I always encourage people to check into several agencies. You want to find a good fit between the services the agency offers and the type of services and support you need. Ask friends, ask people here, do an on-line search - and then get materials from those different agencies.
ASK the agency contact person about costs and allowable expenses.
The agency does NOT have to be in the state in which you live. We lived in TN and adopted through a TX agency.
Different states have different laws regarding the point in time at which the relenquishment (by the birth parent) becomes irrevokable.
They also have different laws that regulate the amount of money that the birth mother can receive for support during the pregnancy. in MOST states you will pay living expenses (inc. rent, food, utility bills), uncovered medical expenses (for example, if the B Mom has insurance, you would pay the deductable), transportation to work, or doctor visits, prenatal vitamins that are not
The amount of these expenses is controlled - usually something like a 5,000 limit over the 9 mos of pregnancy and a short (usually no more than 6 weeks) recooperation period after the birth. What you are allowed to purchase is also regulated. For example, you can pay transportation expenses (like a taxi) but buying a car is a prohibited expense in most states.
This year, the adoption tax credit has become a true credit. in previous years, once you got to the point where you were due a refund - the credit stopped - which is great for some people, but not if you are already due a refund - because then you might as well not have the credit at all (ok tax people, i know that technically that isn’t exactly how it worked, but just for the sake of making this simple, i’m sticking with that example).
But now, if you adopt and you are, say, at the break even point where you aren’t owed a refund, but you don’t have to pay either - NOW with the law change, you would get those funds back in the form of a refund. Check the IRS.gov site, or google adoption tax credit 2011 for more detailed information. I am NOT an accountant or any kind of financial advisor and NONE of this info is meant to substitute for you talking with your own tax professional!