MYTH: All adoption agencies are the same

Are all adoption agencies the same? Holt’s senior director of adoption services Susie Doig weighs in.

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Over the six decades Holt has been helping children find families for children, we’ve received a lot of calls from people just starting to explore international adoption.

Most of these calls focus on gathering information about fees, adoption process time frames and the profiles of children waiting for adoptive families.  These are good questions, and important ones to have answered, as parents compare programs and agencies.  But some prospective adoptive parents dig deeper to ask why children are available for adoption, what steps Holt is taking to ensure children can remain with their birth families or be adopted in their birth country, and what our long term commitment is to the children and families we serve.  

This focus on the long-term perspective, and the desire to know that international adoption is the best plan for their child, highlights the commitment these families and Holt share to ensure that international adoption is in the best interest of the child.

These are the types of questions we are excited to hear parents asking, and questions that we love to answer, especially at the beginning of the adoption process.

Many adoptive families realize after they’ve finished an adoption that these issues are the most important, and they often wished they’d asked these questions earlier. These are the questions their children will ask them as they grow and mature and begin to explore how and why they became an international adoptee.  LHphotography08_IFamily010

Over the decades, Holt’s overseas partners have counseled hundreds of adult adoptees and helped them to review their files and explain all the steps the social workers went through in counseling the adoptee’s birth parent during the decision making process.  Holt’s post-adoption services team has shared information with thousands of adoptees about the cultural, social and economic forces that impact a birth parent’s decision to make an adoption plan.  When adoptees are given this important information, they are able to better understand their birth parents perspective, allowing for integration of their adoption experience into their own personal narrative.  While Holt has very competitive program fees and time frames, it’s the child welfare programming in the countries where Holt works that differentiates Holt from other agencies. Holt and Holt’s partners will be there, not just for the adoptive parents but also for the adoptee, long after they’ve given up playing with stuffed animals and Hot Wheels.

During National Adoption Month, we celebrate with our staff, partner agencies, adoptive parents and adoptees our vision of a world where every child has a loving and secure home. We celebrate that the way we accomplish this is through family strengthening, domestic adoption and international adoption.

Together, we are making a difference in the lives of vulnerable children around the world, both in the child’s country of birth as well as through international adoption.  And that is truly something worth celebrating!

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