Ethical Adoption: Forewarned is Forearmed

AfrIndie Mum is an adoptive mother who promotes ethical adoption. I came across a great post, come together, on her blog today. In this post is a list of things to consider when choosing an adoption agency. Read these guidelines carefully, and act accordingly!
  • Choose a large, ethical, non-profit agency that networks for it's programs with other agencies throughout the U.S. If a large, ethical agency works with smaller agencies and insists on them adhering to the same ethical behaviors, these behaviors will become the norm, and change will happen.
  • Make sure these agencies provide separate, third-party counselors to the pregnant women seeking information on adoption.
  • Make sure that these counselors counsel their clients on all of their options, including parenting, adoption and abortion.
  • Make sure that the counselors assist their clients in finding whatever resources necessary to assist them in whatever decision they make.
  • Check that these counselors are available to their clients before, during and after their decisions.
  • Check that these counselors do not receive bonuses depending on the outcome of their client's decision.
  • Make certain that the agency practices and encourages open adoptions.
  • Let for-profit and other unethical adoption agencies know which of their policies would morally prevent me from working with them and why. If they see enough input from clients they could have had, maybe they will change their ways.
  • Make certain that the woman who chooses us has made her decision on her own, free from coercion.
  • If matched pre-birth, ensure that she knows that we support her to make whatever decisions are best for her and her baby. And if that decision is to parent, that we will be there to help her obtain the support she needs to parent. Watch for signs of her changing her mind, and encourage her to explore those signs further.
  • Not pay birthparent expenses. Hello, coercion.
  • Understand what services the placement fees cover and how the agencies came to that level of placement fee.
  • Not work with agencies that charge more money for biracial babies than for African American babies.
  • Not work with an attorney or an adoption facilitator. Not pursue a private adoption.
Never be afraid to ask an agency the hard questions, or to tell them your concerns. When in doubt about an agency's ethics - don't use them, and report their behavior. Not sure how to do that? Ethica, an independent organization working to ensure ethical adoptions, offers suggestions for reporting complaintsabout unethical adoption agencies, along with other good information about promoting ethical adoption, and resources for all members of the adoption plane.


Overwhelmed! said…
I read AfrIndie's post when she wrote that and loved it!
Melissa said…
Yes, that is so very helpful. I'll definately have to check out her blog.
Cookie said…
Wow, I am going to Afrindie's blog too! It sounds good except for one thing - large agencies (I will name some if you'd like) are often the worst as far as ethics go. The large agencies are often the ones that make the most money, so, they may seem to have more services, promise to get you a newborn sooner, etc. Of course, that is a generalization - but, I know some of the largest agencies do practice some of the most coercive and unethical practices.

Being non-profit doesn't seem to help either. Many of the large non-profit agencies still make a great deal of money.

Maybe I will do a post on the best agencies soon. I have a list of supposedly the 10 best - somewhere - I'll find it.

I love that adoptive moms are talking about how to have ethical adoptions though - and reporting bad agencies to Ethica and other places is a terrific idea! Thanks for the post.
Margie said…
Cookie, thanks for stopping by! I've been reading your blog, too, and have it linked here.

Please do post the info you have about agencies, many a-parents want to know - and those that don't need the education.

HeatherRainbow said…
Here is another piece of advice, be very very very very careful in Florida, because 95% of them are connected to each other, and systemically use their force of evil to capture and coerce mothers to surrender their rights. You may contact me for information on the who's who in Florida Adoptions.
Jenna said…
And don't use Adoption Network Law Center. They're at the top of the list of unethical agencies.

ALWAYS report unethical agencies to the Better Business Bureau.
I agree with Cookie about large agencies (even non-profit). One large Christian one with strong ties to the NCFA comes to mind.

It is great to see more adoptive parents getting on board with this!

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