This is the second of several posts about the questions to ask an adoption professional (agency/facilitator/attorney/social worker) to help you on your adoption journey. I’ve also included some comments and reasons why these questions are important based on my research and experience.
When my wife and I decided to adopt, the answers to these questions were a huge help as we chose adoption professionals. Here are the next set of questions you should ask an adoption professional:
What is your reclaim rate (how often birthmothers change their mind)?
This question is generally for the adoption agencies and facilitators since they will be helping you match with an expectant mother. Reclaim rate is important because it is one of the biggest fears for adoptive families – if she changes her mind and decides to parent.
We used a facilitator that has a reclaim rate of 3 to 4% which is one of the best you will find. This means that only 3 to 4 out of every 100 birthmothers they work with have changed their mind.
Some adoption professionals may tell you that 20% or more is “normal”. Don’t believe it. If they are screening expectant mothers well and helping them get counseling, the rate will be much smaller.
What are your fees, and what are they for?
The answer to this question will depend on the adoption professional. For example, an agency or facilitator will have much different fees and rates than an attorney or social worker.
An agency or facilitator will search for expectant mothers and will help with profile creation, so their fees can be higher. An attorney or social worker help with more specific pieces of the process such as home studies, counseling, and legal paperwork so they tend to have smaller fees.
It will help you to write down the name of each professional along with their fees and what they provide so you can refer back to it. Be sure that you understand all of the fees associated with each professional.
What support do you give birthmothers, before and after placement?
Birthmothers are very special. They are making a difficult but incredibly loving decision for their child. They deserve and need support – emotional, medical, financial, etc. They need compassion and personal attention from adoption professionals as well as from the adoptive family. You will find there is a broad range of support, but there are those who go to great lengths to take care of birthmothers.
When we chose Lifetime Adoption to help us find a birthmother, their special non-profit foundation set them apart from other professionals. They provide exceptional support before and after placement. At the start of our process, we had no idea how much you could do for a birthmother – or how much she needed. Now we know what a blessing it is to give them the help they need.
Remember it is very important that you feel comfortable with the adoption professionals you choose.
Check out this site about adoption professional ratings: AdoptionAgencyRatings.com
Check out more questions to ask adoption professionals.
Here’s a great place to start looking for your adoption professional.
What do YOU think? Are there more questions that you’ve found to ask an adoption professional? Enter your comments below or email me.