Choosing an Adoption Agency

Back in 2010 when the hubs and I decided adoption was the path to expand our family, we searched high and low for the best adoption agency for us. As I highlighted in a previous post, DFW has numerous, reputable adoption agencies. We spent two months visiting agencies, attending meetings, and asking question after question after question of anyone who might know anything about adoption. I had enough adoption notebooks to fill a shelf. (so.not.kidding.)

I’d like to say the decision was easy . . . that we just “knew” the right choice. But that was not our experience. We strained over the pros and cons until an outside circumstance (more on that in another post) prodded us toward Hope Cottage. We started our vetting process in July and by September found ourselves teaming up with Hope Cottage for our adoption journey.

HC logo

We’ve been asked time and time again (and I’m glad to respond time and time again because adoption is practically my favorite topic!) why we chose Hope Cottage. Along with that outside circumstance (which I believe was what we needed to get over the indecisive hump), the following reasons summarize why we chose Hope Cottage . . . and why we still love ’em.

  • It’s a smaller agency with a personal feel. You really do feel like you become part of the Hope Cottage family.
  • It’s a smaller agency, meaning we didn’t feel lost in the shuffle or need to be put on a waiting list. Once our home study process was approved, we were considered a waiting family right then. No “Congratulations. You are 138 on the waiting list.” This also means–for the most part–a shorter wait time until placement.
  • While it may be a smaller agency, it is an experienced one. Founded in 1918, Hope Cottage has been supporting women and building families for DECADES. They know what they are doing. That was a comfort to us.
  • Hope Cottage supports open adoption, but doesn’t place any requirements on the birth or adoptive families to pursue open adoption. Personally, we champion open adoption but believe that every adoption situation needs a unique definition of openness. Hope Cottage allowed us to proceed on a level where we were comfortable.
  • The agency focuses on foster-to-adopt and domestic infant adoption. We liked how Hope Cottage narrows its emphasis, allowing them to be really knowledgeable and focused in these areas.
  • Hope Cottage serves Texas families, eliminating the possibility of travel to another state (and added state laws, adoption requirements) for placement. Since the adoption process was like the great unknown to us, this element of domestic adoption was one less issue for us (eh, me) to stress about.

If you’re considering adoption, I recommend visiting several adoption agencies. Each organization has its own vibe and services. What might be great for me might not be perfect for you. However, our experience with Hope Cottage was a blessing. The right agency at the right time; and, of course, it will ALWAYS be special in our hearts because it was through Hope Cottage that our darling girl joined our family.


  1. May I ask what your home study was like? My husband and I have our orientation at Hope coming up at the end of the month. Also, how many other families are in the infant adoption program? Are birth mothers choosing between hundreds of family profiles? Anymore information you could provide would be awesome! Thanks so much!!!

    • Please be careful of this place. They are only in business to make a profit. They do not take into account the mother may to making the biggest mistake of her life. They do not care if the father wants the baby. They do not care if the families of the mother or father want the baby. Once they have the baby that is it! That have an object to sell – only profit is their goal. Which is sad. They do not care the baby has a family that wants the baby. That the baby has brothers and sisters. Of course they are nice to people that want a baby or want to give a baby up. But boy be the baby’s biological family and boy do they get rude and aggressive. They used “all father’s rights” to terminate my sons right so they would not have to deal with him or his family. So be careful the baby you adopt may have been truly wanted by his/her biological family but Hope Cottage wanted to make a dollar – how sad.

      • I’m not sure what your experience is, so I obviously can’t comment on that, however I do feel like I should clarify:

        -Hope Cottage is a non-profit.
        -Hope Cottage will not discuss adoption with a mother before first helping her consider parenting.
        -Hope Cottage follows all state and federal laws regarding relinquishment and termination of birth family rights. This includes a 30 day paternity registry.
        -Hope Cottage actually advocates for and encourages open adoption relationships.
        -Hope Cottage mediates and provides platforms for open adoption relationships beyond Adoption Court Finalization.
        -Hope Cottage educates and encourages positive adoption language, in order to protect and empower birth mothers.

        I feel like it’s important to clarify these points.

      • Sheila– I read your comments, and can see that your family is grieving this adoption and obviously endured a lot of pain. I’ve worked as an adoption social worker for 25 years, and I know how complex and multifaceted this delicate and difficult decision is for all the many family members involved. The birth mother’s desire to make an adoption plan is so often contrary to extended family members, and the laws in Texas (as well as most states) find that grandparents’ rights become murky water when the child’s birth mother is making a decision contrary to the desire of grandparents. I’ve never worked for Hope Cottage, but I have worked for three other non-profit adoption agencies in my career. At all agencies, the cost of every adoption actually required that the agency pursue fundraising on top of adoption fees in order to subsidize the actual expense, by thousands of dollars per adoption. There are no profits when it comes to the medical care costs and counseling costs per adoption, and post adoption services are lifelong for clients at adoption agencies. I hope that your family and your son know that post adoption counseling is available to help navigate this journey. Obviously, it sounds like Hope Cottage doesn’t feel like a safe place to you, but there are many other non-profits and resources out there to help carry your burden. My heart goes out to you, as I’ve met so many wonderful family members on all sides of adoption.


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