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Did you have disagreements with your agency?

On the whole, we are really pleased with our adoption agency. But when writing the Dear Birthparent letter, I really disagreed with what they told me to do but I did it anyway, such that the letter really doesn't reflect who we are. It doesn't sound like us at all. I don't know who it describes, but it sure isn't us. This isn't a deal breaker, and it really is the only area I have a problem with. So I'm wondering, for those who have adopted, did you disagree with your agency along the way?

 
TwoBrownDogs

Asked by TwoBrownDogs at 12:03 AM on Oct. 28, 2010 in Adoption

Level 15 (2,099 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (8)
  • I had a conversation with my agency after we had adopted to give feedback and asked about the profiles. Their intent was that if they dictate the format, each couple is presented the same way and then the pbmom can easily compare one to another. It was supposed to make it "more fair" between couples. My issue was that if I only am allowed to write X number of words in the profile, I may not want to waste a whole paragraph on say, hobbies, when I would rather put an extra paragraph in about what open adoptions means already to our family.
    I dont think they ask you to mislead anyone about yourself but they also dont allow you to really focus on what you want to say.
    2ndtimewish

    Answer by 2ndtimewish at 9:54 PM on Nov. 2, 2010

  • Speaking as a birth mother, the general format that an agency has come up with for thier Dear Birthmother letters is actually very useful for a birthmother seeking a family. However I would insist on including a little something written OFF format . Even saying that As much as you want to follow the "rules" , You wanted to also give the birth mother an idea of your strength of character and ability to stand on your own so to speak. Doesnt have to be anything super long. But it will give you a sense of having stayed true to yourself.
    katiPeas

    Answer by katiPeas at 3:27 AM on Oct. 28, 2010

  • YES! I didnt want ours to be the cookie cutter format that they wanted and we fought them and fought them and it delayed us getting into their system an presented to PBM's for way longer than it should have. I finally consented to their format and after 18 months had not one woman interested in us. I knew it was not working. I then told them that I was doing it my way and redrafted it start to finish. We were matched within days of our changing it and I finally felt it reflected the real us.

    One of the tricks that I did that i would pass along is to have someone who doesnt know you at all read your profile. (a friend of a friend, coworker or a friend, etc). Then ask them what are the 5 things they remember after reading it. If those 5 things are not the message that you want to get across, your profile isnt correct. It is easy to get caught in the "cookie cutter" that they want you in that you can lose the real you.
    2ndtimewish

    Answer by 2ndtimewish at 1:05 PM on Oct. 28, 2010

  • I understand the need to go with the flow. But, it seems dishonest to present yourself in a way that really is not who you are. An expectant mom picks a family based on what she reads (and maybe later what she sees), shouldn't it be crucial to be honest and real with her?

    I wish more moms did stand up to agencies and question their practices!
    Southernroots

    Answer by Southernroots at 3:34 PM on Oct. 28, 2010

  • We have never had a disagreement with our agency, we have had a wonderful experience with our caseworker! As far as our expectant mother letter, we put together a little scrapbook on our family, included the expectant mother letter on the first page, and our caseworker in her 20 years of adoption work, was very impressed with our letter and book, so much so that she was going to use the extra copy to show future families seeking to adopt.
    TiffyTaffy79

    Answer by TiffyTaffy79 at 11:40 AM on Oct. 28, 2010

  • Sure did. We were told our profile was terrible and that caused a fight and me to burst into tears. I didn't get a warm fuzzy feeling from our agency until I stopped being so emotional, which was when we were placed. I am SO glad we stuck with them though as they are FABULOUS and I would recommend them to anyone!
    TALuke

    Answer by TALuke at 3:30 PM on Oct. 29, 2010

  • I am with SR., on this one...I am not surprised that 'one falls in line and follows the rules', however, I never quite seem to get used to it, and it still astounds me reading it is so, in print. I see, phrases like "one of the tricks', and "when I stopped be so emtional', it once again becomes so real! Knowing that it is a "high stakes game", and a financial wind fall for some....and all at the cost of procuring another womans child. Truly sad, what many will do. Hats off to those of you, who are so willing to "do what it takes", as a First Mom, I could never do this, but even before becoming someone who had to surrender, adoption was never a part of any of my world, nor anone I knew who could not have children Naturally. Does it really "cost' you a baby, if you cannot be YOU? CJ
    ceejay1

    Answer by ceejay1 at 1:29 PM on Oct. 31, 2010

  • What I've observed in our agency is that if you fight and argue about the content of your letter, they will delay approving it and thus your homestudy. They have us in a bind. And don't get me going on the tone and "audience" they told me to write to, as far as they described, I should assume the lowest possible reading level and not include anything that makes us sound elitist, which pissed me off to a whole huge level because it assumes a lot of classist BS about the expectant mothers. But we didn't know better and we were going along to get along. As time passes and we learn more, we have decided that we are going to speak up and speak directly to the director with our specific complaints and concerns.
    TwoBrownDogs

    Comment by TwoBrownDogs (original poster) at 1:39 PM on Oct. 31, 2010