Probably the best first step is to conduct some research, either through materials available at the public library or over the Internet. There are a number of adoption-related web sites, but keep in mind that not all of them offer the same quality of information. The National Adoption Information Clearinghouse, which is run by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Children and Families, may be a good starting point. Its web address is http://www.calib.com/naic.
Because each state’s laws vary so widely, it is critically important to check with state government agencies that regulate adoption to determine your specific rights and responsibilities.
There are numerous adoption agencies, and it makes sense to get information from several before making a decision on which one would be the best option. Once you choose an agency, you will be working with that group for the next several months, so make sure you are comfortable with your choice.