If you are using a private adoption agency, check out the section on choosing a domestic adoption agency as well.
- Do not e-mail this list to agencies you are considering. It is the conversation where you will pick up on the personality and philosophy of the agency.
- These interviews take time, and it is only fair that you make an appointment so the agency can have the right person speak with you and that the person will have allocated enough time.
- When you interview an agency, take notes and label them according to the question you are asking.
- When you have finished the interview, take the time right then to analyze if you would enjoy working with this agency. What was their attitude and how helpful were they?
- How long have you been placing children from foster care? (for private adoption agency)
- How many foster children have you placed in adoptive homes in the last year? The year before?
- What is the average age of child that you placed in an adoptive home?
- Generally speaking, are you looking for adoptive homes for children with more involved special needs?
- How much does it cost to adopt a child from foster care? (Home study, adoption education, post adoption support, agency fees, etc.)
- How long does it usually take from application to adoptive placement?
- Must I apply as a foster parent first?
- If my intent is to adopt, not foster, do you make an attempt to place children whose permanency plan will likely be adoption?
- What is your agency policy for how soon phone calls are returned and emails are replied to?
- Are you open to our calling and emailing you with questions?
- How long does it usually take to complete a home study assuming we are prompt with providing the information you request?
- How often are pre-adoption education classes scheduled?
- Do we have options on when to take the pre-adoption education (evenings, weekends, etc.)?
- What type of post adoption support do you provide?
- An itemized list of all costs, fees or expenses and when they are due. Make sure to include estimates for costs that are paid to others outside the agency (e.g. home study, document preparation, etc).
- The latest audited financial statements and the internal financial report for the last year. (You are looking for financial stability since you do not want to choose an agency in precarious financial health.)
- Contracts, liability waivers, confidentiality agreements, or other paperwork that we will need to sign.
- References (name, telephone number and email address) of families that closely resemble ours and were open to similar risk factors.
Evaluation of Feel:
- How thorough and honest were their answers?
- How easy was it to talk with the agency contact?
- Did I feel rushed?
- Did I speak with the person I will primarily be working with?
- How knowledgeable did they seem about adoption?
- Did it seem like they were more interested in my understanding what to expect or were they trying to sell me by glossing over potential problems?
- How clear was information on cost and waiting times? Did I have to dig to get this information?
- How courteous was all the staff I spoke with?
- How promptly was material mailed and phone calls returned?
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