Hello everyone, my name is Laurie Walker, and I am an Adoptive Family Specialist with American Adoptions. I have worked with many birth mothers and adoptive families in my time here at American Adoptions and love being able to watch families form through adoption.
Q. I’ve noticed that a lot of new couples have been added to the website recently. How does American Adoptions control the number of active adoptive families in order to ensure the average waiting time for (already waiting) families? This part of the process confuses me. Thanks!
A. This is a great question that is — of course — of high importance to our families. To be honest, American Adoptions has never had to close our list to prospective adoptive parents because we have always been able to keep up with the average wait times. In the history of American Adoptions, we have completed more than 3,000 adoptions and are currently involved in more than 300 adoptions per year. Based on our years of experience, we have noticed trends and times of the year where more new families activate. There are also times of the year when we see more prospective birth mothers making an adoption plan with our agency as well; during those times, more families are receiving placements and being moved to the “Completed Adoptions” section of the website.
One positive we have found during times with increased family activations is that this increase provides more direct funding into our advertising fund and allows us to locate more potential birth parents. The more diverse our list of families is, the more birth mothers can choose the right fit. It also brings more prospective birth mothers to our agency. There is fluctuation each month in terms of how many families are joining and how many adoptions we are completing. There are months where activations slow down and months where we see more activations occur. These patterns are especially noticeable around holidays, after tax season and summer months. Just because it’s spring/summer, you may be seeing more new families appearing on the website. However, this is also one of our busier times for adoptions to happen and babies to be born.
Also, keep in mind that not all of our families listed on the website are available for an adoption opportunity as some have already currently received and accepted an adoption opportunity. At any given time, there can be 40-60 families already in adoption opportunities, awaiting the birth of their baby, so in fact, there are not as many families being actively shown to incoming potential birth mothers as it may appear by the website. We do pay attention to the number of families vs. birth mothers we are working with at any given time so that we can maintain accurate wait times. Keep in mind that we are contacted by new potential birth parents every single day, so the amount of potential birth mothers we are involved with always exceeds the number of our waiting families.
Another factor to consider is that every family has different APQ preferences that have an effect on their adoption. Thus, families have their profile shown to different potential birth parents. This means your profile is not competing with all of the families who are still awaiting an adoption opportunity, due to the differences within your APQ.
The best piece of advice I can give to every active family is to focus your energy on the pieces that you can control — your APQ and profile — to ensure both are as flexible and appealing as they can be. And keep in mind that average wait times are current and are constantly monitored.