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Independent Adoption Center (Pleasant Hill, CA)

The Parents Network > Advice > Adoption > Independent Adoption Center (Pleasant Hill, CA)


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2010 - 2014 Discussions


August 2013

My husband and I have just completed our homestudy (with Independent Adoption Center) and are considering whether to go with Independent Adoption Center for our adoption agency. We like many things about the agency, but our big concern with them is wait times. Their average wait time is 15 months (based on data from 2006-present), but I've heard of many longer waits and also noticed that they have about 430 adoptive families currently waiting and yet they only do between 150-200 placements a year, so the 15 months average seems like it might be based partly on older data. We also are very aware of the criteria that affect wait times, but not comfortable opening up to much substance use. Does anyone have recent experience with IAC and their wait times? Thanks! waiting to parent


My husband and I used IAC as our adoption agency. We were eligible to be picked in March 2011 and were matched with a birthmother in November 2011. That match, however, did not work out(ultimately the fit wasn't good for a number of reasons). We went out of circulation for a couple of months in early 2012 to recover. In August of 2012, we matched with another birthmother. This one was successful - we finalized the adoption of our daughter in April 2013. So, our wait time was about 18 months from eligibility to placement. We know some adoptive parents who waited days and some who waited years, it really depends on so many factors (your letter/website, your preferences, how you market yourselves, where you live, etc.).

Should you decide to pursue adoption, my advice is to accept that the perfect adoption situation does not exist. There are risks associated with every situation. You need to decide your comfort level and be open to changes during your wait. There were risks with our adoption, but we love our daughter to pieces (she's absolutely perfect) and would do it all over again in a heartbeat. If you have anything specific you'd like to know about the process or IAC (highly recommended), please don't hesitate to email me. Good luck. Stefanie


May 2012

Re: Adopt International, Adoption Connection, or Ind. Adoption Center?
First, congratulations on your decision to adopt! We adopted twice through the IAC and had great experiences both times. Although not typical, our first adoption took 6 weeks... our second took 6 months.

Adoption really is the height of human relationships, and as such it can be stressful even if all of the players are acting in good faith. So you really want an agency you can work with and who's expertise you can count on. With the IAC, much of the fees you pay provide support services to birth families. This was a key factor for us. We wanted our B-Moms to have the counseling and support they needed to make a clear decision they could live with. The IAC's process is great. They address all the match/birth/adoption/ openness issues before the birth so that everyone is clear on what is going to happen, who will be where, and how they feel about it. They resolve the difficult questions that people may be feeling, but are afraid to speak of. It's one of the reasons their reclaim rate is so low. Also, birthparent counseling is available for life, which is more important than you may think. Often, birthmothers reach out for counseling again during subsequent pregnancies, or other life-changing events. Knowing there is someone they can turn to is hugely comforting for us.

I was so changed by the experience that I have spent the last 12 years serving prospective adoptive parents as an unofficial adoption mentor. Please feel free to contact me if you'd like to discuss adoption or the IAC in further detail. I'll give you a real picture of what it's like and what you might expect. Best, Carolyn


A few years ago, we went through the same process as you are going through now picking an agency. We chose the Independent Adoption Center, and now we have two wonderful little boys (one is five years old and the other will be three soon). We felt the IAC did a great job educating us and helping us with the process; both of our sons' birthmothers found us through the IAC.

I've talked to other adoptive families who used Adoption Connection. It sounds like the process was similar to what we did with the IAC, and they had good experiences. It came down to choosing between the two agencies, IAC's intro session and follow up made us feel it was the right choice for us. I haven't talked to anyone who has used Adopt International. If you would like to talk more or have questions (about the IAC or adoption in general), please feel free to contact me.


At IAC they are very personable and competent but have no babies. Ask for sats. They have a boatload of parents and very very few babies to adopt. Our experience was a nightmare and ended up going elsewhere and wasting 2 years. ended fine but not with IAC
March 2012

Re: Adoption Agencies in Los Angeles County?
We had a succesful experience working with the Independent Adoption Center, which has offices in Pleasant Hill and Los Angeles, as well as several other states. They pioneered in open adoption and offer great support to both adoptive parents and birth parents in the process of adoption. See www.adoptionhelp.org for more information. sally


Nov 2010

Re: Looking in to adoption - can you recommend an agency?
We adopted our two sons (1 and 3 years old) through domestic open adoption. We used the Independent Adoption Center in Pleasant Hill and had great experiences both time. Their website is www.adoptionhelp.org. Adoptive Mom


Aug 2010

Re: Seeking a domestic adoption agency
I highly recommend the Independent Adoption Center in Pleasant Hill. We worked with them to adopt both of our sons. They are a non-profit, and they do a lot with what they have - advertising, education, etc. They specialize in open adoption which has been wonderful for us. Feel free to email me if you'd like to discuss them in further detail. Their website is http://www.adoptionhelp.org/. Christine


April 2010

Re: First-time adoption - which agency? which attorney?
We adopted both of our boys (currently 3 years and 9 months old) through the Independent Adoption Center in Pleasant Hill (www.adoptionhelp.org). We looked at Adoption Connection in SF also but felt the IAC had better communication, more birth parent outreach, and better support.

We initially looked into international adoption as we'd heard all kinds of horror stories about domestic adoption, but we really wanted to be in our child's life from the moment of birth (we were present at both boy's births) and with international adoption we found that most children are at least six months old at the time of placement. We also found that the cost and paperwork for international seemed a lot greater than with domestic adoption.

We have very open adoptions and maintain contact with our sons' birth families, its been a fabulous experience. Our adoption experiences were pretty textbook. We went to the IAC, finished the paperwork and background checks in a couple months, matched with their birthmothers after a couple months, the boys were born, and we finalized their adoptions a few months later (for #1 it was 9 months from start to finish and #2 was 6 months).

We've met a bunch of other adoptive families and it sounds like our experiences were pretty standard and that the Adoption Connection process is similar. I'm happy to talk to you in more detail about our experience (the hard parts, easy parts, costs, etc.), just shoot me an email. Good luck! Christine


2004 & Earlier


Oct 2002

My husband and I adopted our now 13-month old baby boy last year through the Independent Adoption Center. They specialize in open adoption, mostly domestic, but are beginning to do some international adoptions. As with most adoptions they facilitate, we were able to bring our baby home with us right from the hospital. Their support and help through the process were invaluable in making our adoption work. Their website www.adoptionhelp.org provides information about open adoption and their services. You can also call them at (800) 877-6736. Sally


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