|The Appleton girls in their jammies.|
Because our family is multi-racial, we are often approached by people who are interested in starting adoptions. I will be directing them to Jen Hatmaker's "Part 2" in a heartbeat!
This post contains so much great information about choosing an agency and choosing a country to work with, and it lists "red flags" that may indicate your agency is dealing with corrupt people (or has less-than-stellar practices in place itself).
I have always been so, so grateful for our agency, Dillon International -- and they would get high marks according to the lists in this post.
When we first chose an agency, we asked LOTS of questions about the children in India, why they were typically relinquished, how long Dillon had been working in India, and more. We also asked for references, and asked about other agencies (and asked those agencies about other agencies' reputations). Dillon also helps provide care in-country for the children who aren't adopted, which was another sign of their commitment to children. Asking all those questions make me feel like a nosy, rude person -- but now I'm so glad we asked so many questions and chose Dillon because of it.
We also heard one story that spoke volumes about Dillon's commitment to birth families: one of their India families had received a referral for a child. While in the courts, the birth mother came back to the orphanage and was now in a position to parent her child. The prospective adoptive mother and father were heartbroken, of course -- but they were counseled by Dillon that staying in country and being raised by the birthmother is the ideal situation, of course.
I was so heartened that the orphanage and Dillon were up-front about the return of the birth mother. They way some anti-adoption folks paint the picture, agencies and orphanages are in it for the money (which makes me think they have no idea what these non-profit employees earn!!) -- but here was an example of both agency and orphanage "losing out" on fees for the best interest of the child.
I pray that any families starting an adoption would be committed, as Jen says, "to help and not hurt." And ask LOTS of questions -- the children and birth families deserve no less!