So far we only know a few things for sure. Here they are:
1) We want to adopt a child.
2) We want to adopt a newborn.
3) We want to use an adoption agency as opposed to any other option.
4) There is a whole lot that we don't know.
And that about wraps it up in terms of what we know for sure. Well I guess we also know that we don't want to take any steps with an agency until a month or two after we get married, twice, in October. So, for now there is a lot of looking and deciding about what steps we want to take in the future.
One of the things that I have been going back and forth on is the issue of which agency to choose. We pretty much have it narrowed down to two options. One is a large, national, well-known adoption agency. There is a branch in Evanston, nearby where we live, that we know works with gay and lesbian couples. The other option is a smaller, less well-known adoption agency that is located right down the street from out house. Judging based on the information they provide on their website, they also are used to working with gay and lesbian couples.
I go back and forth between which is a better fit for us and I know that we can't make any decisions until we meet with both agencies and see which feels right for us. They way I see it, there are advantages to both options. Going with a larger agency, to me, means that more women who are looking for adoptive families are likely to that agency versus a less well-known agency. However, I also love the idea of working with a smaller agency who really gets to know the people they are working with. Plus, does working with a smaller agency mean that we are competing with fewer families who are looking to adopt a child? While I wish I didn't see these other families as competition, it is hard for me not to.
Above all else, it is important to both Carla and I that the agency we choose is used to working with gay and lesbian couples. I found it extremely helpful to look at the information provided by the HRC's project, All Children -- All Families which can be found at: http://www.hrc.org/issues/parenting/adoptions/12111.htm
This project listed gay friendly adoption agencies and also listed criteria to use when trying to decide whether or not an agency is open to working with gay and lesbian couples. Since there were no agencies listed in our area, it was helpful to know what to look for when searching through agency websites. Our current two options both met many of the requirements that HRC set, so I feel confident that either agency that we end up using with be open and welcoming to working with Carla and I.
So again, I hope to find others who know more than we do and I hope to find advice from those who have gone through the adoption process. Until then, I will continue to search the web looking for answers to the multiplying questions that continue to pop up!