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Dawn Davenport

Q&A: Safe to Change Adoption Agencies?

The wait time with our agency has increased from six months to one year in the time that we have been gathering our dossier paperwork. We keep hearing about other agencies that have very short wait times and are wondering whether we should look into switching agencies. Although I am in my mid-40s, my husband is in his mid-50s and we don't want to have to wait any longer than we have to!

Boy, this is such a hard question to answer. I feel for you! I don’t think waiting times should be the first consideration when choosing an agency. I encourage families to choose an agency that is well established in the country from which they are adopting and provides good adoption educationand post-adoption services. In short, I’m looking for an agency that is more focused on child welfare than child finding. However, it is possible to find a great deal of fluctuation in waiting times even among these type of agencies, and realistically waiting times should be a factor, if not the factor. Keep in mind that if you change agencies, you will be out the money you have already spent. Do your research on the agency with the shorter waiting times. Ask specific questions about the longest, shortest, and average wait in the last year for the age, gender, and special needs you are looking for. Sometimes, the shorter wait is only an optimistic guess, and you don’t want to switch agencies for a guesstimate.

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