Whether you are an expecting mother or a hopeful adoptive family, there are adoption services available to help you through the adoption process. There can be a lot that comes with adoption and it can become overwhelming. It’s important to have the proper support to make it through without feeling stressed.
8 Adoption Services for Hopeful Adoptive Parents
Adoption Services: Home Study
For any type of adoption that you pursue, you will need to have a home study completed. A domestic adoption, international adoption, and a foster-to-adopt home study all look a little different, but overall they generally cover the same things and information. They just have to meet unique requirements.
A home study is essentially a report on your family and/or everyone in your home. It is a comprehensive overview of who you are and if you are ready to adopt a child. A licensed home study caseworker has to be the one to complete the home study. They will walk you through the process so that it isn’t too overwhelming. Most caseworkers will send you some questions to think about or answer before they come for a visit. Some of these questions might include:
- A history of past residences;
- Medical insurance information;
- Strength and struggles of your marriage if applicable;
- Activities you enjoy doing together;
- The conflict resolution styles of your spouse or partner and yourself;
- What attracted you to your spouse?
- Questions about past marriages if applicable;
- Questions about your children if applicable;
- Information about any other family members or people living in your home;
- Information about your parents;
- How would you describe your parents?
- How would you describe your childhood?
- How would you describe your parents’ discipline style?
- Information about your siblings if applicable;
- How would you describe yourself?
- How would you describe your spouse?
- What is your greatest parenting strength?
- What is your greatest parenting weakness?
- How would you describe your discipline style?
- What are the stressors in your life? How do you deal with them?
- Explain any trauma you have experienced in your life if applicable.
- Have you been involved in any past or present legal issues?
- Have you struggled with infertility?
- Tell us about your friendships, community, and spirituality;
- What gives you the most joy and pleasure in your life?
- What are your main worries and fears?
- What is your motivation for adoption?
- List your expectations for your adopted child;
- What type of education or training have you completed?
- What kind of relationship will you support between the adoptee’s biological parents and family?
- Extensive information about your biological children if applicable;
- Information about your home.
If you can believe it, this is a modified list that has been shortened. The home study is usually a very extensive and very involved report about you and your family.
Once the caseworker has received all of the documents that are needed (birth certificates, marriage license, proof of income, etc.), he/she will schedule a time to come to your home and talk with you and your family in person. This visit shouldn’t be anything you worry about. They likely aren’t inspecting your house with a white glove.
Adoption Services: caseworker for Home Study
Choosing a caseworker for your home study can also be a little intimidating. The best suggestion I can make is for you to get a referral for one. Talk to friends in your area that have adopted and/or have had a home study completed. You may want to work with someone who is organized, licensed, and will get your home study back to you in the right amount of time. You can also search for caseworkers online and read reviews before reaching out to anyone.
Adoption Services: Profile Book
A big part of the adoption process is the profile book. The profile book is often the first way you are introduced to an expecting mother. A profile book is essentially a photo album of your family with short writings used to teach an expectant mother about you. There are a lot of different ways that you can do this. It’s important to make your book as professional as possible. This may be the first impression that you are going to make, so it needs to be a good one! There are professional profile book companies that can work with you to design a beautiful book that is full of all the information that expectant mothers want to read. Search online and social media to find a professional profile book company that meets your needs and your budget.
Rising in popularity are short videos of families hoping to adopt. The videos can include brief clips of the family playing together, spending time at home, and maybe participating in their favorite hobbies. The families can talk about their motivation to adopt, a little more about their family, and anything else they might want an expecting mother to know. This can be a great way to give an overview of your family and a little glimpse into your life. You can look for a local videographer to work with to compile the perfect video for you. If you feel up to it, you can video, compile, and edit your own video.
With the many profile books and videos that will be shown to expectant moms, the more visually pleasing and eye-catching your profile book is, the easier it may be for you to be noticed.
Adoption Services: Adoption.com Profile
For families that are hoping to match independently, meaning they are not working with an adoption agency, they can check out Adoption.com. You can create a profile on their website that expecting mothers can look at. There are different plans that you can choose from depending on how many pictures you want to be able to upload, if you want to add one or multiple videos, and if you want your profile to be one of the first to pop up on the website. Expectant mothers can message you directly to get to know you a little better and learn more about you.
Adoption Services: Adoption Agencies
One of the most used adoption services is an adoption agency. They coordinate many different aspects of the adoption process and help things to run smoothly. They can help you with your home study, sort through your paperwork, match you with an expectant mother, and ensure that finilazation with an attorney is done. Do your research on adoption agencies. Look for an agency that has great reviews and comes highly recommended from people you know that have adopted. Some agencies make promises that they aren’t able to keep. You want to get the full picture and hear from reliable sources that they will work well with you.
Adoption Services: Adoption Consultants
One type of adoption service that is rising in popularity is using an adoption consultant. An adoption consultant is someone that works independently and networks with many adoption professionals to help you find a match with an expectant mother. They can also help you walk through the adoption process as an adoption agency does. They can refer you to resources, help you to navigate the financial side of the adoption, and connect you with needed adoption professionals.
Adoption Services: Adoption Attorney
An adoption attorney is perhaps absolutely necessary in the adoption process. Whether you are adopting through foster care, domestic adoption, or international adoption, you want to work with an adoption attorney. Depending on where you adopt, you might have to also work with an adoption attorney from the state where the child is from. An adoption attorney can help ensure that your adoption is done legally and ethically. If you don’t have an adoption attorney, you run the risk of your adoption not being finalized correctly and you could risk losing your adopted child.
Adoption Services: Adoption Grants/Loans
The price of adoption can be overwhelming. If you are pursuing adoption through foster care, you won’t likely have to pay anything to finalize the adoption. If you are adopting domestically or internationally, it can be very expensive. There are many non-profit organizations created to help fund adoptions. You can apply for a little to no interest adoption loan. This is a loan given specifically to finance an adoption with the expectation and agreement that it will be paid back over time. You can also pay for adoption grants. A grant is essentially a loan that you don’t have to pay back. Most grants are awarded depending on your level of income. You can do a simple internet search to find a grant that fits your situation.
5 Adoption Services for Expectant Parents
Adoption Services: Adoption Agency
If you are an expectant parent that is planning on placing your child for adoption, you will want to work with an adoption agency. They can guide you through everything and make sure that you are connected with the best family for your child. If you know of anyone that has placed a child for adoption, you should ask for their thoughts on local adoption agencies and who they would suggest. Look for an agency that puts the needs of you and your child first. Many adoption agencies provide counseling and support for expectant mothers that need it. They will provide you with many different families to choose from for your child. You can sit down with your caseworker and specify the qualities you are looking for in an adoptive family for your child and they can help you to sort through and find great families to choose from.
Adoption Services: Government Support
Depending on your situation and needs, you might be eligible for government support during and after your pregnancy. Check with your local government programs to see if you are able to use some of their services. These might include help with rent, food, and/or insurance. There may also be prenatal classes you can take part in that are free.
Adoption Services: Medical Services
It is important to receive proper prenatal care to ensure that you and your baby are healthy and well-cared for. Depending on your level of income, you might qualify for subsidized medical care or have your medical bills completely covered. You will also want to discuss your medical needs and finances with your adoption agency. They often have funds and ways to support expectant mothers that are looking to place their child for adoption.
When you deliver your baby, you will be cared for at the hospital. You will receive round-the-clock medical support for you and your child. You get to decide whether or not you want the hopeful adoptive family to join you at the hospital or not. You will have a caseworker with you to ensure that your adoption plan is carried out.
Adoption Services: Caseworker
If you work with an adoption agency, you will be assigned a caseworker that will walk you through the adoption process step-by-step. Your caseworker will also be with you at the hospital to ensure that all of the required paperwork is signed. He/she will often be the contact between you and the hopeful adoptive family. If you don’t want to talk directly to the adoptive family, you can relay all messages and information through your caseworker. Your caseworker can also guide you to after-placement therapy and counseling resources.
Adoption Services: After Placement Therapy
Saying goodbye to your child will likely be the hardest thing you ever do, despite the fact you know it can be the best thing for you and your child. It can be hard to adjust and return to normal life. It’s important that you practice self care and ensure that you are getting the proper and needed support. Postpartum depression is real and can be magnified when placing your child for adoption. Talk with your caseworker about services available for you to talk to a professional to work through your postpartum blues as well as the adoption. You can also reach out to family and friends to ensure their support after the adoption is over.