Young mixed-race couple looking at laptop in living roomIf you’re hoping to adopt a baby, it can be challenging to know where to start. As you begin your journey to adopt a baby, choosing your adoption agency is the first step. Just as the adoption process varies from family to family, every adoption agency is different. Since your adoption agency is working to unite you with your baby, choosing the best one is essential to your success!
The good news is that you don’t have to spend lots of time searching for the perfect adoption agency. What you do need to do is to be prepared and know what questions to ask the adoption professional. Since part of Lifetime’s mission is to help educate couples hoping to adopt a baby, we’re providing you with a list of questions to ask the agencies you’re considering.
Have this list handy when you contact adoption agencies so that you can be sure to choose one that’s the right fit for your family!

General Questions

  • Is your organization licensed and/or certified?
  • Do you handle adoptions only in my state or other states as well?
  • Do you have an adoption attorney who works for your adoptive parents? Can you recommend one?
  • Are there any limitations to who can adopt a baby through your agency?
  • How do you locate potential birth mothers?
  • How do you present adoptive couple’s profiles to birth mothers?
  • Do you provide education or classes to prospective adoptive parents?
  • How do you work with birth mothers before and after the adoption?
  • Can we have the contact details of families who have recently adopted through your agency? (Then, call or email these couples so you can hear about their adoption experience.)


    Newborn baby boy asleep and swaddled in a green blanket

  • When will we be notified of whether we’ve been accepted into your program?
  • How soon after we are accepted into your program do we need to begin the home study process?
  • How and when do you inform us that a birth mother is interested in us?


  • What’s the average wait time to adopt a baby through your agency?
  • How many adoptions did you do last year?
  • What is your fall-through/reclaim rate?


  • What is your application fee?
  • What fees can we anticipate with your agency? (for example, lawyer fees or birth mother expenses)
  • Can you provide a general range of the cost for adopting through each of your agency’s programs?
  • When are the fees due?
  • Do you charge a match fee?
  • Does your fee cover the home study and post-placement visits?

There are hundreds of adoption professionals in the U.S., and each will tell you they are the best. Since every hopeful adoptive family is in a unique situation, only you can know which agency will be best for you. You can find that out by asking adoption agencies the right questions. Make sure to take your time, do your research, and ask all the questions you can think of. If they’re a good adoption agency, they’ll be able to answer any concerns or doubts you have in an honest, open way.
All these questions might seem like a lot to ask, but knowing all you possibly can is in your best interest. We recommend that you make a list, take notes, and ask these important questions. By taking time and effort as you select your adoption agency, you’re setting yourself up for success!

We’re happy to answer any questions you might have about working with Lifetime Adoption! To connect with us, call 727-493-0933 or send us a message here.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on December 17, 2019, and has since been updated. 

Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.

Written by Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.

Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P., is a nationally-recognized adoption expert and the Founder of Lifetime Adoption Agency. She has been working in adoption since 1986 and is also an award-winning author and speaker.

Mardie knows the sorrow of coping with infertility, and is an adoptive parent who experienced many of the challenges adoptive families might face. In various media appearances worldwide, publications, and her podcast, Mardie important steps that must be taken to complete a safe and secure adoption. Having adopted her son, Mardie knows firsthand the joys of raising an adopted child.

Mardie’s life mission is to help adoptive parents and birth parents find each other. With Lifetime Adoption Agency, she seeks to build happy families and provide precious infants and children with a loving and secure future.