The beginning of the adoption process can be confusing and overwhelming. An experienced adoption attorney will be able to succinctly explain the applicable adoption laws, pre-adoption requirements and recommend a reputable agency. The choice of agency is one of the most important decisions you will make. Don't make that decision by looking through the Yellow Pages. Get advice from an attorney who regularly works with adoption agencies and can recommend them from personal experience.
Select an adoption agency that shares your philosophy and will work for you
An adoption agency is the most common link between prospective adoptive parents and an available baby to adopt. Adoption agencies may have a "pool" of birthmothers, who are referred to the agency by various community resources or in response to the agency's advertising, just as they have a "pool" of prospective adoptive couples.
Adoption agencies have several methods for linking the parties to an adoption. Some agencies make a match based on each party's desires and attributes; other agencies present the birthmother with several different adoptive couples to consider and allow her to make the decision; still other agencies, in closed adoptions, make a match based solely on the adoptive couple's desires.
Make yourselves visible to potential birth parents
In recent years, due to birthmothers' desire to have an active and independent role in choosing adoptive parents, agency "pools" of birthparents are declining. It is now common for adoptive parents to locate a baby through their own efforts and advertising. This is "independent" adoption. Many couples employ an agency, adoption consultant or attorney to help them with an independent adoption.
The roles of these facilitators vary and may include assisting the couple in writing a "Dear Birthmother" letter; writing classified advertisements; making recommendations on newspapers in which to advertise or placing the ads for them; instructing the adoptive couple on answering calls from birthmothers or actually taking the calls; screening birthmother calls and providing follow-up, and facilitating in-person meetings. Each state has its own laws regarding adoption advertising. Most states allow newspaper advertisements with minimal requirements. However, it is necessary to obtain advic
Consider using the Internet as a marketing tool
A very new method of locating a baby to adopt is through the Internet. There are several comprehensive adoption websites on the Internet, all of which have links to "Waiting Couples" pages. The waiting couple's pages are biographies of the couple, written by them and including personal photographs. Information on how to contact the couple (or their agency or attorney), usually a toll-free telephone number, is also included in the web page. It is similar to the "Introduction Books" prepared by adoption agencies to be viewed by birthmothers.
Tell everyone you know that you are searching for a baby to adopt
Spread the word about your adoption hopes to everyone you know. A friend of a friend may know someone who is pregnant and considering adoption and be able to make a connection for you. Email a copy of your Dear Birth Parent letter to friends, relatives and people you know through school, church and community organizations. Tell them to feel free to forward your letter to anyone who might know of a potential birthparent.