So, after tons of reading and research I think we have decided on trying for a domestic adoption. Can some of you who have btdt give me advice on what questions to ask a potential agency and what would be your "red flagss?"
Ideally you would know someone who has recently adopted from the agency and have them recommend the agency to you because of their great experience. I would want to know if you lose any fees if a "match" falls through, I would want an agency that has a sliding fee scale based on income-not have the fees based on race, I would want a non-profit, I would want to know how many families they have waiting and how many babies they place a year, I would want to know approximately racial breakdown, I would want good through training, I would want to know the average wait, and one thing I really liked about our agency is that they encourage the birthparents to wait 10 days to sign their rights away even though they could sign at 72 hours. I really wanted to know that they had time to make their decision as I have given birth to two children and the first couple days are so hard physically, emotionally, etc. and that wasn't an adoption situation. Best of luck! I have found that agencies vary greatly.
I agree -- try to find others who have adopted recently and ask for recommendations about the agency. Put the word out -- you'd be surprised at how many people you know "know someone" who adopted. I got so many referrals when we were going through the process, and they were all strangers who knew people I barely knew (like people at work, moms at the gym, etc.). Those referrals gave me even more names of people THEY knew to talk to.
And you may also want to try contacting your local foster care agencies -- they might be able to point you to local adoption agencies or private resources as well. (We found ours that way; Catholic Social Services has an Infant Adoption program here and lots of other places. And you don't have to be Catholic.)