Adoption Adventures

Follow Cory and Rebecca on their quest to adopt!

The Pro-Choicer’s Guide to Choosing an Adoption Agency

on December 12, 2011

Although the term “pro-choice” is sometimes put at odds with adoption in popular media, being pro-choice certainly doesn’t preclude a person from being pro-adoption. On the contrary, it requires that all choices of a woman faced with a pregnancy are given equal support. Pro-choice folks believe that every woman should have access to factual sex education, reliable birth control, quality reproductive (and general) health care, sound assisted reproductive technology options, safe and legal abortion, empowering adoption choices, maternity leave and nursing support from her employer, and excellent child care for her kids. This means that any woman—from the mother of five who chooses to forgo chemotherapy rather than ending her pregnancy, to the mother of one who chooses abortion in order to devote more time and resources to her child, to the 27-year-old who wants her tubes tied because she doesn’t ever want to become pregnant, to the 45-year-old who wants to go through another round of IVF—should have access to the option she believes is best for herself and her family.

The pro-choice mantra, “every child a wanted child,” means that we also believe every child has the right to a safe, permanent, and loving home.

 

Our pro-choice beliefs were definitely in the forefront when we were in the process of choosing to work with an adoption agency for our home study. Since almost all of the agencies we found provide infant adoption services, it was extremely important to us that birth mothers who work with those agencies are given the support and respect they deserve. We ruled out working with any agency affiliated with a Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC) and any whose website uses coercive language or inaccurate medical information targeting pregnant women, or whose services offered to pregnant women seemed geared toward limiting their options rather than enhancing them. We also wanted to work with an agency that didn’t sugarcoat the issues inherent in adoption for either birth parents or potential adoptive parents, or whose web pages for birth mothers painted a different picture of adoption than the pages for adoptive parents. (Such as those that portray birth mothers as means to an end to waiting parents, and as saints to other potential birth moms.) Agencies needed to offer some level of ongoing support—whether by referral or in house—to both members of birth families and adoptive families. We also didn’t want to work with an agency that would rule out potential adoptive parents due to their marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, or ability to get pregnant on their own. You may be seeing why it has taken us so long to get all this rolling, but we’re nothing if not intentional. Oh yeah—the agency also had to actually show they wanted to work with us by being responsive to our questions and meeting with us. (You’d be surprised…)

 

Happily, we found a well-respected agency that fit all of our criteria to do our home study. We had to travel a bit for our meetings in order to work with them, but it was well worth the extra miles to know that we supported an organization that supports our values.


3 Responses to “The Pro-Choicer’s Guide to Choosing an Adoption Agency”

  1. eden hemming says:

    Which one did you go with?

    • Rebecca says:

      Independent Adoption Center
      We had a great experience with them, but would probably advise other folks who know that they want to adopt a child from foster care to work with their county department of social services or another foster-focused agency from the beginning. It has worked out for us (so far!) but when we approached other agencies later, some said they would need to re-do our home study in order for us to work with them. Some agencies are very proprietary about those things.

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