Each of our reviews, scores, and rankings is derived from our proprietary Ranking Criteria™. We do not have any relationships with companies that guarantee position, rank or score—and we never will. Like many sites, we are compensated through affiliate relationships with each company we review; however, our Ranking Criteria™, along with real customer reviews from people like you, ensure we remain honest and unbiased. Read on to discover more about how user review moderation and expert scoring is processed or select an industry to see our full ranking criteria.

How we rank for

13% Success Rate

The Success Rate is the average number of children successfully placed with a family the year prior. Some companies only showcase the Success Rate over a few years. In those cases, the Review Team takes the average number for the total years published.

  • The Review Team conducted a survey of more than 1,000 random people asking them what factors would help determine which Adoption Agency company they would use in the event you would consider adopting. To the Review Team’s surprise, 28 percent of those people chose the Success Rate. After Success Rate, Fees was chosen by 24 percent and then Waiting Time with 22 percent.
  • The Review Team tries to closely align what the consumers are looking for with the Ranking Criteria. This survey has influenced the weight of each of the factors, putting Success Rate at the highest weighted factor with 13 percent and Waiting Time and Fees weighing 10 percent each.

10% Fees

Those first being introduced to the world of adoption finances may find the high costs a harsh reality. Fees vary by type and amount depending on the agency and adoption procedure. Agencies that reasonably limit excessive fees will be given a higher ranking.

5% Financing Options

Fees associated with adoption can be high. Fortunately, some agencies provide flexible financing options that can work within most budgets. These options can present an intriguing alternative to paying the bill in full as an upfront cost.

10% Adoption Types

There are two primary types of adoptions, “Closed” and “Open”. Closed adoptions create strict processes to prevent contact between an adopted child and its birth-parents until at least the age of 18. Open adoptions allow interaction between adopted children and their birth-parents on a case-by-case basis. Having options when researching the potential adoption process is critical. Because of this, a higher ranking is given to agencies that have more adoption type options offered.

5% Education

Adopting can be a complicated and time consuming process. Agencies that are able to provide educational information can provide much needed extra value to those involved in the process.

10% Waiting Time

Across the board, it can take a significant amount of time from beginning paperwork to taking your adopted child home. Some agencies have more refined operations, speeding up the process of initial paperwork and interviews without losing any needed investigative work. Those companies who, on average, match the right child to their adopted parents faster are given a higher score.

5% Better Business Bureau Grade

Although not a perfect indicator, and sometimes biased (based on some things that we’ve seen in the industry), the BBB ranking is a very important data point for most consumers, and therefore we have given this a higher weight. Keep in mind that there are many companies that have very low ratings on their BBB score that are based on the industry they are in, and not consumer feedback.

7% Experience

Adopting from an agency that has been through the process many times for countless years provides extra peace-of-mind. A better score is given to agencies who have been facilitating adoptions for longer periods of time.

15% Consumer Reviews

This site is designed to let consumers share their experiences. Given our expertise in many industries and the knowledge that we have gained over the years, we know that some of the most important opinions come from real customers. That is why we have allocated so much of our overall rating to the voice of our validated customer reviews. The Consumer Reviews Score is broken down into three metrics:

  1. The Average User Score
  2. Total Number of Reviews
  3. Total Number of Reviews in the last 12 months

These 3 metrics not only help us understand what consumers are saying, they also help us gain an understanding of volume and recency. All of which are critical to understanding the value of a company in the eyes of the consumer.

Note: this is different from the user score that is displayed on each company profile. The “user score” that is publicly displayed is the average of all user scores published for a given profile.

User Review Moderation

In order to prevent fake and misleading user reviews, BestCompany.com has a review moderation team specifically assigned to moderating all user reviews for all companies listed on the site. This team follows a very specific and strict moderation process that has been designed by gathering learnings from mistakes other major review sites have made in the past.

This moderation process involves a “flag” system where a flag is assessed for each negative attribute associated with a user review. Too many flags result in a disapproval of a user review. Some of the things our moderation staff looks for and assigns potential flags to include:

  • Email address verification of the user
  • IP address duplication and region check
  • User review semantic verification
  • Is the user an employee of the organization?
  • Is the user associated with a competitor of the organization?
  • Foul language of any kind
  • Relevance of the content pertaining to the company and the review

As you can probably tell, we take our user review moderation process very seriously. We believe accuracy and authenticity is critical when it comes to user reviews, and as a result we are constantly finding new ways to evolve our user moderation process to make it better. Please note that while we do our best to manually moderate each and every user review, mistakes can be made; however, our dedication to resolving errors in our process is what sets us apart from other review sites in the industry.

20% Expert Review

Along with the criteria points mentioned above, we take into account a variety of other factors that help determine the viability, stability and trustworthiness of a company. As experts, we conduct an extensive research process specifically tailored to each industry that considers many additional factors including:

  • Financial Standing of the organization
  • The number of industry experts and professionals on staff
  • The company’s ability to scale
  • Historical revenue/growth
  • Past and current lawsuits
  • Customer service and transparency
  • And much more.

We consider this Expert Review process a vital component of how we rank and review companies. As a result, the factors included are always changing, adapting, and updating. We also reserve the right to voice our expert opinions as a part of each review.


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