FAQ's for Adopting Couples
Following are some of those most often asked. Just click on the ? for the drop-down answer.
Call us and we will meet and go through the adoption steps thoroughly. We will personally review the entire adoption process, including how to start the “Home Study paperwork,” how we help to build your Adoption Profile Book and how we hope you will be matched with a Birthmother. We also prepare you for your first meeting with the birthparent(s) and possibly their family and what your time might be like at the hospital. We are also present if your Finalization Hearing is in Pennsylvania (which it is in most cases) and we give the Judge the final recommendation that the adoption should go forward.
We will ask you to contact Child and Home Study Associates of Media, PA and their Social Workers will take you through the Home Study process which includes obtaining all necessary clearances (Criminal Background Check, Child Abuse Check, Medical and FBI Fingerprinting.) www.chsadoptions.org
Birthparents will choose the Adoptive Family that they want to raise their child. This means they need to get to know you a bit before ever meeting you. An Adoption Profile Book tells the Birthparents, with words and pictures, about your life together, how you grew up and what your traditions are. It also portrays your hopes of becoming parents and what you dreams are of that new period in your life. ANA Adoptions will help you with putting your story and pictures to paper and having it professionally produced to make you really stand out. When a Birthmother contacts us we send out the Adoption Profile Books of our waiting families and she decides which couples she would like to speak to. Your Profile Book Vignette, a condensed version of your Adoption Profile Book, is also available for birthmothers to view on our website.
According to the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, a Private Adoption Agency is a state licensed entity that must meet on-going standards and training put forth by the state in which they operate. They are required to go through a yearly review to maintain their license. Placement of a child is almost always directly to the adoptive parents upon discharge of the baby. The Adoptive Parents are approved in almost every state to take the baby directly to a residence, either temporary or permanent, depending on their location and Interstate Compact requirements. A facilitator is a person or organization that introduces or matches Adoptive Parents with a Birthmother. They are not required to be licensed or to meet minimum standards of operations, training or ethics. The typical practice of a Facilitator is to collect a non-refundable fee paid in advance. In some states, the practice of using a Facilitator is illegal.
ANA offers an advertising/networking program designed to assist couples contemplating adoption. We advertise on the Internet and nationwide in daily and weekly publications that are delivered free of charge to homes throughout the country. We monitor all publications to insure that our ads produce positive results. In addition to our advertising program, our “Waiting Families” are highlighted on our website. A birthmother can view a Profile Book Vignette of each of our families and then request an Adoption Profile Book or a conference call. We also network for you when we become aware of mothers seeking a family for her child through our professional contacts throughout the country. ANA reaches out to pregnant women across the country, advising that we have numerous couples from whom they may select a family for their child. Our toll free number is answered twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, with compassion and understanding.
Once a Birthmother reviews your Profile Book or Vignette and wants to speak with you, ANA arranges a conference call. We will talk about hobbies, likes and dislikes, her family or other children, her relationship with the father and learn more about him too. We go over information that is in your Profile Book and learn what the Birthmother saw that made her decide to learn more about you. You will get to know each other better by asking questions and conversing with each other. We will be with you on the entire call and will keep the dialogue going.
After the Conference Call you and the Birthmother will decide if you want to officially “match” and move forward with this relationship. We work alongside you throughout the matched and waiting period of time, right through until your Final Adoption Hearing and beyond. Our experience with post adoption contact is also beneficial as you navigate that part of your adoption journey.
Once matched with a Birthmother, the Birthmother will receive a packet of questions that she will be asked to answer and return to our attorney. This packet includes the “Medical/Social History” as well as some Authorizations which will allow us to share this information with you. This packet will ask about her background, including education, likes and dislikes and contains a detailed section asking about medications used or illnesses that may be in her family history. Once completed, the Birthmother meets with one of our representatives. If the Birthfather is involved, we will also ask him to provide his Medical/Social History. Our Attorney will request the medical records from the Birthmother’s OB/GYN pertaining to this pregnancy.
Many families continue to correspond after the birth of the baby. Cards, letters and pictures are exchanged. Texts and phone contact also may continue for a period of time. The Adoptive Family and the Birthparents jointly agree upon what type of contact will be continued. The plan will be what you and the Birthparents want it to be. Some women choose to have no contact, while others might want assurances for a period of time.
The Finalization Hearing is the day that you become the legal parents of this baby you have been dreaming of. It is a time of celebration for you, your family and friends. Once the necessary Post-Placement visits have been completed and all legal documentation has been filed, you will get a court date for Finalization. At the hearing the Judge will confirm that you want to go forward with the adoption and ask you and a licensed agency (ANA) questions about the baby’s health, well-being and your ability to parent that child. Once the Judge deems that all is well and that your child is safe, cared for and loved, you will be named their legal parents. A birth certificate will be issued thereafter with the Adoptive Parents names.
The cost for adoption varies greatly from state to state. There are many components that impact the expenditures. Some states allow medical and living expenses, other states require that anticipated expenses be approved by the Courts, while other states do not allow living expenses at all. We will be able to give you an approximate figure of your costs once you have been chosen by a particular birth mother and we can evaluate her needs as well as court and legal fees. We would be happy to discuss the possible range with you at any time. Our fee schedule is available upon request.
A birthmother can absolutely change her mind up to a legally determined period of time has passed after the birth of the baby. Her legal consent is not permitted to be signed BEFORE the birth of the baby in any state. Once the baby is born, depending on state law, she will have a period of time to decide if she wants the adoption to go forward. She may be presented with a Consent while in the hospital, or, in some instances, she may sign her Consent after a legally specified period of time which could be several days after the birth of the baby. In some states, she will still have a period of time in which to change her mind. In other states, her signature on the Consent is irrevocable. Our attorney will review the specific laws pertaining to your adoption once chosen by a Birthmother.
In 2013 the Adoption Tax Credit was made permanent. The amount of the credit is dependent upon your modified Adjusted Gross Income. The credit is adjusted yearly according to the cost of living. In 2013 the maximum Adoption Tax Credit was $12,970 and available to taxpayers with a modified adjusted gross income (AGI) of $194,580 or less. The credit will then phase out completely at an AGI of $234,580. Please consult with your tax professional to get a full understanding of the Adoption Tax Credit and how it applies to you.