Selecting an adoption agency…one mom’s perspective

Graceful Adoptions - Karen Nissly & her daughter Grace

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As a birthmother, I can tell you that searching for an adoption agency is overwhelming. I ended up with a spreadsheet with all kinds of columns and questions.

I was looking for an adoption agency that;

  • Put me as the birthmother first
  • Provided Pre- and Post-Adoption counseling for birth families
  • Respected the relationship I wanted with the adoptive parents

I also wanted to make sure that the adoptive parents were prepared to parent my child. This meant the adoption agency needed to make sure that the parents were ready socially, emotionally, and financially.

A few more things from my spreadsheet;

  • The adoptive parents needed to receive pre-adoption education
  • They needed to tell my daughter she was adopted (when the time was right)
  • They had to respect me as an individual and as the mother of my daughter

When I looked at everything on my spreadsheet and everything I wanted, the overwhelming decision became so much easier. I chose Graceful Adoptions.

As I was doing my research, I was really surprised how a few agencies never asked the adoptive parents how they would tell their child they were adopted, how they felt about the uniqueness of being adoptive parents and what they thought or felt towards the potential birthparents. Instead, the agencies described their adoptive parents’ personalities, family background, financial background, and their experience with children.

My head was spinning with questions…

Do the adoptive parents imagine the birth mother as a tramp? Do they imagine the birth father as irresponsible? Does it matter to their family or friends that their child is not theirs biologically? How or when would they tell their child about being adopted?

The answers to those questions reveal a lot in how a couple will raise their child.

Adoption should be a natural and comfortable subject at home. When you grow up knowing you were adopted, the subject is common, but if an adoptee finds out later in life especially while emotionally developing, the results are very different.

I could tell just by reading through the profiles on Graceful Adoptions’ website that adoption was discussed and that counseling and training are available to both birth parents and adoptive parents.

This is a lifetime commitment; adoptive parents are not the adoptee’s only parents; birthparents remain part of their life because they are part of the adoptee. Graceful Adoptions is really fantastic about listening to both the birth parents and adoptive parents and matching them up. 

Once matched, a very specific communication plan is created and agreed upon by both the birth parents and the adoptive family. Adoption may not have been the exact way you thought your family would form, but with an open mind, it can provide so much more and be such a loving and fulfilling experience.

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What makes Graceful Adoptions different?

We learned from experience. I started Graceful Adoptions because of the experience I had while I was adopting my daughter Grace. Without getting into too