Tuesday, January 25, 2011
What to ask your Adoption Agency about their international program.
It's been brought to my attention that many clients are not doing their due diligence. We need to keep these agencies on their toes, and we need to let them know that we are keeping an eye on them and ethics are important to us!
Here are some questions you should be asking:
1. How long has your agency had a program in ____?
2. How many placements have you completed and when?
3. How do you identify children for adoption?
4. Do you personally examine the orphanages that the children stay in?
5. How often does an agency staff member visit the orphanage?
6. How do you stay informed about the quality of care?
7. How do you stay informed about the expenditures at the orphanage? (So parents know where their money is being spent.)
8. How many children are currently in your orphanage? What is the capacity?
9. How many care providers work at the orphanage?
10. Is education provided for the children?
11. What (if any) programs or support are provided for the biological Mother?
12. Is a meeting with the birth Mother/family encourages and or facilitated by the agency?
13. How often are the children fed, and what are they fed?
14. What are the sleeping arrangements?
15. Has your agency ever been investigated? How many times and when?
16. Can you provide references?
17. Can we expect monthly updates with measurements, weights, health and photo?
18. Can you provide photos of the orphanage?
19. Are you transparent, can you provide financial statements?
"Try to get an itemized breakdown of where the foreign fees go and try to confirm that in the foreign country. What you are trying to learn is if the agency is marking-up and keeping the difference between actual foreign fees and what they charge you, or enagaging in unethical practices, without disclosing this to you. Another consideration here is that you want to know where every penny of your adoption money goes so that you can be assured that things like corruption, baby-buying and profiteering were not part of your adoption process. This is what is mean when your hear terminology that references a "transparent" process."
That's all I can think about right now... let me know if I forgot anything!