Many people have stories about the ups and downs of their adoption journey and Paul and Diana are no exception. Paul and Diana experienced the heartbreak and devastation that came with a failed adoption; despite the pain and despair they went through, they never lost hope that the birth mom that was meant to be theirs was out there. When they connected with their birth mom, Alicia for the first time, they were cautious but overjoyed. Like many adoptions, this connection had a rocky start but as time went on, Paul, Diana and Alicia developed a strong and unique bond. Paul and Diana’s family grew to be much bigger than just a new baby. When sweet Joseph was born in October, their hearts were full and appreciation for their birth mother grew more intense than ever! Paul and Diana have been through so much on their adoption journey. Serving and accompanying them on their journey has been one of our biggest joys. We could not be happier for Everlasting’s newest family! Congratulations to all!
November is National Adoption Awareness Month. What better time to get back to the basics of the adoption process. Adoption can be a complex and overwhelming process, so let’s break it down to the essentials you’ll need to know to get started.
Domestic vs. International Adoption
The first thing you will have to consider is whether domestic or international adoption is a better fit for your family. Aside from the obvious difference of adopting from within the United States vs. outside of the country, there are other differences in domestic and international adoptions. In a domestic adoption, you will likely be adopting a newborn, unless you pursue “foster-to-adopt”. Adopting from foster care is an extremely important and valuable way adoptions take place, but for the sake of this article, we won’t delve into that topic. If you choose to adopt internationally, it is unlikely you will be adopting a newborn baby. It is more common that you will adopt a young child from 1 to 2 years of age. You are more likely to receive detailed medical histories of birth parents in domestic adoption situations than in international adoptions. If you desire to maintain an open or semi-open relationship with birth parents, domestic adoption will likely be the best option. In both domestic and international adoptions, the cost to adopt and Home Study requirements are quite similar.
Independent Adoption or Adoption Professional
If your family decides domestic newborn adoption is the right choice, the next step will be to determine if you will go through the process independently or with the aid of an adoption professional. In an independent or private adoption, the prospective adoptive parent(s) take full responsibility for finding a birth mother through their own marketing efforts and word of mouth. They will also need to vet potential birth mothers without the knowledge and experience of an adoption professional. The major benefit of independent adoption is the cost. On average, it can be less costly to adopt this way. However, the uncertainty of wait time in independent adoptions can also make total costs uncertain. Adoptive Families determined that the average adoption cost using an adoption professional was $41,532 prior to claiming the Adoption Tax Credit. The major downsides to independent adoption are not having the expertise, access to birth mothers and networking ability that a reputable adoption professional will provide.
Once you’ve decided on domestic or international adoption and whether to go it independently or through an adoption professional, here is what you will need to do next.
Step 1: Choose an Adoption Professional
If you have decided to pursue domestic adoption with the aid of an adoption professional, you will need to choose which professional you want to work with. There are licensed agencies, facilitators and consultants you can choose from. Do some research to determine which professional is legally able to provide services in your state and will best be able to meet your needs. Here is a great resource where you can find state by state adoption laws. Once you have chosen a professional to work with, you will be required to complete certain paperwork and pay whatever fees are required upfront.
Step 2: Create Your Marketing Materials
Regardless of whether you choose to work with an adoption professional or not, you will need to create marketing materials to get your story out to birth mothers. Often times, paid adoption professionals will either create these materials for you or assist you in creating them. Your biggest piece of personal “advertisement” to birth mothers will be your profile, both hard copy and web-based. Take care to select high quality, professional photos and well written narrative to use for your profiles. If you are pursuing independent adoption, make sure to utilize all of the social media outlets available to you to get your name out there.
Step 3: Get a Home Study
This step really goes in conjunction with step 2. The Home Study process can take a while in some states, so it is prudent to begin this as soon as possible, especially if you are signed on with an adoption professional and your contract “clock is ticking”. All families hoping to adopt need a Home Study completed by a social worker licensed in your state. Adoptive Families explains the Home Study as, “a document that says you can be a parent. It contains the story of your life: your family and marital history, your health, your financial situation. It includes a description of your home and neighborhood, as well as personal references and discussion of any health concerns or criminal record. It also details your family relationships and your feelings about adoption, parenting, and infertility, if applicable. It ends with a social worker’s recommendation that you be allowed to adopt; sometimes it specifies how many children, and of what ages.”
Step 4: Don’t Lose Hope
This step is probably the most important, but also the most difficult. After you have chosen an adoption professional, created your profile and are Home Study approved, the next step is to wait. Waiting to be matched with a potential birth mother is usually the longest part of the entire process. After all the prep work, the waiting and uncertainty can be exhausting, but it is important that you don’t forget why you did all that work in the first place: for a baby. Try and step back, take a deep breath and find comfort in family and friends while you wait for the baby that was meant to join your family.
The staff at Everlasting Adoptions is extremely knowledgeable and available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have regarding adoption, no matter what step in the process you are at. Call us at 866.406.2702 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to an adoption professional.
Barbara recently reached out to Everlasting Adoptions to give us an update on her handsome little boy, Xavier.
“One year ago, I flew to Texas in hope that I would be able to bring home a little baby boy. The anxiety, excitement and stress were overwhelming. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such opposing emotions at the same time.That was a year ago, but now I look at my son and I would do it all over again. I love this little boy so much. Everyday I look at his precious little face and thank God for bringing us together. Xave is the sweetest little boy who loves to play with cars, go swimming, read books, play with his cousins and look at the map on his wall. The thing he likes the most is food! He loves all kinds of food and is only unhappy when others are eating and he is not.He can say “down”, “go” and “papa.” He can also sign the word “more” when he wants more food to eat. I’m so grateful to his birth mother for the incredible sacrifice she has made. I cannot imagine my life without this little man.”
Happy birthday, Xavier! We can’t wait to hear about all the smiles and laughs you bring your mama in the years to come.
When Chelsie was facing an unplanned pregnancy, she felt in her heart that adoption would be the best decision not only for her unborn child, but for her son and daughter as well. Chelsie had been through alot and did not feel like she could parent her unborn son the way he deserved and without her other children having to make unfair sacrifices as well. In addition to the constant support from Everlasting, Chelsie was blessed with the support of the birth father, her family and her friends. Chelsie’s experience with Everlasting was positive from the get go. She felt that the staff was helpful and constantly available. She was supported through continuous communication throughout the process of her adoption. Birth mother consultant, Lisa, sustained support through regular check-ins with Chelsie to make sure that any questions, fears or concerns she had were alleviated as much as possible.
When asked about the adoptive family she chose Chelsie simply states that she absolutely loves them. She felt connected and bonded from the moment they met and she could not have chosen a better family. It was of great comfort that her adoptive family, Adam & Christy, had adopted before, so they knew what to expect and had experienced this process before.
Chelsie wants other birth moms to know that adoption can be a very overwhelming, emotional and stressful experience but when she saw the joy she brought to someone else’s life, and the overwhelming amount of love that the adoptive families have, it is all worth it. Chelsie states, “Even though this is the most difficult thing I have ever had to do, it has been the most wonderful experience. It was a blessing in disguise.” Chelsie, we are the ones who feel blessed to have been a part of your adoption plan and had the opportunity to serve you. It was our privilege to support you!
We had gone through years of unexplained infertility and knew we always wanted to have a family. We chose adoption as the path to grow our family. Our adoption journey was unique. We began working with LDS Adoption Services and a few months later they got out of the adoption business. They recommended a few agencies and Everlasting Adoptions was one of them. We then started working with Everlasting and after several months, we were presented with an adoption opportunity through a friend. Everlasting worked with us to put our contract on hold as we explored this connection. In 2014, we adopted our son, John. About 18 months later, we felt ready to adopt again and took our contract off hold. Three years from our initial contract date with Everlasting, we welcomed our second son, Andrew into the world.
Our experience with Everlasting Adoptions was wonderful. Not only did they work with us to put our contract on hold, but also had an amazing team that helped us every step of the way. Birth Mother Consultant, Lisa was especially amazing and helped answer the difficult questions. She constantly reassured us of the support we would receive no matter what decision we made when faced with difficult choices.
If we were to offer advice to other prospective adoptive parents, we would say that the process is worth the wait and do your best not to question yourself during the wait. Also, try to discuss each situation before it comes along. That way you have an idea what you might do should the situation arise.
On October 25, 1988, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the month of October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. One in four pregnancies ends in the loss of a baby. Whether you have personally faced this great tragedy or just know someone who has, we urge you to spend the month of October raising awareness of pregnancy and infant loss. If you are interested in seeking or offering support, here are a few places to start:
– Early Pregnancy Loss Support Chat being held on October 3rd, hosted by NationalShare.org.
– The Official Site of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day provides a wealth of resources and support.
– Directory of national organizations that support families who have experienced pregnancy loss or infant death.
Don’t forget to join others all around the world on October 15th at 7pm (all time zones) to light a candle in loving memory of all the lost babies.
Will and Gennifer adopted Atalie with the help of Everlasting Adoptions in 2015. Atalie is now 2 and we are so happy to hear from them!
“We’re doing great, Atalie is soooo smart, loving, social, and fun-loving! Everyone who meets her falls in love quickly! She just started PK-2 and is doing so well in school. She is such a sweet miracle, thanks again for everything! It’s so hard to describe this girl in one picture lol.”
Samantha and Jeremy came to Everlasting Adoptions after struggling with infertility for a few years. They had always felt as if their family was incomplete, so they turned to adoption. In March, only 10 months after signing on with Everlasting, they were connected with birth mom, Crystal. Four short months later, they welcomed their baby boy, Nathan into the world.
If they could offer one piece of advice to other adoptive couples, it would be that despite the stress you may be feeling, rest assured that Everlasting Adoptions will be by your side every step of the way. They were so wonderful, very helpful and empathetic.
Thank you Samantha and Jeremy for letting us be a part of your adoption journey and play such an important role in helping to complete your family.