Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Looking for recommendations

Last night my husband suggested we spend some time this weekend researching how to move forward with adoption. {I love that suggestion!}

The truth is, I have been trying to do this every so often. I start reading a little here, searching the internet a little there, and get email messages from an adoption Ya.hoo group that I signed up for...but the more I read, the more uncertain I become. I feel like there is this mass amount of information out there that I can barely wade through, while at the same time there is so little information on issues that I have begun to care deeply about.

How does one adopt whose first priority is family preservation (which feels contradictory to even write)? How does one adopt who wants the best, most ethical, and most impartial treatment of expectant mothers? But as I think about it and my mind moves around in circles, I do think there are instances of women who need to place their child for adoption - I am just nervous about how to find that in the most ethical manner possible.

So I'm turning to you as a starting point. We are considering domestic infant adoption at this time. Do you have first or second hand knowledge of an adoption agency or attorney that you would like to share? A few things to consider:
  • Like I said above, one area that I am particularly looking to get information on is the treatment of expectant mothers. I know most of you will be on the adoptive parent side of things, but if you know anything about this I would love to hear it.
  • We would love to work with an agency or attorney who fully supported open adoption.
  • We live in Southern California. I know there are nationwide agencies, but in light of wanting to maintain an open adoption, it just feels like this would be best if the adoption took place relatively near our home. I don't expect you to research if your agency has a branch here, but thought I would throw that out there - especially for you CA ladies.
I understand that you may not want to publicly name your adoption professional. Therefore, if you put the name of your adoption agency/ attorney in a comment, I will not publish it unless you specifically tell me to do so. I will publish if your recommendation is not personally tied to your own adoption. Also, feel free to email me at if that works better for you. Thanks in advance!

Lastly, I will not publish angry or rude comments. :)


Leah said...

I unfortunately don't have any agency recommendations as I'm in MN. But I wanted to say I totally understand your wanting to be ethical about all of this. Family preservation is also so important to me, and through the adoption process, I became painfully aware that by me adopting, someone was losing something precious. That was hard. It's also hard when people adopting domestically advertise themselves to birthparents, because it always doesn't feel like the most ethical treatment of the birthmom. Oh, it's so hard!

I just wanted to comment though and show my support. I think it's so wonderful that you are looking into adoption, and that your husband is also so excited about it. :) And as difficult as adoption is because someone is losing something so precious, I have no doubt that whoever your future child/children are, they will be so blessed to have you as their mom. :)

A said...

Oh Hillary, I am excited to see how God is moving you guys!!

From my time at the crisis pregnancy center, I know that Bethany takes AMAZING care of their birthmothers (we referred our clients to them if they were the least bit interested in making an adoption plan). They receive many hours of counseling on what it would look like for them to parent or place, and there is no pressure for them to place their baby for adoption. I have two amazing friends who have adopted through Bethany (one has an open adoption and one has a semi-open), and one of them in particular shared that before they brought their son home, the social worker, the birthmom, the son, and my friends all prayed together.

Bethany is a nationwide agency, but I think you can request to only be shown to birthmothers in your state/region (from what my friends have said).

Will be praying for you- please keep us posted!!!!!

katy.wampach said...

Last year, my husband and I attended an information session with Catholic Charities. We were both very impressed with the relationship they build with the birth mothers, looking out for their best interest first. And from our session it was very clear that open adoption was the only way they operated. In fact, they even had a birth mother with the couple that adopted her baby, speak to our group. While the event we attended was for our local Catholic Charities, I know it's a national organization. Also, I would recommend reaching out to Rebekah at Having read both her blog and your blog, I think you would have a lot in common in your ideas about adoption and she is just a sweet, sweet soul!

Best of luck and prayers are with you on this next leg of your journey!

Rachel DeBell said...

I am going to second the recommendation for Bethany. I know I made some referrals to them for clients that would call outside of Texas. I know they are a faith-based agency and they support open adoption. Although I have no personal knowledge of how much education is provided to each member of the "triad" prior to making decisions, I believe they offer more than some agencies. And I believe they offer post placement support too for all parties (VERY important).

Secondly, it seems you are very much wanting a personal experience and plenty of support for all members of the triad involved. I would caution that using an adoption attorney may limit your support, the birthfamily's support, and your child's emotional support in the future. Should you ever need to find out more information, need help with dealing with some difficulties in an open relationship, or need any type of assistance in helping your child process their adoption story, you might not get that from an attorney. Personally, I would look for an agency with a long history. They are more likely to still be around should you need them in the future.

I will see if I can find any more referrals for you. I am so excited for you and will be praying and praying for direction for you guys!

Anonymous said...

I'm going to throw in another recommendation for Bethany.

They provide (free of charge) counseling and educational services for expectant mothers. Whether mothers choose to make an adoption plan or choose to parent - they are offered these services.

My son's brithmother was treated with the greatest amount of respect by Bethany and still, even a year later, is receiving counseling services from them.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the prior comments refering to Bethany Christian Services. I have a beautiful niece and an amazing cousin who came to be in our family through Bethany. My sister and my cousin have nothing but good things to say about them. (one adoption was "out of state" and the other was "in state")

Anonymous said...

You may also want to look into Lifetime Adoption. They are in Northern California. Our experience with them was awesome and they still continue to support our birth mother, three years later. I can't say enough about them. Call and ask for Veronica :)

Hilary said...

I would like to throw in a DISrecommendation for Bethany and Lifetime Adoption. My experience with Bethany was really disheartening, and it was dis-recommended by several other adoptive and birth families. Here is an interesting recent post by Jenna, a well-respected birth mother, regarding Lifetime Adoption:

Of course, take my words for what they're worth. Attend orientation meetings, ask a lot of questions, and read a lot of reviews. Go the extra mile and track down birth mothers from whichever agency you choose. Talk to them.

kdactyl said...

I live in northern CA and have heard great things about Catholic Charities and the associated adoption services. But...I also know that Jewish family services has a great agency as well (open to all...not just for Jewish people). I have friends who have adopted through them (Christian friends) and we actually went to an orientation run by them when we were considering adoption. I really liked them and my friends used them for both their adoptions and were very pleased.

Single Mom 2b said...

Good for you both!!! I agree the idea of learning about a new path is daunting (how long did it take each of us to get educated on infertility treatments?)

I don't know where you are located but I got an email 2 hours ago from Resolve about a "Navigating Adoption" seminar in early July. Check it out:

JNS said...

Unfortunately I don't have any recommendations for you but want to send my full support and prayers for you!

The Swann's said...

Been praying for you lots lately! Maybe looking into adoption attorneys instead of agencies? Also, if you go through DFACS you can request legally available infants only as well and some even come straight from the hospital. These would typically be closed adoptions though. I guess I have a more specific prayer for you and DH now. :-)

Anonymous said...

Before traveling down the IVF road I spent about 2 years researching adoption. I wanted and needed to learn all I could so I turned to Bethany Christian services. They have a adoption forum on there website that is amazing. You can connect with birth mothers, adoptive parents both domestically and internationaly, finally foster parents. The forum is a great way to hear from people that have been there done that. You can also just observe and read through the comments and topics.

Before starting IVF we attended a Bethany information session and learned alot. I felt very comfortable with the agency and would use them if needed.

I am praying that your road ahead is full of joy and sunshine.

C said...

Our family was created through the miracle of adoption twice. Once privately and once through an agency. During the private, we hired our girl an attorney and encouraged (also payed) for counseling. The second received through the agency. At the beginning of the first, I just cried and cried thinking the only way I can have my family is by another losing. Both of my birthmothers have changed this view, somewhat. They both are grateful to me and my husband. They still thank me. I can't thak them enough. It is hard to grasp but finding a loving home for their baby is important to them. Knowing their baby is cherished, loved beyond measure, and brought up with values is something everyone wants. We value open adoption. There are different degrees. Good luck, you will find that you will love your child and be grateful for unanswered earlier prayers.

Anonymous said...

Check out Hope's promise..just google them. Check out their web-site.
They are based in Colorado but I know of people who have used them in CA and AZ...
I have a connection to them ( my niece works for them...)
Let me know what you think of their web-site...if you like what you see and are interested...let me know through this blog and I will send you her information. They do both domestic and overseas adoptions..Still praying for you

God Bless you

lklomicka said...

Some friends of mine are adopting out of Southern CA (the Temecula/Riverside area) and they are very happy with their adoption lawyer. His name is Randall Hicks. His website is www dot randall hicks dot com. He has a very long career devoted to adoption. I hope this is helpful!

Anonymous said...

If you would consider an attorney, I'm happy to tell you about our experience with Adopt Help. They place about 140 adoptions each year and advertise a lot! We had our match in 3 months. That is faster than most, but I know other people who had a similar experience (and others who have been waiting much longer). I am in So Cal but AH will work with prospective adoptive parents from all over the US. I think they are very ethical and have a good process. Feel free to let me know if you would like to chat about them.

You can post this if you like, or not. :-)