With so many different adoption professionals offering so many different programs and services, prospective birth mothers and adoptive parents often wonder what adoption services are available to them, which ones they need, and who can truly offer the best services to help them achieve their adoption goals.
There are many services involved in the domestic infant adoption process, and the services each couple or individual chooses to use will depend on their own circumstances. Whether you are pregnant and considering adoption for your child or looking to grow your family through adoption, understanding all of the options available to you can help you make important decisions about your adoption journey, including the adoption professional you choose to work with.
There are several adoption services involved through each step of the adoption process. Some services, such as the home study and the legal adoption process, must be completed by an adoption professional. Others, such as screening and matching services, may not be required in certain adoption situations, such as in identified adoption arrangements. The adoption services that make up each adoption may vary based on a variety of factors, including the adoption professional that completes the adoption, the adoptive family’s budget and each party’s unique needs throughout the adoption process.
In general, the following services are involved in most domestic infant adoptions:
Counseling, Support and Education: Adoption is an emotional experience, both for birth parents and adoptive families. It’s important that any couple or individual pursuing adoption receives the educational preparation they need to make various decisions throughout the adoption process. It is also important for both parties to receive support and counseling to help them process difficult emotions and remain committed to their adoption plan.
Screening Services: Adoption professionals should screen the adoptive families and birth parents they work with to measure their commitment to adoption and ensure that the prospective birth mother and her baby are safe and healthy. These screening services protect everyone involved in the adoption process.
Home Study Services: Every adoptive family needs to complete a home study, which must be conducted by a licensed professional. The home study is an evaluation of the adoptive family, their home and their background information to determine whether they are ready to provide a stable, nurturing home to an adopted child.
Advertising and Matching: Except in an identified adoption, in which an adoptive family and birth mother have already located each other and have decided to work together, any parents interested in adopting a child will need to advertise their family to pregnant women considering adoption, and expectant mothers will then choose the perfect family for her child. Adoption professionals can coordinate these services and match expectant mothers and adoptive parents based on each party’s adoption goals.
Adoption and Hospital Planning: Birth parents and adoptive families will both need to make adoption plans to determine the types of adoption situations they are interested in. Birth parents will also need to create a hospital plan to determine their wishes for their hospital experience.
Legal Services: Adoption is a legal process that involves the transfer of parental rights, legal counsel for the adoptive family and the birth parents based on state laws and finalization of the adoption. An attorney is required in every adoption to complete these necessary legal services.
Contact Mediation: The majority of adoptions today are semi-open, meaning the adoptive family and birth parents maintain some form of contact after the child’s birth but do not exchange identifying information, such as last names or personal contact information. In these arrangements, adoption professionals may mediate contact between the adoptive family and birth parents prior to the adoption and coordinate post-placement correspondence to maintain confidentiality for adoptive families and birth parents.
While these services are necessary in most adoption situations, not all adoption professionals offer all services. When choosing an adoption professional, it is important for hopeful adoptive families and prospective birth parents to consider all of the services they will need and choose an adoption professional who can offer those services.
American Adoptions arranges, coordinates and oversees the entire adoption process, including all of the services above. Our agency is committed to meeting our clients’ needs by offering additional advantages to the adoptive families and birth parents who choose to work with our agency, including:
Risk-Sharing Program: For hopeful adoptive parents, adoption is a commitment — emotionally as well as financially. A small percentage of women pursuing adoption change their minds and decide to parent, sometimes after an adoptive family has already invested considerable money in the adoption situation. American Adoptions’ Risk-Sharing Program protects these families by refunding any money invested in the adoption, including living expenses, medical expenses, termination expenses and agency fees. This money does not automatically roll over into another adoption. Instead, it is returned directly to the adoptive family, so they can decide if and when to continue pursuing adoption.
Limited Adoption Wait Times: Through extensive marketing efforts, networking avenues and national exposure, American Adoptions is able to minimize wait times for adoptive families. Most adoptive parents hold their new babies within 1 to 12 months after joining the agency.
Adoptive Family Video Profiles: One way we attract more birth parents and decrease adoption wait times is through our video profiles. Each adoptive family has their own video profile, which goes beyond what can be expressed in print to give birth parents a glimpse of what life is like for the adoptive family. These videos powerfully capture adoptive parents’ personalities and their desire to become parents through adoption.
24/7 Birth Mother Support: Our adoption specialists are available at all times to provide support and answer questions for women who are working with our agency or considering adoption. Because the wellbeing of our birth mothers and their babies is our number one priority, these highly trained professionals are always available to talk about the benefits of adoption, provide support and guidance and help birth mothers stay committed to their adoption plan.
Gender-Specific Program: For some adoptive families, the gender of their baby is an important factor in their adoption planning. Our gender-specific option allows families to select the preference of adopting a baby girl or a baby boy. Please contact us to see if we are currently accepting gender-specific families.
Birth Mother Scholarship Fund: Adoption allows many birth parents to continue to pursue their goals and dreams. American Adoptions helps birth parents fulfill this potential by offering a scholarship fund. Every birth parent who goes through the adoption process will receive a scholarship application and be considered for a financial scholarship to assist with the costs of education.
To learn more about the services American Adoptions offers, call 1-800-ADOPTION or request free adoption information today.
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