WALLINGFORD, CT, August 12, 2010 (Press-News.org) Celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Sandra Bullock and Madonna are building families through high-profile adoptions. While they make it look like a simple procedure, the truth is that adoption is a complicated process that may take years to complete. Better Business Bureau recommends doing research when enlisting the help of an adoption agency for this most important transaction.
Experts estimate there is an average of 125,000 adoptions a year in the U.S. and consumers turned to BBB 35,000 times to research adoption services.
Connecticut Better Business Bureau President, Paulette Scarpetti, says there are many reasons to invest as much time as possible when looking for professionals to help arrange an adoption.
"Even though the adoption process is about building a family, it begins with a transaction that requires a great deal of expertise, so it is vital to make sure you find an agency that answers your questions about the adoption process and the many legal aspects involved."
BBB recommends adoptive parents invest time to ensure the process proceeds smoothly:
Research your options: Many factors have a significant impact on the type of agency you require, such as adopting a child from foster care, opting for an open or closed adoption or a domestic versus international adoption. If you intend to adopt a special needs child, you would do best with an agency that specializes in adoption of youngsters with physical or mental issues.
Understand the laws: The adoption process is driven by state, federal and international laws. A working knowledge of these laws will help you evaluate the expertise of various adoption agencies and give you a clearer idea of which path for adoption is best for you. An excellent place to find information about adoption laws and other related resources is the U. S Department of Health and Human Services adoption Web site, at http://www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/.
Verify the agency with experts: Make sure the adoption agency is properly licensed to offer its services in Connecticut, and if possible, the country from where you might adopt a child. Check out the agency's reputation at http://www.bbb.org. If it is an accredited business, it is required to uphold BBB's standards for ethical conduct and resolve complaints.
Seek advice from other parents: Other adoptive parents can help you understand the process, tell you what to expect and offer advice. If you don't know any, look for online and community-based support groups. Families that have adopted also can give you some leads on agencies they have researched or used. Some adoption agencies have their own support groups for adoptive families.
Visit several agencies: Arrange face-to-face meetings with officials from several prospective adoption agencies to discuss their services, fees and refund policy. Many offer informational group meetings that may answer many of your questions. Ask about what kind of pre-and post-adoption support they provide, such as programs that connect waiting and adoptive families, counseling services for adopted children, teens and adults, and for people adopting from overseas, learning opportunities that explain the culture of a child's home country.
There can be no cutting corners when arranging an adoption. Careful planning, expert advice and a trustworthy adoption agency can help simplify an inherently complicated, albeit joyful experience.
You can find more advice on evaluating businesses and services at http://www.bbb.org/us/consumer-tips/.
Founded in 1912, BBB is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. BBB offers objective advice and a wide range of education on topics affecting marketplace trust. BBB also offers complaint and dispute resolution support for consumers and businesses. Today, 128 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada, evaluating and monitoring more than three million local and national businesses and charities. For more advice on finding companies and businesses, start your search with trust at http://www.bbb.org
Connecticut Better Business Bureau Offers Advice on Finding a Trustworthy Adoption Agency
Research and Preparation Can Help Families Navigate the Complex Process
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Research and Preparation Can Help Families Navigate the Complex Process