If you are researching “adoption agencies near me” online, it’s important to understand that agencies all over the country are advertising to help...

Adoption Agencies Near Me

Choosing adoption for your child is a life-changing event for three parties: the child, the birth parents, and the adoptive parents. The process of creating an adoption plan is one that will shape the rest of an adoptee’s life, so it’s necessary to be thoughtful about planning your expectations. While you can certainly find free do-it-yourself adoption information online, it’s important to ensure that you have the emotional, legal, and financial support you need. If you’re searching for “adoption agencies near me,” then a local adoption agency is a one-stop shop for birth parents looking for this support. 

An Adoption Agency Near Me Can Find the Perfect Family for My Baby

If you are researching “adoption agencies near me” online, it’s important to understand that agencies all over the country are advertising to help expectant mothers find prospective adoptive families and make adoption plans.

The advantage of working with an adoption agency near you is that the agency likely works with adoptive families in your area. For some expectant mothers, this is really important. Some birth parents and adoptive parents want to have the option for visits in the future. This is easier if the adoptive family is local. Of course, people do move away and out of the area, but having a local family is a nice-to-have. If it’s a deal-breaker for you, find a family who is firmly established in the area with roots and ties that would make it highly unlikely they’d ever move away.

If you have already found a family you would like to have adopt your baby, the local agency can still help by making sure the family has completed a home study (with background checks, fingerprinting, etc.) and that they are educated on adoption, both open and closed, and what it means to raise an adoptee.

Adoption Agencies Near Me Provide Emotional Support

Adoption involves many emotions. In the best of circumstances, adoption can be an emotional rollercoaster. Some expectant parents have the support of either family members, friends, or their baby’s father. It is really common, however, that an expectant mother won’t have support because she’s on her own or because she is keeping the pregnancy to herself. This is where a good local adoption agency can be helpful.

The adoption agency will typically assign an expectant mother to a case worker who can help identify the mother’s emotional needs. A case worker will get to know you and your situation in detail. If you work with a local agency, you may have the opportunity to meet with your case worker in person. This can be reassuring as you make important decisions about your baby’s future. Most importantly, your case worker may also provide counseling to support you both during and after the adoption process as you process the emotions associated with those parts of the process as well. If the case worker doesn’t have specific expertise in counseling, she or he can refer you to someone who does. 

Many expectant parents don’t know what emotions to anticipate in the adoption context. A good local adoption agency can help you prepare for the emotional journey that is typical of most adoptions. Many women feel some level of sadness after their baby is born and placed with the adoptive family, and some are surprised when they don’t feel this sadness until several weeks after delivery. Some women feel a temporary relief immediately after delivery, knowing their baby is going to a good family and will be loved unconditionally. In fact, birth parents may be surprised at feeling this relief and other emotions to the point of it being confusing. Having the support of an agency and its licensed social workers can be really helpful as you navigate these emotions. Your case worker can help you understand and validate what is normal and know what to expect.

Adoption Agencies Near Me Can Facilitate Financial Assistance

Many women search for “adoption agencies near me” and choose adoption for their baby when they are struggling financially. Maybe they want to be financially stable when they raise a family, or they are already raising children and cannot afford to parent another. Some women worry that they will lose the children they are parenting to the foster care system if they try to parent another child. In the context of adoption, financial assistance is available to help expectant mothers during their pregnancy. This assistance is provided by the adoptive parents she chooses. However, adoptive parents should not give money directly to the expectant mother. This is where the agency comes in.

A local adoption agency can help you quickly assess what your financial needs are. This will be based on the totality of your circumstances. Your case worker will consider how much money you are making, if any, and other resources that might be available to you. This can include government assistance through TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), food stamps, and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) programs. Your case worker might be able to find a shelter or other low-rent living situation. If you work with an adoption agency near you, your case worker will be familiar with the area and resources that are available to you.

Once all of these factors and options are explored and established, the agency will look at where you are coming up short in your financial responsibilities and determine whether the law allows adoptive parents to cover those expenses. If they are able to, then the agency will help make sure these expenses are covered. Typically, expenses are paid directly to the provider. For instance, rent is paid to the landlord and phone bills or utilities are paid directly to the carrier or utility company. It is uncommon that an expectant mother would receive cash for her expenses. However, for certain expenses, cash may be the only option.

Adoption Agencies Near Me Educate Adoptive Parents

An adoption agency is required to educate adoptive parents about what it means to adopt a child and to raise an adoptee. Adoption impacts many people: the birth parents and their families, the adoptive parents and theirs, and of course the adoptee. It is the agency’s job to teach adoptive parents the importance of each person’s role and to prepare them for things that might come up in the adoption.

For instance, the agency will educate the adoptive parents on the important role of the biological family in the adoptee’s life. This impact can be as little as obtaining ongoing medical information about the biological family, which helps the adoptive family care for the child. Some biological families want photos, letters, and updates about the child. They might want to know that they can see the child again in the future, and possibly visit. The agency’s job is to educate the adoptive parents on the importance of this contact and the impact it will have on their lives and the adoptee’s life.

The agency will educate adoptive parents on the impact drugs and alcohol have on pregnancy. They will also educate the adoptive parents on what it means to adopt a child of another race. The best agencies will provide ongoing support for these adoptive families as they nurture the child throughout his or her life. The needs of a transracial adoption can change over time, and adoptive parents may need additional support and education as they address those needs. If you are expecting a child of a different race, a local agency is a good place to find the right adoptive family or get support for the adoptive family you have already chosen.

The Agency’s Role in a Closed Adoption

Some expectant mothers want a closed adoption. In a closed adoption, the expectant mother may or may not choose the adoptive parents. She also may or may not have limited, anonymous contact with the adoptive parents. The role of the agency is to make sure that everyone’s private information is protected and to make sure that their comfort zones are respected.

In a closed adoption, the agency’s job may be to choose the adoptive parents. This may or may not be with the expectant mother’s input. If you are thinking about a closed adoption, you should talk with the agency about their waiting families and determine whether they have the type of family you are looking for. For instance, you might have preferences regarding religion or other children in the home. Some women have a preference for a same-sex couple or a couple who has already adopted a child.

One of the most important roles of the agency in a closed adoption is to maintain anonymous contact. Some mothers who want no direct contact may want indirect contact through the agency. In this case, the adoptive parents share photos and letters with the birth parents through the agency. The agency will hold onto these materials until the birth parent contacts them and asks for these. Or, the mother may give the agency her contact information so the adoptive family can reach out to her directly. Typically, these photos and letters arrive on a schedule so the birth mother will know when to expect them and when to ask for them.

Finally, it is the agency’s role to educate adoptive parents on the pros and cons of an open and closed adoption. Closed adoption isn’t right for everyone, just as open adoption may not be ideal for others. Being educated on the value and drawbacks of each, and whether you can open up a closed adoption and see your child in the future, will help all parties make the best decision for themselves, and ultimately the child.

How to Choose an Adoption Agency Near Me

Adoption agencies do similar work, but they aren’t all the same. Some agencies are religiously based and others cater to transracial adoption. Others focus on same-sex couples who want to adopt. Additionally, agencies come in many different sizes. There are agencies with offices all over the country and agencies that are focused on their local communities. Not every agency is the right fit for every birth parent.

For some, it’s important to get to know the agency’s philosophy about family, parenting, and adoption. You might prefer to work with an agency that shares your values. This will also clue you into the types of parents they work with since, in many cases, those parents may share the agency’s values too.

A local agency may be small and cater to the community. For some expectant mothers, this is important. The advantage of a smaller agency is that you might get more one on one support from a case worker. Some women like a smaller agency because they have fewer prospective adoptive families to review and choose from. A smaller agency might have 50 to 100, whereas a larger agency can have several hundred. A local agency might be more likely to know their adoptive parent clients well, and it’s also likely that those parents are local. 

An adoption agency near you might also be a large agency. This works well for many women. They like knowing that there are parents all over the country looking to adopt, and the distance between her and them, and ultimately her baby, may create a level of comfort.

The Agency Adoption Process

Once you’ve found an agency near you and decided they’re a fit, the process of collecting information and matching you with a family begins. First, the agency will ask you to complete some paperwork with background information. This includes why you are choosing adoption, your lifestyle, your health, and the health histories of you and your family members if you know this information.

The agency will then explain the process of signing your relinquishment, when you can sign, and how much time you have to change your mind after signing. It’s also the agency’s job to explain how and when each birth parent’s rights will be terminated, including the father or possible fathers. 

Another important job of the agency is to help you come to an agreement with the adoptive parents about contact and communication after placement, if you want an open adoption. The agency will educate everyone on what is typical in terms of contact and what everyone can reasonably agree to. If you and the adoptive parents are in disagreement about contact moving forward, your agency can help mediate this so you reach a final agreement that everyone feels comfortable with.

Finding a local adoption agency near you can make the adoption process smooth and stress-free. Knowing this can help you focus on the pregnancy and making the choices that are right for you and your baby.

Megan Cohen

Megan Cohen is a California adoption attorney and a birth mother. You can read more about Megan and the adoption work she does at https://helpwithadoption.com/give-baby-up-for-adoption/.