Picking an Agency for the Home Study

24 Oct

Don and I got married in May of 2009. On the day of our wedding, we already had decided that if we were to expand our family, it would be via adoption.

However, I was determined that before we would pursue adoption we would first buy a house. It might seem silly, so please try not to judge me, but I just feel more secure in a house we own and pay for ourselves. I got all nervous thinking about bringing home a baby and then finding out three days later our landlord wanted to sell the house or move back in.

I know it’s crazy – plenty of families live in rental units AND plenty of people have moved with small infants. But once I get an idea in my head, I can’t shake it.

Red Sold Sign by Diana Parkhouse (Flickr, Creative Commons)

We spent over a year looking at houses and therefore had lots of time to think about adoption and talk to people who had recently adopted or were in the process of adopting.

We read up on home studies and made a short list of agencies we wanted to learn more about, but we really wanted hard facts that weren’t available online.

We wanted to know, how many families do you have waiting and how many will have babies by the end of the year? What is your success rate? How many did you place last year?

So we started asking around. And we still didn’t get answers.

Apparently, the process of picking an agency for your home study doesn’t work like that. The home study can be done by any state-licensed agency so it’s not unusual for couples to select an agency for their home study, but find a child through a different source.

That made sense to us, but we were completely unprepared for the way in which we consistently were told to pick our home study agency. It turns out that prospective parents, at least in our area, attend several agency open houses and select the one that ”feels” right.

There’s no scientific method, no SWOT analysis, no lists of pros and cons. You make the decision based on a feeling.

That is so not our style.

But we decided we had nothing to lose by attending open houses, so we picked three agencies and gave it a shot.

In the end, we did get a feeling. It probably wasn’t the kind of feeling we were supposed to get, but it was very clear to us which agency we wanted to work with for the home study. I mean, it didn’t even require discussion it was so clear.

Stay tuned if you want to hear about the feeling we got that helped us pick a home study agency. I’ll give you a clue, it was disgust.*

*This was the first word that came to my mind, but I was afraid it was too strong a word. I looked over the top of my laptop and asked Don, “What word would you use to describe the feeling we had at XYZ agency?”. And he replied, “Disgust.” So there you have it.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Part Three: Picking an Agency for the Home Study (Or How We Fell in Love with The Datz Foundation) | Sweet Little Nest - January 11, 2012

    [...] Don and I started going to open houses in an attempt to pick our home study agency, we really had no idea what to expect. Everyone had told us we’d get a feeling when we found [...]

  2. Part Four: Picking an Agency for the Home Study (or The Experience That Nearly Stopped Us in Our Tracks) | Sweet Little Nest - January 17, 2012

    [...] our home study agency. If you have not been following along, you can read the first three parts here, here and [...]

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