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Adoptive Parent FAQ
Domestic Infant Adoption Program
- • What services can Adoption Connection provide for my family?
- • Where are you licensed to work with adoptive parents?
- • Can I work with you if I don’t live in your service area?
- • What is a homestudy and what is involved in getting one?
- • Does Adoption Connection do out-of-state adoptions?
- • Do you work with LGBT families?
- • How long do clients wait to bring a baby home from the hospital?
- • What is a Dear Birthmother Letter or Parent Profile and how do I write one?
- • How do birthparents find out about Adoption Connection?
- • What is included in Adoption Connection's Outreach Program?
- • What about gender preference?
- • Do you complete trans-racial adoptions?
- • How many adoptions do you complete each year?
- • Do you ever place toddlers or older children in adoptive homes?
- • Does Adoption Connection complete immediate hospital placements?
- • Does Adoption Connection ever complete closed adoptions?
- • Do I need an attorney if I work with Adoption Connection?
- • How do I find out more?
Domestic Infant Adoption
What services can Adoption Connection provide for my family?
As a licensed full service agency we can:
- • Conduct your adoption homestudy
- • Consult with you to complete your Parent Profile (Dear Birthmother Letter)
- • Help you find a birthmother and provide both you and her with support and counseling
- • Guide you and the birthmother through the adoption process
- • Handle arrangements for in-state or out-of-state adoptions
- • Provide post-placement supervision (required by California State law)
- • Assist you with the legal finalization of your adoption
- • Supply both pre- and post-adoption support groups and workshops
Where are you licensed to work with adoptive parents?
As an adoption agency in California, Adoption Connection works with birth mothers and their families throughout the United States.
We are licensed to work with adoptive parents in the following 19 counties in California:
- Alameda County
- Amador County
- Contra Costa County
- El Dorado County
- Marin County
- Napa County
- Nevada County
- Placer County
- Sacramento County
- San Francisco County
- San Joaquin County
- San Mateo County
- Santa Clara County
- Santa Cruz County
- Solano County
- Sonoma County
- Sutter County
- Yolo County
- Yuba County
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Can I work with you if I live outside of your service area in California?
If you are a prospective adoptive parent, you must have your primary residence in one of the 19 counties in California listed above.
Pregnant women considering placing their baby for adoption can be from anywhere in the United States.
What is a homestudy and what is involved in getting one?
A homestudy is a written report required by California state law for individuals and couples who wish to adopt.
As an adoption agency in California, Adoption Connection is licensed by the State of California to complete homestudy reports.
The homestudy gives Adoption Connection the opportunity to become familiar with clients' readiness to adopt and helps families think through adoption-related issues and the responsibilities of parenting.
During a homestudy the family will provide to us:
- • Autobiographical statements
- • Employment and financial information
- • Personal references
- • Medical Reports for all family members
- • Criminal background clearances
The homestudy will also consist of a series of prearranged visits, one at your home.
The homestudy process takes from one to three months to complete.
The adoption homestudy is good for two years. At this time Adoption Connection performs something call a homestudy renewal (or update) to keep it current. Every 12 months we also encourage our families to complete new criminal background clearances and medical reports to be prepared for any last-minute adoption situations.
If an adoptive family is expecting their birthmother to give birth very soon, an expedited homestudy can be arranged on a case-by-case basis.
Does Adoption Connection complete out-of-state adoptions?
Yes, we have completed hundreds of adoptions throughout the United States and are very experienced. Many of the birthmothers we work with live throughout the country and find us through our Web site. In 2011-2012, 69% of our adoptions occurred with birthmothers living in California and 31% lived out-of-state.
Do you work with LGBT families?
Yes, Adoption Connection has been providing services to LGBT families since we opened our doors. In any given year LGBT families make up 20% - 25% of the adoptive families we serve. We recently received the All Children – All Families Agency Seal of Recognition from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
In California, same-sex couples can legally adopt together if the baby is born in the United States.
In some states, the law is not as clear-cut and we work to make sure that our families adopting a child out-of-state are abiding by all state rules and regulations to ensure the adoption goes smoothly.
How long do clients wait to bring a baby home from the hospital?
It usually takes clients a few months to complete their homestudy and put together their Dear Birthmother Letter or Parent Profile.
Our clients’ participating in our Birthmother Outreach Program wait an average of 14.5 months to take home a newborn. Some families will connect in a shorter time (6 months) while others will wait longer (24 months). We believe there is a birth family out there for everyone. Meet our families who adopted with the help of Adoption Connection's Outreach Program: 2010 adoptive families Flickr Album, 2011 families Flickr Album, and 2012 families Flickr Album.
What is a Dear Birthmother Letter or Parent Profile, and how do I write one?
A parent profile is a letter that will help introduce you to a pregnant women considering adoption and her family.
Every adoptive family is unique. Adoption Connection will work with you one-on-one and guide you through the process of composing text, choosing photographs, and designing the best letter possible by giving you examples, recommendations, and instruction.
Families joining our Birthmother Outreach Program create a physical brochure (Dear Birthmother Letter) and also gain access to our online content management system so they can upload their letter to the Parent Profile section of our website.
When Adoption Connection starts working with a prospective birthmother, we will present these letters as a way for the birthmother to learn more about our families and choose the right family for her baby.
How do birthparents find Adoption Connection?
- • Our Web site and online advertising
- • A referral from a clinic, social service agency, or hospital social worker
- • National classified advertising and Yellow Page listings
- • Word of mouth
- • Adoptive parents’ networking and outreach strategies
- • A third-party adoption agency or other adoption professional
Besides our Web site, many of our birthparent referrals result from our extensive outreach efforts to pregnancy counseling clinics, teen pregnancy programs, and other healthcare programs and social service organizations.
What is included in Adoption Connection's Outreach Program?
Adoption Connection offers Birthmother Outreach Services as a means of matching our clients with potential birthmothers.
If you choose to participate in this service, Adoption Connection will present your parent profile to birthmothers who contact us, and whose preferences match yours.
The Birthmother Outreach Program includes:
- • Assistance in writing your Parent Profile. Our clients work one-one-one with our experienced staff.
- • A Parent Profile page on our website, making it easy for prospective birthmothers to find and connect with families directly
- • National birthmother online advertising
- • Screening, counseling, and case management of pregnant women considering adoption via phone, text, in-person visits, and email by our caseworkers.
- • Presentation of your letter to prospective birthparent(s) whose preferences match yours
- • Faciltated support groups for waiting adoptive families
In any given year Adoption Connection connects 65-80% of our outreach families with their birthfamilies. The remaining matches occur through the help of additional adoption professionals or through our clients’ own outreach strategies and social networking.
What about gender preference?
Families who have chosen to participate in our Birthmother Outreach Program are open to adopting a healthy infant of either gender.
Do you complete trans-racial adoptions?
Yes, many of our adoptive families are open and excited to adopt a child of a different race/ethnicity than themselves.
To prepare families, we require that they attend an educational workshop on trans-racial adoption.
How many adoptions do you complete each year?
We average about 90-100 domestic placements per year. This includes placements where we worked as a cooperative agency liaison with other adoption agencies in out-of-area placements.
Do you ever place toddlers or older children in adoptive homes?
Yes, occasionally. Since our domestic program specializes in infant adoption, we usually work with women who are pregnant or have just recently given birth. Occasionally, we work with a woman who wants to place a toddler or sibling voluntarily.
Does Adoption Connection complete immediate hospital placements?
Yes, Adoption Connection receives calls from hospital social workers or birthmothers very soon, or right after, the birth of a baby. Adoptive parents who are interested in this type of instant placement are required to work fast in order to be prepared to take home a baby with very little notice.
Does Adoption Connection ever complete closed adoptions?
Yes, rarely. As an adoption agency in California we can legally complete CLOSED adoptions. (Only licensed agencies can complete closed adoptions in California.) If we are working with a birthmother who desires a closed adoption, we will honor her request; the adoption will be completed without any identifying information exchanged between the birth and adoptive families.
In both closed and open adoptions, written biological and health information about mother and baby are obtained.
On average, we complete one to two closed adoptions per year—very few.
Do I need an attorney if I work with Adoption Connection?
Adoption Connection does not require our clients to obtain an attorney. If you need an attorney for work such as the termination of parental rights of a birthfather during your adoption process, we will advise you of this. Every adoption is different. Some may require the work of an attorney and some will not.
How do I find out more?
Come to our free Domestic Orientation to learn more about our services.
If you are unable to attend an orientation, an individual appointment can be arranged for an hourly fee.
Click here to view the dates of upcoming domestic orientations.
Click here to request a domestic homestudy application and additional information.
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