There are numerous online resources available to help you research the adoption process, including several that focus on subsidies and other financial assistance for adopting.
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ADOPTING
You do not have to use an adoption agency in your state!! If your state doesn't have an adoption agency that is actively searching for prospective birth mothers, then look elsewhere. Ask A LOT of questions.
How many birth mothers did they have last month and last year, how many adoptive families are they working with?2.
Have your homestudy prepared by a licensed social worker. They can get it done much quicker than most agencies and charge about half the amount of an agency. Call local adoption attorneys, children's homes or anyone else you may know who works with social workers. Most agencies will take a homestudy performed by a social worker. 3.
Find attorneys in your town that may work with birth mothers. Give them a copy of your family profile. Family profiles (pictures and descriptions of your family) can be done with scrapbooking software and can be printed at your neighborhood office supply store. Prepare enough for your agency and also for local professionals who may come across a prospective birth mother (doctors, attorneys, pastors.)4.
Not all agencies require an application fee. Most require a $500 - $2000. An application fee may not be prudent unless the agency has a high birth mother/adoptive parent ratio. Some agencies have 3 to 5 birth mothers with about 20 families waiting. Not a good ratio.5.
You can adopt through the most state foster care systems even if you are not able, wanting or willing to foster. The wait may be longer but after you finish the training classes you will be certified to adopt. There are many foster parents who don't want to adopt. Waiting adoptive families who are certified through the state, are first in line to adopt. Adoption through a state has very minimal fees, if any at all!6.
International adoption takes about 15-24 months depending on which country you are wanting to adopt from and the country doesn't put an extended hold on impending adoptions. Cost for international can range from $20,000-$55,000. One Alabama adoptive family wrote to Rivers of Hope Foundation with their story. We share it hoping it gives you hope in the adoptive process….."Something I've noticed with many agencies is that they advertise within the church for birth mothers and for adoptive families. Great place to find families but probably not going to be a lot of girls who are pregnant looking for an agency. The agency we found and chose to work with put "ads" in the yellow pages in most major cities in the U.S. This is where girls are going when they are desperate for help and aren't able to go to friends or family. Imagine, looking through the phone book trying to find answers. She desperately looks under abortion and then sees "adoption". She calls the number and a loving voice tells her how special she and her baby are.
This may not be the glamorous way some of us may imagine that birth mothers come to the decision to consider adoption. It is time to come to the realization that if you are adopting, through an agency, it is because someone else is choosing to give up their baby. You have to find an agency that is actively looking to find, counsel and support birth mothers. Find an agency who puts the baby first and treats the pregnant mother with the utmost respect. This is her baby that she is considering entrusting with another family. Your motives must be pure.
We found our agency online through a Yahoo group. Someone posted a comment about an agency who didn't charge an application fee. Of course I called first thing the next morning. It sounded too good to be true. At the time, the wait was (and I think is still) SHORT. The wait was approximately 3-12 months depending on preferences regarding gender and race. I believe I said "we don't have a preference" to which she said "you would probably be in the 3-6 month range." WHAT!! That is not the 4 year wait I was told about when I started this process one month ago.
Long story, very short.... Our sweet baby boy was born 3 months after we started the adoption process. We were even at the hospital for the birth! Thinking this was a fluke, we helped some friends using our "process" with another agency. They welcomed a little girl after a 5 month wait! Then again last week more friends adopted through the agency we used, having a fantastic experience.
In closing, no process is perfect, no agency is perfect. Not everyone is going to experience a "quick" adoption. We are going through state foster care for our next little one and realize we will not have near as much control over the process. There are always going to be glitches and setbacks. The purpose of my writing this is to encourage those of you trying to adopt to consider all of your options. Do your research. Work hard and pray for divine guidance. This is not to say that if you do everything "right" you will not have to wait. God's timing is perfect. Prayerfully consider if this is the right thing for your family before you start the process."
A.N. in Decatur, Alabama
Our primary goal is placing children in loving and supportive and permanent homes. To find out more about adopting a child (or children), view this national website on the subject CLICK HERE
or to receive information about the next Adoption Orientation Meeting in San Diego county area, you must first complete the Adoption Inquiry Form.
Please call San Diego County Adoptions at 1-877-423-6788
if you would prefer to submit an inquiry over the telephone.
The Angels Foster Family network is a unique organization that is contracted by San Diego County to place babies and toddlers in quality foster care. Many of their foster parents become adoptive parents through this experience. Angels operates on the well-documented belief that early intervention can prevent a myriad of problems in later life. Angels places just one baby in a home with screened and well-trained primary caregivers to insure that secure attachment and bonding will take place—a key to later healthy development. The grant from Rivers of Hope has allowed Angels to recruit more special foster parents for this purpose. For more information on Angel Babies, visit HERE.
San Diego County Adoptions website has information specific to adopting a child in San Diego county regardless of the adoptive parents location. http://iadoptu.org
For specific questions about adopting from the San Diego Heart Gallery that are not answered here, please email Nicole Espinosa, Protective Services Worker, San Diego County Adoptions Nicole.Espinosa@sdcounty.ca.gov
ADOPTING FROM OUTSIDE SAN DIEGO
Heart to Heart Adoptions, Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c)3 licensed adoption agency whose objective is to provide adoption information, support, and love for those families and individuals seeking to adopt a child, or those families and individuals considering placing their child for adoption. Heart to Heart focuses on domestic and infant adoptions with an emphasis on building quality families in a timely manner. http://www.hearttoheartadoptions.net
The Adoption Center of San Diego was established in 1987 as a non-profit center providing counseling, education and complete adoption facilitation. Their emphasis is that adoption is a very personal process where one-on-one is important. They work with families in San Diego or the Southern California region only. Most of the birth parents are also in San Diego. They believe they can best support you when they meet with you face-to-face. Usually the birth parents are in crisis when they contact them... and sometimes it helps to be close enough to meet face to face and just talk. May times birth parents are facing a crisis or unplanned pregnancy but many times they are also wrestling with other difficulties in their life as well. They offer counseling, local community referrals and support groups to birth parents at no charge to them. http://adoption-center.org
FEDERAL ADOPTION EXPENSE TAX CREDIT
Back in 2005, the federal adoption expense tax credit increased to a maximum of $10,630 per adoption. See http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc607.html
STATE TAX CREDITS
Several states have tax credits for adoptive families, sometimes restricted to those adopting from that state's public child welfare system. Contact San Diego County Adoptions at 1-877-423-6788
for more information.
Children with special needs may qualify for a subsidy to help parents pay for ongoing treatments. Contact San Diego County Adoptions at 1-877-423-6788
for more information.
NONRECURRING ADOPTION EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT
Families who adopt from the public system may be eligible for reimbursement of adoption-related expenses, such as homestudy, travel, and attorney costs. More information: http://www.nacac.org/adoptionsubsidy/valueofsubsidies.pdf
Active-duty personnel are reimbursed for one-time adoption costs, whether adopting an infant, a waiting child, or a child from abroad. Find out more at:
More employers are offering adoption benefits for employees, and the dollar amounts of these benefits are growing, with the average expense reimbursement now approaching $4,000.
For more information see: www.adoptionfriendlyworkplace.org
GRANTS AND LOANS
Some adoption agencies and organizations offer adoption grants and/or low-cost loans. Agencies with such programs include the Abba Fund
, Lifesong for Orphans
and A Gift of Adoption
The most respected source of national adoption information is the Dave Thomas Foundation. http://www.davethomasfoundation.org/How-We-Can-Help-You