Welcome all from ICLW! I am so glad that I've decided to participate this month. I'm connecting with new bloggers, which is great as I try to expand my blog reader to find other prospective adoptive families. I thought that, rather than do a big rehash of where we've been in our journey, I'd talk a little bit about where we are now.
M and I are currently looking into options for adoption. After a lot of investigation, I believe that we have settled on open domestic adoption. It excites me that we'll get to have a baby. We are so fortunate to live in Chicago as there are many resources available. We've had informational meetings with 4 local agencies. Additionally, I have a personal connection to an adoptive family for three of the agencies.
So, let me tell you about the last informational session we went to last week. It was the biggest sales pitch and worst customer service from an adoption agency that I have seen yet. I have only just dipped my toe into the adoption pool, but I find that I have very strong feelings about what I think is ethical. This agency pushed that envelope - big time. I believe that as a prospective adoptive mom, I need to be well informed and educated. So, like a good girl, I consulted my favorite ALI website and printed a list of the 20 questions to ask when interviewing an adoption agency. We scheduled a 30 minute informational session during this agencies open house. I sat down, and after a few minutes of small talk, we started going through my questions. The social worker was vague. Vague to the point that M was angrier than I've ever seen him. As the conversation continued, the social worker continued to evade questions, and was trying to rush us along. She kept saying that most of these questions would be answered at the informational sessions which are more in depth. She did go on about how successful they were in placing children, but then went on to take credit for the directed placements they helped to facilitate - other agencies excluded those as they didn't feel that they were an accurate description of their placements.
So, after she basically pushed us out the door, I asked what the next steps were (knowing that what I was thinking was that I'm never coming near this place again). Apparently, there is a session where I can pay $350 and get ALL my questions answered. And, after that, I should be informed enough to decide if I want to move forward with this agency. I was horrified. M was livid. We both felt that they were preying on us, and, despite the fact that they were a non profit, were only in it for the money. And, I can't actually figure out what they used the money for since the agency didn't even provide birth mother expenses. The other agencies we've explored, including the big giant FOR PROFIT adoption law firm were more than happy to answer as many questions as we wanted, as often as we wanted - FOR FREE.
Needless to say, we won't be using them. We hope to figure out definitively our plan in the next month or so, and sign with an agency later this summer. That will give us time to get some more funds together, and will also allow for me to survive a super busy time at work.