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I was wondering if some members of the Hive would be able to help me out. I am currently looking into adoption. I have read a fair amount of information so I'm not completely ignorant, but I want to take the next step of actually speaking to agencies. However, before I do so, I feel like I need much more information and the sheer amount of books and websites offering information is varied and not always verifiable. Does anyone have books/sites they could recommend? I'm not looking for books on the emotional aspects of adopting, but the functionality, the how-to of it all. To clarify, I am looking at domestic adoption that is open to single/lesbian women. I live in Washington state and have reached out to WACAP but am open to other adoption agencies but that leads to other questions about which ones are reputable, rates of adoption, time, etc. After contacting them, WACAP instantly sent me an email about calling but I feel like I need a better list of questions before I return the call. Some other pertinent information maybe: I'm not currently looking at fost-adopting, but I do want to adopt an infant. Open adoption seems to be a part of many adoptions; I am open to that as well.

Again, I am feeling a little overwhelmed by the process and would appreciate any information. Thanks!

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When I adopted, I also found it very hard to hone in on useful information.  In your case, I would find out what agency is officially responsible for adoption oversight in your state, and ask them to guide you to some official information.  You can also ask several adoption agencies to send you an information packet re adoption in your state.  The packet is likely to have information / checklists regarding the process and the costs.  The agencies may suggest online chat type groups or links where you can get additional information and insight.

 

The type of information you are looking for will vary depending on where you live and the type of adoption you want to pursue.

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WACAP is actually a great place to start.

 

You might want to ask about average total fees/expenses and exactly who gets what (some costs are variable and you can control your outlays), social worker referrals (do they do referrals or do they have SWs in house), how long is the average wait, do they 'discount' non-white Hispanic and Asian children (this may or may not be offensive to you), how much pre-and post-adoption support is offered to bio mothers and adoptive parents, do they deal primarily with open or closed adoptions, how many children do they place each year, whether you can (or should) decline situations with high bio parent expenses, ...

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When I adopted, I also found it very hard to hone in on useful information.  In your case, I would find out what agency is officially responsible for adoption oversight in your state, and ask them to guide you to some official information.  You can also ask several adoption agencies to send you an information packet re adoption in your state.  The packet is likely to have information / checklists regarding the process and the costs.  The agencies may suggest online chat type groups or links where you can get additional information and insight.

 

The type of information you are looking for will vary depending on where you live and the type of adoption you want to pursue.

I do have an informational packet from WACAP but I will look into the oversight adoption agency. Thank you.

 

WACAP is actually a great place to start.

 

You might want to ask about average total fees/expenses and exactly who gets what (done costs are variable and you can control your outlays), social worker referrals (do they do referrals or do they have SWs in house), how long is the average wait, do they 'discount' non-white Hispanic and Asian children (this may or may not be offensive to you), how much pre-and post-adoption support is offered to bio mothers and adoptive parents, do they deal primarily with open or closed adoptions, how many children do they place each year, whether you can (or should) decline situations with high bio parent expenses, ...

 

These are some good questions, thank you.

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Those are some good questions to ask.

 

As well as agencies, you may want to consider facilitators, if you're looking for domestic adoption of an infant. That is a slightly different scenario from an "agency" but not terribly different. You would end up with technically a private adoption, but have been matched through a facilitator.

 

Expenses can vary widely, in domestic adoptions, and some of your questions can't be answered by an agency or a facilitator.

 

Both of our adoptions had weird curveballs thrown in at odd moments, and both times our expenses increased enormously. No one could have seen the bizarre circumstances coming. So be prepared for some seemingly unclear answers.

 

If you're open to an open adoption, think through what you are willing to consider and be very clear with yourself, before even meeting birthparents, be open to their needs and honest with them, and don't promise anything you aren't 100% sure about. And - I say this from experience - even if they don't know what they want yet, go ahead and lay out what you're open to. Keep things as clear as possible. That's for everyone's sanity later, when hormones are at play, grief is fresh, and your anxiety might be high.

 

We have two open adoptions, and were in the delivery room for both, roomed in at the hospital and brought both babies home. Our adoptions were like night and day, totally different experiences but both are very open, and no regrets about that.

 

If you want some more personal info, feel free to PM.

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