February 26th, 2010
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Sometimes agencies get a bad reputation. Some of them come by it of their own accord and others simply get swept into the same unfortunate category thanks to the unethical practices of their cohorts. The truth is that there are some great agencies out there who do work very hard to provide a good experience for expectant parents and adoptive parents alike.

I wish all agencies would open their eyes and realize how much potential for good they have at their fingertips. They have the ability to provide you with everything you need in one quick stop. Some fall short, however, leaving you under-represented legally or under-counseled emotionally.

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Good agencies do the following things:

Provide you with a wide array of potential families from which to choose. They won’t limit the number from which you can pick and will actively work to continue the search if no one seems to stick out.

    Provide you with your own legal counsel, one that isn’t representing the adoptive family as well. I find that when adoptive agencies actually do this, it is worth its own weight in gold. I don’t know about you, but when I was expecting my daughter, I didn’t know any lawyers, I didn’t know how to get one and I didn’t have the money with which to get one of my own. An agency that provides one for you saves you a lot of time and money during a very complicated time in your life!

    Provide you with unbiased, third party counseling. If the agency actually provides you with counseling from someone who doesn’t work for the agency and doesn’t benefit if you place your child, again they’re doing you a world of good. Understanding the complex emotions of the decision and being presented with a safe place to discuss options and fears is a quality way to make sure you’re getting everything you need.

    Some agencies provide you with information on how to find a doctor that accepts your medical coverage. Some will help you fill out the necessary paperwork to get on Medicaid or receive public assistance. These are vital bits of help if you’ve never had to deal with these things before.

And other things!

Really, the fact that you can find all of that in one place is great. It helps the process seem less overwhelming. The trick is, of course, to find one that provides all of those things and that is honest and upfront with you at all times. They should always remind you that you are not required to place your baby if you work with them through any part of your pregnancy.

The truth is that good agencies do exist and, if you find one, you should feel lucky! Best of luck in your search!

One Response to “The Argument for Agencies”

  1. koreanwarbaby says:

    Thank you for this report, it certainly shows that the adoption professionals have improved so much. Giving the expectant mother full information and help is much better for all involved. Some out in cyberspace have the notion that all adoption is ‘stealing a woman’s baby’ but there are too many stories that prove different.
    Even though I am personally against Abortion, I recognize that a woman does have the right to “Choice” and that includes the right to decide to Keep and raise her child, or to give it up in love. Adoption can be done in a way that honors and respects every member directly and indirectly involved.
    Yes, Good Agencies, birth/natural/1st/bio mothers, adoptive parents, DO exist! There is no ALL in all the plethora of stories in This Thing Of Ours-Adoption. We should/must continue to find the best solution in each case, as there are similarities and differences in many cases. Every human involved should be respected and full disclosure and openness sought, when the proper time comes.
    In Korea, we still have a long way to go with thousands of Secretly done domestic adoptions, government and NGO’s state that 97% of Domestic Adoptees DO not know that they were adopted. Yet within their spirit they have a varying levels of a sense of loss and abandonment, because they lost first their mother, then got ‘used to’ a foster mother, then onto an Adoptive mother. Trauma upon trauma, yet most do not understand these issues that are understood in Western countries.
    Korean Unwed mothers face huge pressure from their own Family, Society, and lack of Government support. It is amazing that now up to 37% are now (2009 figures from Korean Women’s Development Institute) and Korean Unwed Mothers Support Network {http://www.kumsn.org/main/} so it is improving. Until then, Domestic adoption will continue to be done secretly, and InterCountry Adoption will also HAVE to continue because there is no desire for children with Special Needs (only 3% are taken by my mother’s people) or of Mixed-blood, older children, etc.

    These are the Inconvenient Truths that are slowly changing yet have so much more to go. I hope and pray that one day Korea will not need to send away its children, but until the hearts of most people change, that day is still in the future.

    Don Gordon Bell
    Living in Seoul, Korea
    since 1995

    Don Gordon Bell

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