If you’re at the stage of your adoption process where you are home study approved, your profile is ready, and you are considering what agency to sign up with, then this is where you’re going to want to pull out that notepad and jot a few things down.
Let me ask you this. When you go to your financial planner to talk about investing your money, what do they tell you? Do they recommend putting every last penny into one company’s stock? Hint: if they do you should get a new financial planner. However, most will tell you to diversify.
They tell you to diversify because it is less risky and it’s going to get you the best return quicker. What I’m saying is that the same thing goes for signing up with an agency (or agencies). You’re never supposed to put all your eggs in one basket.
The multiple agency approach works if you (1) apply to agencies across the country. The agency in your own backyard or city or state might have a waitlist that is hundreds of families long. However, an agency in Florida might be actively looking for hopeful adoptive families to add to their list.
The next part of this approach is key, because you might be wondering…“Signing up with one agency is expensive enough, how am I supposed to afford signing up with multiple agencies?” Well, you (2) apply to agencies with low upfront fees. Many agencies charge between $10-20k upfront, but other agencies charge anywhere from $0-3k to get on their list. So for the same amount of money, you get to sign up with 3-5 agencies and allow your profile to be seen by expectant mothers across the country.
Why are these agencies structured with lower upfront costs? Most people are skeptical about this and wonder why these agencies are able to charge so much less. It’s typically the agencies that do a higher number of placements that are able to do this. These are agencies that have more successful adoptions.
And just because it is $2-5k upfront, does not mean it’s less overall. You need to be counting on $40-50k from the start to finish of your adoption journey (going from no baby to baby at home). In some states, it might be less money overall, but you will probably end up waiting two to three years. You have to decide at a certain point if you want to save $10k or bring your baby home sooner.
You cannot overlook the agency’s state laws either. At RG Adoption Consulting, we present agencies to our clients that (3) have favorable adoption laws. We only work with agencies in states that don’t have any long or any revocation periods at all. Meaning that in certain states, once a birth mother relinquishes her rights to parent, it is non-revocable. I know you don’t want to go home with a baby for 30, 60, or 90 days, and then have the birth mother decide she wants to parent.
Check out the complete video for more information on the multiple agency approach, using an attorney instead of agency, and what this all looks like if you’re adopting in Illinois.