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How Do I Arrange an Adoption Through an Agency?

In all States, you can work with a licensed child placing (adoption) agency. In all but four States, you can also work directly with an adopting couple or their attorney without using an agency.

Private adoption agencies arrange most infant adoptions. To find private adoption agencies in your area, either contact The Clearinghouse or look in the yellow pages of your local phone book under "Adoption Agencies."

There are several types of private adoption agencies. Some are for profit and some are nonprofit. Some work with prospective adoptive parents of a particular religious group, though they work with birth parents of all religions.

When you contact adoption agencies, ask the social workers as many questions as you need to ask so that you understand the agencies' rules. Some questions you will want to ask are below.

Will I get counseling all through my pregnancy, after I sign the papers allowing my child to be adopted, and after my baby is gone?

Can my baby's father and other people who are important to me join me in counseling if they want to?

What kind of financial help can I get? What kind of medical and legal help will I have? Can I get help with medical and legal expenses?

What will I get to know about the people who adopt my baby? May I tell you what I think are important traits for parents to have? How do you know the adoptive parents are good people? May I meet them if I want, or know their names? Will I ever be able to have contact with them or my child? Will I ever know how my child turns out?

What information will you provide to the adoptive parents about me and my family?

The agency social worker will ask you questions to find out some information about you and the baby's father, such as your medical histories, age, race, physical characteristics, whether you have been to see a doctor since you became pregnant, whether you have been pregnant or given birth before, and whether you smoked cigarettes, took any drugs, or drank any alcohol since you became pregnant. The social worker asks these questions so that the baby can be placed with parents who will be fully able to care for and love the baby, not so that she can turn you down.

Resource: National Adoption Information Clearinghouse.

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