Regardless of the type of professional you are hiring, there are some essential questions to ask before committing to anyone. Most of these questions apply to both the hiring of attorneys, qualified adoption facilitators, social workers and private agencies. The book Adoption, Your Step by Step Guide provides a lot of information for families beginning their adoption journey.
Here is a list of questions from the book that you need to ask an adoption professional as you start your search for a professional who will become your partner in building your family through adoption:
1. How did you first become involved with adoption?
2. How long have you been in the adoption profession?
3. What services do you provide, both for adoptive parents and for birth parents?
4. What services don't you provide?
5. What are your fees?
6. Do you have a formal contract?
7. Depending on the type of service that is offered, are you licensed, bonded, or certified?
8. What is your success rate and in what time frame can the average family expect to wait to adopt?
The best tools you will use while conducting your adoption research are the notes and files you will keep during your search. Keep hard copies or electronic files. Your files should include all the information, literature and notes you have obtained on the professional you are considering. Keep a list of dates and the people you speak to.
I recommend you also write down how the phone conversation went, did they answer the phone with a live person or did you have to leave a message during regular hours? Was their website informative and helpful? What type of track record do they have in international adoption, domestic adoption or in FosAdopt success?
Working with an adoption professional in another state is very common and easy with the use of the Internet. Don't feel rushed and be sure to do your homework. With planning, patience and the determination to follow through on your information, you should feel confident in the adoption professional you finally decide on. You will save time, money and frustration when you plan and use the questions above. Print this out and keep it with you while speaking to anyone you're considering to use. It will become invaluable to you and your success.
Be wise, take notes and ask questions. You too can adopt successfully!