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“What does adoption mean to a child?”

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How To Ensure You Will Find the Perfect Family for Your Child

The Steps of Screening and Selecting an Adoptive Family

You may be wondering: "How will I find the perfect family to adopt my baby?"

By pre-screening our families and working with you to understand the type of life you want for your baby, American Adoptions promises that you will find the family that best matches your adoption plan.

What is Pre-Screening, and Why is It Important?

Pre-screening is the full screening of adoptive families before they appear on and are presented to you as possible candidates to adopt your child.

Before we make our families available for adoption, they must pass the following criteria:

Completed Home Study – A home study is a process in which we make sure the adoptive family is ready to provide a safe and loving home to a child. A social worker will visit their home to get to know them better, understand why they are adopting and decide whether they are ready to add a child to their lives. During the visit, she will also check their home to make sure it is childproofed. Finally, criminal, medical and financial background checks are conducted as a final level of protection.

Fully Committed to Adoption – Our Adoption Specialists talk to adoptive families in depth about their excitement to become parents through adoption. They make sure the family has dealt with their infertility and have fully transitioned toward adopting a child. We only list families on our website once we feel they are committed to adoption.

Accepting of Contact with You – All of our families are excited to get to know you through a phone call and/or email exchange, to interact with you at the hospital, and to send you pictures and letters of your child for up to 18 years after the adoption. If you desire additional contact, you may work with the family you’ve chosen on further communication, or you may select another family who is seeking a more open adoption.

Will I Really Find the Perfect Family?

Your adoption specialist will work closely with you to understand exactly the type of family you are looking for, based on race, age, religion, location, family size, contact with you, and much more.

Each of our hundreds of waiting adoptive families will then be searched. Based on your interests, you will be provided with several Adoptive Family Print Profiles and Adoptive Family Video Profiles – both of which will help you learn more about a family who may one day adopt your baby.

Adoptive Family Profile – Once your Adoption Specialist understands the type of family you are interested in, you will be sent a selection of print profiles (either online or in the mail) with families that best match your adoption plan. The family profile provides a great deal of information about the adoptive family, such as their desire to become parents, their interests and hobbies, their house and neighborhood, and much more.

Adoptive Family Video Profile – Video profiles allow you to see an adoptive family in their own environment, with their family and friends, doing the things they love to do, so you know exactly what life would be like as a part of their family. Best of all, you will get to see their personalities and what makes them truly unique.


American Adoptions has hundreds of families to choose from so you will find the perfect family to adopt your baby. And remember, all of our families have been pre-screened, so you know that each one is ready for adoption.

Please browse our Find a Family page to view our current adoptive families, or click the following to receive free adoption information.

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is American Adoptions the right adoption agency choice for many birth mothers?

American Adoptions is one of the largest licensed adoption agencies in the United States. Each year, we work with thousands of women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy and offer assistance to these women. Our large, caring staff is able to assist you seven days a week and provide you with one-on-one counseling about your pregnancy and available options.

You should choose an adoption agency where you feel completely comfortable with their services and staff. With American Adoptions, you will work with an Adoption Specialist who is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Adoption Specialist will be your advocate and will provide support and guidance as you create an adoption plan that is right for you.

How will the family tell my child about me and the adoption when my child is older?

Each family has their own style of introducing adoption to the child. When you are matched with an adoptive family, you can ask them this question. If you would like your Adoption Specialist to discuss it for you, just let her know. He or she can share your wishes or provide good ideas from other adoptive families.

You will also be able to share what you want your baby to know about you. You can complete a keepsake booklet to share hobbies, stories, photos of you and your family and a letter to your baby. The adoptive family can provide this to your child as he or she grows older. Be as creative as you like! Some birth mothers have even knitted a special blanket as a gift to their baby or given a similar symbol of their love.

The father of your baby can fill out the birth father's keepsake booklet or write a letter too. You may have other family members who would also like to share photos or a letter to the baby. This is your opportunity to pass on your and your family's love and to share your personality, history and reasons for choosing adoption. The adoptive family will treasure whatever information you provide and will share it with the baby at an appropriate age. In most adoptive homes, the word adoption is in the child's vocabulary early on, and adoption is celebrated in their lives.

Additional Resources

Teen Pregnancy - Information for Young Women

While not every woman who chooses adoption is a young mother, many are. Through adoption, many young women have found an ability to give their babies the best life possible, while finding the opportunity to realize their own dreams, as well. Call American Adoptions today at 1-800-ADOPTION.

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Adoption Glossary

Do adoption terms and phrases leave you feeling confused? Learn the meaning to key adoption words and phrases with our comprehensive adoption glossary.

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