Adoptions Together Inc
I wish I could write a positive review about Adoptions Together - but unfortunately I cannot. They were great before I paid, but then they slowly progressed to getting worse and worse. The homestudy process was terrible, took forever, and the end product was dreadful. Communication was also terrible (except for before we paid).
There is little support, and the professionalism is greatly lacking. The worst part is, once you start, you are stuck with them (unless you want to start all over with a new agency and pay more exuberant fees). I was almost more relieved to be rid of them than I was to have the adoption finalized.
The only positive we have to say is they were very gay friendly - which was a plus, and some of the staff seemed very nice (I'd take competent over nice, but at least the weren't terrible at their job AND unfriendly).
I wish I could write a positive review for Adoptions Together, but unfortunately most of our experience with them has not been good. At first they were very responsive and seemed very professional, but as time went by they stop returning calls and became less and less helpful (though still very effective at taking our money quickly). I suspect they used to be better, and are now floating on an old reputation. Much of their long-serving staff is no longer there, and perhaps our negative experience is a result of a less professional or less knowledgeable staff.
In a very important process (adoption) it would be nice to have an agency you can trust - this is no longer an agency that can be trusted.
A waste of time and money
I'd like to say that our experience with Adoptions Together was great... but it was terrible. Stay away and don't write that first check. The requests for fees will only kept coming while hardly any services are evident. Our home study was poorly constructed. The staff did not have any sense of urgency towards home study completion or towards matching. In fact, the agency requires more money if placement identification takes longer so why wouldn't they take their time. The suggested matches provided by the agency did not fit the preferences that we clearly stated on a number of occasions and on the paperwork. The agency did not follow up with suggested match potentials while we were clients. Numerous requests for home study submissions were not clearly responded to and I doubt half of them were even sent to various requesting agencies. Many of these agencies acknowledged that a home study was never received by their staff. After the first month with a completed home study, I had little confidence in the Adoptions Together staff. In fact, Adoptions Together did more for us before we signed up with their program; that was the reason we originally signed up. The worst part is that it is their "policy" not to allow families to have a copy of their own home study that they/we paid for. Also, from experience, local DSS agencies do a better job of matching, they cost almost nothing, and they have less stringent requirements. This private agency seems to be more about making money than families.
Do your research
When deciding on an adoption agency do better research than we did. Adoptions Together is barely an agency. It is not much more than a hobby for the people that work there. Look online as if you were a birth mother looking for an agency in the area. Adoptions Together has no real online presence nor do they really have a realistic outreach program.
After waiting over a year plus and paying thousands of dollars they tell us that we need to do more to find a birth mother ourselves. When we appoaching them on input on our profile book that gets shown to the birth mothers they gave no help at all. Giving return phone calls is not their interest. It has been difficult even impossible to get something more useful than lip-service.
The time and money we lost on this agency is heart breaking. Please do your research before you pick an agency.
AdoptionWorks Program is Outstanding
I am completing my adoption of a young boy from foster care, and Adoptions Together has been a fantastic agency to work with. The Adoption Works program (their foster care adoption program) is top notch, and the program director and staff go out of their way to make sure you understand everything that is happening, and to answer any questions you may have. They are on the ball with paperwork and I never had to worry about any of that. However, you do have to understand if you enter this program that the children you will be adopting have been through a lot, and be prepared to handle it. The program director will not mince words when telling you about the challenges these kids face, and she does it to make sure you truly know what you are getting into. However, once you are in the program, they will do everything they can to support you and your child.
Also, you need to be aware that although the program director and staff will be looking for children for you, it is also on you to search the provided websites to alert them to children you are interested in considering for adoption. The more active you are, the better chance you have to being placed with a child sooner rather than later. Overall I have had an outstanding experience with this agency, and would highly recommend them to anyone who is interested in adopting from foster care.
My only concern I ever had, and it was not directly related to the Adoption Works program, was a slight delay in my homestudy once it made it to the administrative office to be processed. My social worker was great about getting her part done, but once she turned the homestudy in, even she was concerned because I had not been alerted a month later that it had been completed. Additionally, I found 3 small mistakes in the homestudy that I highlighted needed to be corrected that never were (at least the first time around, my social worker picked up on them when I renewed my homestudy and got it taken care of). So I was not exactly thrilled with the homestudy staff, but not enough to not recommend the agency. If you stay on them about the homestudy, the Adoption Works staff is really top notch.
Adoptive Mom, Maryland
I might give up on Adoptions Together
We did our home study with Adoptions Together.
First off, there are some great people at Adoptions Together. However, my husband and I both got the impression from our social worker (who completed our home study) that we should be ever so grateful to her for all she was doing for us. Mind you, she didn't do much. We completed everything quickly, did our own research, answered our own questions... she took a month to finish our home study report and when we got it back, it was full of errors. It looked like she had pasted our information in over someone else's report. (Our wedding day and personal information were incorrect, for example).
The other problem that we have with this company is its lack of disclosure of costs. We asked for costs up front, and no one could give us an extensive list (to include mandatory training seminars, mileage fees for the social workers, medical fees, paper work fees, etc.) If this is your BUSINESS, you shoud have a very good list of typical costs that adoptive parents can expect to pay. It's no wonder that they can't give a straight answer, though. In the 4 months that we have been working with the company, AT has added THREE new or increased costs to infant adoption. When we ask about it, they say that the company just can't afford to not charge for [blah blah blah...] I think that once an adoptive parent has agreed to costs, those costs should not change. If I end up using Adoptions Together, they say they can continue to add costs as needed (the latest one is $660 for "exchanging letters and videos" between birth parents and adopted children over 18 years). I think such costs should be added "as needed," not just because AT is having trouble managing its finances.
One final note - there are some administrative folks in this company that are completely ineffective, difficult to work with, and unresponsive. Judging by other posts, I'm not the only one who has had this experience. Adoptions Together could reduce some of it's own internal costs by shedding some extra weight, in my opinion.
We used this agency for our Home Study since our adoption agency is not in Maryland. We submitted ALL the paperwork except the clearances not required at the time of submission. The process is supposed to take 90 days, so we waited thinking they were working on the Home Study until we heard, after a month, we were finally assigned a case worker to guide us with our paperwork. Supposedly, the first visit is used to instruct us as to how to fill out the paperwork, obviously our newly assigned caseworker did not know we had already submitted all of the required paperwork. We suggested can we skip the first home study visit and call it the second since the paperwork is done. The answer was no. As a result, we burned several weeks waiting for the follow on meetings. Once the required three meetings were completed, we were ensured that the report would be finished within 2 weeks, but it was not. Running out of patience we started emailing our caseworker and the AT offices. The coordinator Nancy Perkins kept telling us it was in process, they never seem to commit to a completion date. It seems to us she did not know what the case worker (sub-contractor) was doing, or that the 90 days had already expired. The Home study was issued with a few errors, that took THREE weeks to correct. The bottom line is, it took two months after the third home study meeting to write a report where an outline was provided by the adoption agency in a fill-in-the-blanks format, and the required paperwork was completed by the client prior to even meeting their caseworker. In our opinion, the process was managed unprofessionally, and quite honestly it seems that what AT wants you to do is to pay the extra $2,600 for an expedited 1 month process.
We like the people, but taking forever
We are using adoptions together for our homestudy but using American Adoptions for our agency. We are very surprised about how long this process is taking to complete our homestudy. I am so glad I have been keeping a journal about our experiences because, It allows me to see how long each step is taking.
My husband and I had ALL of our paperwork together before we started this process and it got sent to our agency last Friday and arrived today a Thursday. The total time has been from 2/19 until today 5/27.
Positives: The social worker was very nice, our social worker allowed her personal schedule to affect our meetings. The staff at Adoptions Together answered our questions very quickly, via email and phone. Very very fast in fact, but the rest of the process has taken forever!!!
I would recommend this company as long as you don't feel embarassed to check up on them like I did, quite often!!!
Good luck to everyone, hope this helps :)
Domestic Infant Adoption
We had a wonderful experience with Adoptions Together! They have always been professional and caring in our dealings with them. We adopted our daughter without any complications, and they kept us updated all through the process. We couldn't be happier!
What started out as a good relationship quickly turned into a bad situation due to the unprofessional approach the agency took in dealing with our progress as adoptive parents. And, we were not the only family affected by their inappropriate and impersonal action. We DO NOT recommend this agency to anyone, especially families that live in Washington, DC.
Very poor treatment of customer.
Unfriendly and unprofessional.
We adopted 2 children from Guatemala using this agency. The first experience was smooth; the second was painstaking and if we had not been schooled in the first, it could have been a total disaster. The facilitator of our 2nd adoption (not the same person as the first), Anne Polasko, was not competent in the process nor a a seasoned business person to deal with the issues at hand. Can you believe the facilitator for spanish speaking country does not speak spanish?! thank god my husband is fluent....he is the only reasson we got thru this process
Our domestic adoption was
Our domestic adoption was extremely difficult due to an indecisive birth father. Adoptions Together was incredible. They couldn't possibly have handled it any better. They are so thorough and were so respectful of us and our birth parents. We are grateful everyday. We have had other adoptions and none of our other agencies were nearly as competent as Adoptions Together.
Poor management of case both
Poor management of case both in US and Guatemala. Poor communication. Incomplete and generic updates.
Poor all the way around.
Guatemala program director
Guatemala program director Anne Polasko visits all children once a month and takes photos and receives information from the foster mothers. You can also send down monthly gifts for your child and foster mother/family.
In Guatemala they work with more than one facilitator, and some facilitators they work with are quicker and more efficient than others.