I have run across many individuals in the waiting process who started out with an agency. After their homestudy is completed and they have invested all that time in the training and paperwork for that agency, they realize that the agency really isn't going to give them what they need in regards to matching, but they are afraid to switch agencies because of their previous investment.
Many people head to their county for an adoption home study. Many counties provide excellent service and will often provide a home study without charge. If you come from a county which includes a large metropolitan area, you should have no trouble being matched with a child or sibling group from that city. However, if you live in a rural area, your county may have less than 5 children adopted from there each year.
Here are some questions to ask your county or your agency before getting your home study done, if possible, or if you are not matched and wondering why.
1) If there are no children available in this county (or this area) will you assist me in getting matched with a child from another part of this state?
2) Will you send my homestudy to other states for me to be considered for children from another state? Will their be an additional charge? If you will, have you ever done an out of state placement? From which states?
3) Will you allow me to have a copy of my homestudy?
4) Will I be allowed to advocate for myself and talk to social workers on my own behalf?
5) How much time are you as my social worker going to have to help me in the matching process?
6) Will I be allowed to register with an organization like Adopt America.
7) How do you go about matching a family?
8) How many of the families you have homestudied were matched within a year of their homestudy?
Finally, think about the kind of child you want, the kind of child that is out there, the demographics of your state, and then see if it is realistic that your agency, based on the answers to these questions, is going to be able to match you with a child.