If you've decided to journey the path of adoption, your next step is to accurately identify reliable and trustworthy adoption professionals with whom you can work. However, this next step can be overwhelming for those who have never been through the adoption process before. Even though this might be your first time, you can be comfortable and confident in your search and your decision by understanding what exactly to look for and where to look.
The adoption professional with whom you work should have many, if not all, of the following qualities and traits:
- Patient: Because this may be your first time going through the placement process, you'll probably have a lot of questions and need your adoption professional to explain the process, expectations, and the paperwork. S/he will need patience and understanding that it's important to make an informed decision. And the best way to do that is to get all the relevant information that you can.
- Trustworthy: You need an adoption professional whose sole purpose is to properly represent you, your needs, and your expectations. You need to find someone who you can trust.
- Knowledgeable: Find an adoption professional that has ample experience. You want someone who knows how everything works and someone who feels comfortable taking charge and helping you along the way.
- Respectful: Sometimes you'll find professionals who are less-than-respectful. You may feel disregarded as unimportant. You may feel judged or mistreated. Make sure this isn't the case. Find an adoption professional that treats you with the respect you deserve.
When it comes to actually searching for the right adoption professional, there are many ways to go about it.
- Recommendations: If you know anyone who has already started or completed the adoption process, ask for recommendations. This is one of the best ways to search for an adoption professional. This provides you with access to a first-hand experience with that particular professional. Also, consider going to a local support group for additional recommendations.
- Referrals: If you're already in contact with doctors or other professionals, ask for trusted referrals. They should be able to provide you with contact information of other professionals with whom they've worked.
- Online: There are so many great resources online that you can use. Use adoption-related forums, blogs, or articles to guide you toward the right adoption professional for your situation.
- Trail and Error: You may prefer to try the trail and error approach. This is when you pick a random professional, visit with him/her, and if it doesn't work out move on to the next professional. It may take you a little while to find the right one, but at least you'll know which professionals are the wrong ones.
Once you've determined which adoption professional is the right one for you, now it's time to start working with them. During this time, it's important to remember that while it's beneficial to have representation, your adoption decision needs to be 100% yours. You should never be coerced or forced into agreeing to something. If you ever feel that your adoption professional isn't the right one for you, find another. This is your journey; you deserve to be represented correctly, appropriately, and professionally.