Monday, January 17, 2011

Finding an agency

Well, we seem to be narrowing down the decisions. I would say the decision process is not so much about doing tons of research (although I have been spending much time doing that), but about listening to your heart. My heart is telling me to do domestic adoption, so I have started eliminating things related to international adoption.

The next big decision is finding an agency. I guess really I should re-phrase that. Deciding whether to use an agency or a lawyer and go the private adoption route. I went through a bunch of local resources and have this long list of agencies and lawyers that operate in my county. Even just reading what I can online about them, it seems we have 4 possible agencies and 3 possible lawyers. I am in the process now of contacting them to get more information. There is a range of agencies that operate nationwide, so I need to figure out what to do about them. Part of me would prefer to ignore them because the options can grow out of control.

I do have to talk about one agency that we have pretty much decided against, although we will go to their group info session just to be a point of comparison. I won't say their name, but they are large (not sure, but I would guess they are one of the largest) and have a strong Christian focus and wide network. If you've looked into adoption at all, you probably know who I am talking about. They make me uncomfortable for two general reasons. One, I have read some of the "anti-adoption" sites out there and this agency keeps coming up as one that may use coercive tactics to find babies for families. I don't know how I could look a child in the eyes if I had any inkling that he/she was taken from the birthmother out of coercion.

The other reason I am hesitant to go with them is that their Christian mission is so central to what they do. Now, it's not that I am against Christians. Quite the contrary, I am one. And my faith is very important to me and how I want to raise my child. But I don't like the way some Christians act like their version of Christianity is the only right one. For instance, this agency has a sister agency in a neighboring state that only started working with Catholic families a few years ago. As a Catholic (you know, the oldest Christian religion), it makes me mad when people deny that Catholics are true Christians. Plus, there are some aspects of their Statement of Faith that rub me the wrong way. It appears to imply that in order to provide a loving, faith-filled home to a child, I have to believe in creationism or that same sex couples are any less American. All these things put together make me think that our family, in which the parents are Catholic, grandma is a lesbian, and grandpa is Mormon is not the type of family for them. And thus they are not the type of agency for us.

I don't mean to push away other Christians with this post. My faith has been a rock in getting me through my IF journey and I hope it will continue to give me peace as we proceed down the adoption road. But I always think that there is a reason we call God's grace a mystery. I believe Catholic teachings the most, but really we are all muddling through trying to understand the Truth.


  1. Oooh Oooh Oooh *raises hand* I think I know what agency you're talking about. Would the state it's most 'infamous' in have a place nicknamed Happy Valley?
    If so, I definitely get your hesitations with going with them. I've heard bad and good things. The part that kills me is after looking at multiple agencies they are one of few that don't base the fee on the unborn baby's race. AND they max out at a reasonable amount.
    If that's not who you're referring to then.... Let's blame this little rambling on my lack of sleep the past 2 weeks? Hehe.
    Good luck with researching. I hope you find the perfect fit and it all happens as quick as possible!

  2. Wow! So much information in this post- and in the comments(I can't believe that multiple agencies base the fee on the babies race?!!)

    I think you are definitely doing the right thing sticking to your heart on this. It sounds like the one agency would not be a good fit at all, and for good reasons!

  3. Missy--I would have a problem with all the things you talked about as well. I'm sure you'll find just the right agency for you. I'm so so so excited that you are getting into the adoption process, I can't WAIT for you to be a Mommy!

  4. I have done international adoption and it is rough especially in the last 2 years. If I had it to do all over again I would adopt domestically. Here is a web site linked into all the health and human services throughout the USA with photos. There are over 130,000 American children paper ready for adoption. You can do a Fost to Adopt and the State will pay for your child's medical / dental till they are 18 and you get a monthly stipend where you can put it aside for their college tuition.
    International adoption is too uncertain with many grey areas. Domestic adoption may have challenges but at least you can monitor it easier.

  5. Our friends adopted through the agency I think you are talking about, so it is the only one I have briefly looked at. I did see reviews by birth mothers that were very negative about the agency that really made me not want to use them, as well. Your statement about being able to look your child in the eyes spoke so much to me as well. I completely agree.

    btw, don't those kind of reviews and ad.ult ad.optee websites freak you out?!


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