Tuesday Topic: Which Agency Did You Use?

I know it is Wednesday…but here we go with this week’s Tuesday Topic:

Which adoption agency did you use, and would you recommend them?

Feel free to elaborate as much as you like.

I will compile all of your answers and share them next Tuesday. I’ll post the new Tuesday Topic that day.

Hopefully this will allow more time for you all to respond. I just have to get my system figured out!


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Mamita J
    October 14, 2009

    We used Carolina Hope Christian Adoption Agency to adopt our daughter from Guatemala. They were outstanding. We had major complications in our process. Most agencies would have dropped the referral and given us an "easy" case. They offered that to us, but they were willing to stick it out and follow through to the end. They never asked for more money, even though it dragged on for over two years.

    They recently merged with Nightlight Christian Adoptions, which was featured on Focus on the Family for their "snowflakes" embryo adoption program.

    Two thumbs up: final answer. 🙂


  2. Anonymous
    October 15, 2009

    We used Crossroads Adoption Services in Minnesota. I would not recommend them to anyone. We have felt completely alone throughout this whole process and I have had to research adoption laws and figure things out on my own. All they really did was send our forms on to the adoption board in the Philippines for us. I even had to find out from someone else what was suppose to be in our dossier since the agency would never tell me.
    The first case worker who was assigned to us was horrible! She usually never answered her phone and never once returned an email or voicemail. When I complained and threatened to move to another agency, they switched me to another case worker. She was really nice and always got back to me right away. Unfortunately, she only works 8-12 hours a week, so that was really inconvenient. She also didn't seem very knowledgeable.

  3. Matthew and Amanda
    October 15, 2009

    I have actually been thinking about this question a lot lately. We've used two agencies, CHSFS for our son and AAI for our daughter. We had the "unique" experience of having lots of delays with both adoptions. Lucky us! Honestly neither agency was great at communication or follow-through. But for me it boils down to this: Adoption is about finding families for children, not finding children for families. Even with all their faults, AAI lives by that statement, CHSFS does not.


  4. VanVoorsts
    October 15, 2009

    We used Children's Home Society and Family Services out of Minnesota. We adopted through their waiting child program. Hands down, it has been a "perfect" experience in terms of our expectations and needs being met completely by CHS. They have consistently displayed concern for children above all else and have continued to help our family through their post adoption services.

    Our negative experiences with our adoption were with the small, Christian agency that did our homestudy. Unfortunately in rural Iowa there are not many choices!

  5. Kendra the Bow Lady
    October 15, 2009

    We are using CWA (Christian World Adoption) for our Kyrgyzstan adoption. We chose them because they had the strongest relationship with Kyrgyzstan. We knew God would lead us to a country first, then we would prayfully find the agency we thought would be best for that country. We love CWA! Their integrity has proven invaluable through the delays and issues with Kyrg. We would recommend them hands down! (for any country!)

  6. The Barr Family
    October 15, 2009

    I used CWA and I would not recommend them..even though you used them after I used them…and think if you had waited just days/weeks you would never have used them and you would not have your boys…so I suppose in the end it was a God thing. I, too, love my boys and am glad they are part of my family- and the best thing CWA gave me aside from my two youngest sons- was a group of incredibly wonderful loving and supportive women…that was a true gift. All CWA families who would never recommend CWA- but whose kids and lives are all interconnected.

  7. neely
    October 15, 2009

    Okay, I'll start…
    We used All God's Children International. We had a really great experience with them and I would definitely recommend them to others.

  8. Anonymous
    October 15, 2009

    Since there are always two agencies involved in an international adoption…I am thinking you mean the international agency.

    So on my first adoption, I adopted special needs from China and went through BAAS. They are small. They were (are) fantastic….I do not have a single complaint and would highly recommend them.

    My second adoption from Ethiopia has not gone as well. That is why I am replying anonymous. I am still enroute. I hate to say anything negative about an agency, because I feel the burden for the children they have to place (they have their own orphanage house) and maybe my words would turn folks away from being the family for these kids. That said, I went with a small agency, again, one that does just Ethiopia..although there is so much I love about the smallness, the communication: accurate, timely, was horrible! You had to beg and beg for any news or word. Multiple emails and phone calls all went unanswered. Then information was not accurate. That has been very disheartening. Yet, in the long run, my chld was found through this agency…and I would consider using them again, now that I understand and know what to expect.

  9. lorismusings
    October 15, 2009

    We used MAPS for our first adoption. They are based in Maine and I am in Oregon, so that was a bit hard not being able to meet them face to face. Mailing my dossier and six copies was a bit expensive! I did have issues with returning calls or getting back to me with information. I have heard the same from most people when they speak of their experience with an agency. Everything went pretty smoothly – there were only a couple of glitches and I don't know that they were their fault. Adoption is just like that.

    Our current adoption is with Journeys of the Heart. They have offices in several states, but luckily have one near me in Oregon. They have been great to work with and have returned my calls and given me information or answered questions in a very timely manner. My dossier is almost complete (need to apostille) and ready to send so that is where we are in the process – I can't give you the WHOLE story yet!

    By the way, the country is India for both adoptions.

  10. Shannon-
    October 16, 2009

    CHSFS. And it depends. So many varying factors. Each family, state, agency, country is different so the variables are overwhelming. I would not discourage people from using them- but there may be different options more suitable.

  11. Ann
    October 16, 2009

    Holt International in Eugene, Oregon. Love them, love them, love them! We adopted all three of our kids through Holt. They are considered the gold standard in ethical adoptions and were pioneers in international adoption starting in the 1950's. What I like best is their belief in keeping birth families together if at all possible. i.e. If a family suffers from poverty but desires to parent their children, Holt will try to help them find resources to stay together or offer to keep their children safe in the orphanage until the parents get back on their feet. I also love Holt's postadoption services. When we went to Vietnam to get our son, Holt helped us arrange a visit with our dd foster mother during our layover in Korea. (Our dd had been adopted 10 years before.) On short notice they arranged for a social worker to open the Holt Korea office on a Saturday, arranged for her foster mother to visit, sent us all the info on how to get from the airport to the office, and even took us out to lunch–all FREE of charge and with only a few days notice!
    As a side note, the visit was so special. Our dd foster mother was fostering her 100th baby but she remembered our daughter like it was yesterday–amazing!
    An adoption might take a little longer and the child might be a little older but it is done with the highest ethical standards and all fees will be exactly as stated–no hidden fees/orphanage donations etc. When we adopt again it will be through Holt.

  12. Laurel
    October 19, 2009

    We adopted 3 siblings from an orphanage in Ghana last year, that does "Private Adoptions". Not only was our 9 month process very difficult, but we now have a crisis on our hands in which we wish we had an agency to support us and to walk us through it.

    This year, I went back to Ghana to help a friend bring home 3 children, from a different orphanage that does Private Adoptions, and I again saw the major risks that are taken by working without an agency.

    Therefore, I would NOT recommend doing an adoption privately, without an agency. The reason some orphanages choose not to become a licensed agency is so that they do not have to follow the same rules, and there is no accountability.

    I have witnessed too many bribes, payoffs, and blackmail to be able to trust a private adoption again. Bio. families are being paid off. Gov't agencies are being paid off. Adoptive families are being blackmailed. Adoptive families are being lied to. I've seen it all … either in my own adoption, or in the friend's adoption that I was a part of in Ghana. It can be ugly … very, very ugly.

    On the flip side … if you are wanting to adopt from Ghana or Ethiopia … I have heard nothing but wonderful reports from families that have used, or are in the process with, AAI.

    mama of 13


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