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My husband and I have been checking out adoption agencies in
the Bay Area. Of the ones we've checked out (Adopt
International, Adoption Connection, and Independent Adoption
Center), the IAC seems the best in terms of its outreach to
birthmothers and the support given to adoptive families,
which I really appreciate. Their orientation left us with
such a great feeling about adoption and the agency. The
others were much more business-like. Is the IAC that
wonderful? Just wondering if there is anything we should
know about before we commit to them.
Advice from adoptive parents who chose the IAC and opted for
others would be much appreciated!
Congratulations as you begin your journey to parenthood
through adoption. Everyone's expectations and experience
are different. You want to find the professionals that best
fit your needs as you will be working with them for almost
two years from application, homestudy, matching, birth,
post-placement and finalization. We live in an area with
many professionals with integrity working in the adoption
field both as agencies, lawyers and facilitators.
Each of the many agencies in the SF Bay area offer FREE
information nights. It is suggested you attend them to get
a feel for the people who work there and to see if their
philosophies fit with yours.
We have two daughters through domestic open adoption and I
would be happy to speak with you about our experiences.
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
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 stats. 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
My husband and I used Adoption Connection in 2010 and felt
that while many times people were very helpful, overall
several large errors were made, especially by our Adoption
Coordinator (Lynn). Given that this was the person who was
our main link to the agency the errors started to become
extremely frustrating. We both decided not to use them again
when we adopt another child next year. Good luck, it's a
roller coaster ride! -Anon
We have friends who are living in Glendale and are beginning
the adoption process. They are feeling overwhelmed and not
sure about how to begin the process. They recently signed up
with the county to adopt through the foster care program but
are also interested in looking at private adoption agencies
similar to Family Builders or Adoption Connection in the Bay
Area. I offered to ask this group since we have benefited so
much from the wisdom of others. Do you know of any good
adoption agencies in LA County with which you or friends
have good experiences? We would greatly appreciate your
insight and suggestions. These folks are amazing human
beings and would make a wonderful family.
Hi. There is a great organization in Southern California
called Resolve. They are a wonderful resource for education
and support for adoption and other family building options.
Here is the link to their website:
http://www.resolve.org/family-building-options/adoption.html We are parents through adoption and
started our journey working with the resources here in
Northern California Resolve.
Wishing your friends much luck on their journey to
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
ME and my husband have been traying to get pregnant and we
have done 3 IVF. Now we are looking into adoption and we
dont really know how to start with. Could any one recomend
an adgency? WE ARE READY AND CANT WAIT TO GROW OUR
If you are interested in international adoption, I highly
recommend Bay Area Adoption Service, www.baas.org,
650-964-3800. Proud mom of a now-19 yr old daughter
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
We used adopt international and adopted from Ethiopia. I
highly recommend you look into adopting from Ethiopia!
Good luck blessed with infertility
Hi there - we also used Adopt International - however we
adopted domestically. They are a fantastic agency. We
worked with Lisa Clark as our facilitator - she made the
process so memorable. We used their service for both our
daughters (who we adopted as newborns) and are thinking
about using them again. www.adoptinter.org and phone:
(415) 934-0300. Best of luck to you! Happy Adoptive Parent
We used Adoption Connection
in San Francisco to do our homestudy
for our Chinese adoption. They are part of Jewish Family and
Children's services and we thought they were wonderful:
Note that they do not do international placement-- just
homestudies-- and it was great having their perspective as
objective professionals as we went through the process with our
other agency. Good luck!
We are interested in adopting a baby domestically, and would be very grateful
for recommendations of (or warnings about) adoption agencies and facilitators.
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/.
I knew that I wanted to adopt through the foster system and
had an excellent experience with
Family Builders, which has
an Oakland office. I also highly recommend Pact (also in
Oakland). Again, they did not do our adoption but are an
excellent resource. I wish you the best!
I am interested to get any feedback about adopting a child
either locally (California/East Bay), domestically or
internationally. Has anyone gone through the process, and if
so, can you give me some advice. Also has anyone used Nancy
Hurwitz Kors? An adoption facilitator based in Walnut Creek?
If so, do you recommend her services?
Call Family Formation in Lafayette! They are fantastic!!!
We adopted twice through Adoption Network
(http://www.adoptionnetwork.com/) based in Southern Cal. Our
experience with them was generally very good; we were matched with
wonderful birth parents.. We were matched almost immediately
after signing up both times. In our first adoption, our birthmom
lived in their housing for the last 2 months of her pregnancy
which was great because it gave us a chance to get to know her,
and it meant that it would be an in state adoption which is much
simpler and more affordable.. The 2nd adoption was much more
complicated and costly because our daughter was born in WA state
and we got stuck up there for almost a month before we were
cleared to bring her back to CA, and because Adoption Network
referred us to an awful agency up there in WA (A Child's Dream, in
Poulsbo). So, i'd recommend doing what you can to make sure that
your baby is born here in CA.. We did meet with Nancy in Walnut
Creek, and liked her, but felt that the larger Adoption Network would work better for us. Best of luck!
We adopted internationally through Heartsent Adoptions, Inc,
www.heartsent.org. We had a great experience and recommend them
highly. Adoption is a very personal process. Please feel free to
contact me if you would like more info.
Please check out a wonderful organization Open Path The Fertility
& Adoption Resource of Northern California. They have monthly
information nites on adoption with discussions on the many
different types of adoption and sharing referrals on professionals
in the area.
This organization was formerly known as Resolve. We started with
this organization and found a lot of information for ourselves on
a mom through adoption
When doing my adoption research, I met with that adoption
facilitator in Walnut Creek. I was disturbed by a couple of
things she did and said during our interview. Afterwards I called
around to get advice, and that's when I learned of her reputation
in the professional community. I moved on.
I had fantastic results with the facilitators at The Best Gift
Adoptions (www.bestgiftadoptions.com). They were recommended to
me by friends. I brought my newborn home just nine months after
turning in the last of my paperwork.
To help understand the complications of local or domestic
adoption, I recommend two websites which show you ''what's out
there right now'': www.cakidsconnection.com and www.adoptlink.com.
My husband and I are considering adoption. We are focusing on domestic adoption
right now, but we're willing to consider international as well. If you've gone
through the process, what agency (or which lawyer) did you use, and how did you
choose that agency? Were you happy with that choice? Are there any websites or
books you would recommend?
Thanks for your advice, Hopefull
We attended an orientation by Adoption Connection in SF. They seemed
very good at domestic. We did IA using a country-specific agency,
however. Adoption Connection has a website. Also,
creatingafamily.com might be a useful site. Best of luck in adding to
I wish you the very best in figuring out about adoption! My headline
is that I have a wonderful, lovely kid and the fears with which I
entered the process are falling away as the daily life of raising a
child takes over. I knew that I wanted to adopt a child through the
foster system and went through Family Builders, and I could not be
happier about the training and support they provided all the way
through the process. My social worker was outstanding and I feel
tremendously grateful to have met people at every step along the way
who are working with immense integrity in California's decidedly
imperfect child welfare system.
The San Francisco Chronicle just published an article about Family
Builders's Director, Jill Jacobs, last week--look it up online.
I wish you the best!
How exciting to be starting the journey to parenthood. There is a
GREAT organization based in San Francisco - Open Path The Fertility &
Adoption Resource that is a great starting point. They offer free
monthly workshops on information for adoption ''A Look At Adoption''
that gives a general overview of this family-building option including
how to pick a professional, etc. and they also offer a 7 week group
''Exploring Adoption'' that gives a more indepth view of becoming a
family thru adoption with topics on transracial/transcultural, myth vs
reality, etc. The website is www.youropenpath.org They also have a
directory available online with professionals for all family-building
options in the bay area. All of the professionals go through a
thorough screening process.
We have adopted twice domestically and would be happy to share our
For our international adoption, we went with Heartsent Adoption, Inc.
in Orinda. (They do domestic also.) We visited only 2 agencies and
after talking with Val Free, the founder of Heartsent, it was clear
that we wanted to go with her agency. Besides making the process very
open and clear, Heartsent goes further offering many classes for pre
and post-adoptive parents covering a huge range of issues. Excellent.
Adoption is an extremely personal process, different for everyone.
Best thing we ever did! I would be happy to talk to you about it.
I completed my private domestic adoption a few years ago. For the home
study I used Adoption Connection, but did not use their outreach
program. For the outreach I used the Law Offices of Adams and Romer
(Susan Romer). Both have web pages you can consult for more
information. I was very pleased with both agencies, especially Susan
If you want to explore international adoption, I highly recommend Bay
Area Adoption Services (650-964-3800 or www.BAAS.org). Our adoption
was completed 17 years ago, and this organization is only getting
stronger. BAAS received accreditation for adoption from Hague
countries and also recently was licensed to extend their service area.
They are caring and supportive all the way through the process, and
never fail in their encouragement of waiting parents to ''keep your
eye on the goal.''
An organization that can help you get started is ''Open
Path''(formerly Resolve of Northern California). They have workshops,
support groups, and reference information available:
http://www.fertilityandadoption.com/. A great online reference source
is Adoptive Families Magazine's free adoption guide:
http://www.theadoptionguide.com/. The magazine itself is fabulous and
worth a subscription. In addition to adoption ''how-tos,'' it also has
articles about all stages of parenting and great family stories. As
for agencies, there are many options. I can personally recommend
Adoption Connection, whom we used for the homestudy for our
international adoption but they also have a domestic program. They are
wonderful: http://www.adoptionconnection.org. A friend of mine had a
great experience with AASK (Adopt a Special Kid), which was a
fost-adopt program(www.adoptaspecialkid.org). Good luck in your
Silver Spoon Adoption
After trying advertising, and having an adoption in Arizona not work out at the
last minute, and other personal things happen that stretched the time out to 5
years, our adoption attorney (who charged us by the hour instead of an overall
fee) suggested an agency called Silver Spoon Adoptions as a place where we could
be matched with a family interested in adoption of their child fairly quickly.
In essence they advertise in phone books, and are there to accept calls from
birthfamilies, and with information from people like us, they can tell the
birthfamily that a number of people will be calling them. They then called us
(and usually others) and we called the birthfamily. The positives are that the
birthfamilies already knew things like our age that might not be acceptable to
all birthfamilies, and so you don't have to hold your breath when talking to
them. Also, they do (or did three years ago) have a lot of calls and we were
matched in a month and one-half. People have the perception that there is not
much screening through them, but our experience is that they talk to many
birthmothers, and are pretty good at screening and up front about potential
problems. The negatives are that you are to some extent on your own about
making a decision about the right situation, and also after finding a match. In
our experience, some of the birthfamilies are very needy, and in need of a lot
of financial support. Two of the families were homeless, including the family
we eventually adopted from. In retrospect, I realize the name Silver Spoon
Adoptions is likely to lead to people perceiving that adopting families have a
lot of money. I didn't even think of that aspect at the time. We did take out
insurance because of the financial burden, and we realized it would be hard to
start again if it didn't work out. We did use the insurance once. We also
found a local facilitator in the area where the birthfamily lived to help us
through all the ups and downs. I could go on and on about the experience - and
if you decide to try Silver Spoon I have some tips for you, so contact me
through my e-mail directly. Just to tell you we have the most wonderful 3 year
old daughter in the world, and are still in touch with the birthfamily.
just did a search for Silver
Spoon Adoptions on the web, and there was a note from someone about negative
things being posted on a site called adoption.com, and a suit being brought by
Silver Spoon. I don't know what to think. Our experience was only positive. Oh
Moderator Note (Sept 2011) It appears that Silver Spoon Adoptions is no longer
in the adoption business according to their
website http://www.asilverspoonadoptions.com/ which states:
"If you are looking to adopt a child, we regret that we
do not work with adoptive families." However, the website also
features a phone number for "Birth parents only", and services are offered
to birth parents that include this statement: "You can choose and meet the
adoptive parents." It is not clear what this business actually does, or
if it is actually still in business.
this page was last updated: Aug 14, 2012
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