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Domestic Adoption

ABOUT DOMESTIC ADOPTION

We place children domestically with couples, and single men or women, based on the preferences of the expectant mother. Our team will guide you through the complexities surrounding the domestic adoption process.

We will ensure that your adoption is carried out in a safe, efficient, and sensitive manner. We strive to minimize anxiety for all parties throughout the process.

American Flag

ADOPTION PROCESS

1. Agency Consultation

You will meet with our agency director and staff to learn more about the details of domestic adoption. You will begin to formulate your adoption plan with us, and become familiar with your specific role in the adoption process.

2. Agency Application & Home Study

Your mandatory home study can be completed by KidsFirst, a licensed social worker, or another licensed home study agency.

3. Completion of a Profile Book

Your mandatory home study can be completed by KidsFirst, a licensed social worker, or another licensed home study agency.

4. Matching

Once your home study has been approved and your profile book has been completed, you are ready to be matched with a potential expectant mother.

At this stage, there needs to be a mutual level of comfort between the expectant family and the adoptive family. KidsFirst will help to facilitate this entire process.

5. Correspondence

Once you have accepted a match, you will begin your relationship with the expectant family. In some cases, it is necessary to provide financial support to the expectant mother. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

You may be invited to the hospital for the birth, or you might be asked to refrain from visiting. This is dependent on the wishes of the expectant mother.

WHAT TO KNOW

Can the Biological Parents Change their Mind?

Though KidsFirst does all it can to ensure that an expectant mother does not proceed with an adoption plan unless she is certain, things can change after the child’s birth.

In the state of Indiana, a birthmother has 24-48 hours after the child’s birth before she signs the finalizing adoption papers.

Three Types of Adoption

Families should consider their preferences in dealing with an open, semi-open, or closed adoption.

In an open adoption, identifying information is fully disclosed, and contact between the expectant family and adoptive family is frequent and continuous, depending upon the agreement made between families.

In a closed adoption, all identifying information is confidential, and there is no contact between the expectant family and adoptive family.

A semi-open adoption falls somewhere along this continuum, often allowing for an initial meeting between expectant and adoptive families.

Choosing an Adoptive Family

We place children domestically with couples, and single men or women, based on the preferences of the expectant other.

In most cases, the expectant mother is highly involved in looking through profile books and identifying an adoptive family of her choice. In other cases, she may prefer that the agency assists her with choosing a family.

Preferences

The time it takes for you to be matched with an expectant mother is dependent upon both her preferences and yours.

Adoptive families and expectant mothers have the freedom to determine their level of openness in the adoption, and you will only be matched with a mother whose preferences match your own. It is important, however, to note that many expectant mothers prefer semi-open adoptions. In most cases, this is considered a healthy choice for her, and for the child.

We ask our families to please consider the well-being of all members of the adoption triad when making their plan.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are the steps of the adoption process?

If you are interested in becoming an adoptive parent with KidsFirst, please call our office and we can discuss your hopes and wishes. The adoption process starts with your home study. A home study is an overview of your life and includes in-depth interviews, a home visit and the completion of a set of documents. The documents include criminal background checks, a medical report, financial information, references, and adoption education. Our Social Workers are here to walk you through every step of the process with care. If you already have a fully approved home study we will accept it.

After your home study you will create a scrapbook showing your family and life, which we will review and provide suggestions for. We will show your book to potential birth mothers. When a birth mother chooses your book, we will coordinate a meeting so that you both can get share your hopes and dreams for the child. KidsFirst will guide you and be a part of multiple meetings with the biological family. You will not feel alone in this process.

As social workers we also have extensive experience and understanding of risks factors during pregnancy and the effects of prenatal care and trauma to child’s development. We continuously educate, support, and refer families to top specialist in the country to ensure families are fully equipped an understand risks. We are honest and straightforward and believe that people come to us because of our expertise, experience, and advocacy work for children and families.  Biological parents can sign official paperwork 24-48 hours after delivery. KidsFirst will be here each step of the way to make sure you are prepared and supported.

Are there age restrictions for domestic adoption?

This agency suggests a 25-48 year difference between the age of the child and the adoptive parent.

What questions should I ask while interviewing an adoption agency/attorney?
  • Do they provide home study, post placement, and legal services as well? What is their style of working with adoptive parents?
  • What is their style of working with biological mothers?
  • What is their involvement with both biological and adoptive parents like preparation for birth, doctors’ appointments, and regular checkups?
  • Who handles the management of financial support for biological families and how is it done?
  • What kind of education work is done for both biological and adoptive families?
  • Do you they stay in touch and manage communication between biological and adoptive parents?
  • Can adoptive parents contact them later regarding connecting with biological parents about medical, behavioral issues, etc.?
  • Do they place infants and older children as well?
  • Does the agency have knowledge about developmental and prenatal issues?
  • Do they understand and education about consequences of alcohol or other substance exposure?
  • What is their referral source?
  • Do they help with exchanging updates and provide an option for visitations at the office?
  • What is the fee structure?
What are open, semi-open, and closed adoptions?

– Open: There is a schedule of visitations once or twice a year between biological and adoptive parents.

– Semi-open: Pictures and updates, conference calls between bio and adoptive parents.

– Closed: Biological mother prefers privacy. She wants to reserve her right to contact our agency and ask for updates if she wants them later.

What percentage of adoptions do not take place?

We estimate that only 50% of initial adoption plans go through. That is an honest and straightforward observation from the years we have been doing this work. This is not just from our own placements but from other professionals and agencies we have worked with through our 21 years as an agency. This can happen for a number of reasons that we will discuss with you as you begin to approach the adoption process.

Do you help us put together our profile books?

Review of your profile book is part of our process. We do not charge for this service but work very closely with this family to highlight their uniqueness and readiness to welcome the child into their life. We have years of experience in this field and we share very honest and straightforward opinion regarding pictures, language used to optimize success in each family.

How quickly can I adopt?

As an agency we provide services starting from home study done in a timely manner to legal finalization. Assuming your homestudy is already completed we guide you to put together profile books and present them to biological families. We have famlies who were chosen within weeks of complete of their homestudy and families who have waited over a year. Please know that we don’t just count the time when you are matched, but until the child is placed in your care. Biological families can back out in the last minute which can influence the time of child placement with you as a family.

Are our chances of adopting lower if we are already parenting other children?

Not necessarily. We work with so many different situations and each biological family has certain hopes for their unborn child or a child they are already parenting. We try to concentration on things which are unique to you to make it more clear to biological families and give them a better picture of what environment their child will be raised and grow up in.

Fill Out the Form Now to Get the Process Started

Parenting Internationally Adopted Children

Adoptive Family Resource Packet (from KidsFirst)

This is a broad resource guide to:

      • Medical and Counseling Contacts
      • Adoption-Friendly Language
      • Adoption Books
      • Funding Resources for Adoption
      • Promoting Attachment and Bonding
      • Embracing Culture, Heritage, and Race
      • Arriving Home with Your Child
      • Creating a Life Book

Dr Federici’s 10 Session Series on Raising Challenging Children

Dr Federici speaks to the challenges of raising young people successfully out of orphanages and the special challenges and successful strategies for growing them to adulthood. This 10 video series on Vimeo is available for pay-per-view download.

Dr. Federici’s Help For The Hopeless Child​

A Guide for Families (with Special Discussion for Assessing and Treating the Post-Institutionalized Child)

Adopting the Hurt Child: Hope for Families with Special-Needs Kids

A Guide for Parents and Professionals by Gregory Keck and Regina Kupecky can be purchased on Amazon.com

Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow by Gregory Keck and Regina Kupecky

This paperback offers effective suggestions, wisdom, and advice to parent the hurt child in your life and can be purchased on Amazon.com.

Health and Developmental Considerations for Children Adopted Internationally

Adoption Medicine: Improving the Health and Wellbeing of Adopted Children

Todd (2016)
Adoption Advocate, 92
Offers an overview of adoption medicine, including the roles pediatricians and specialized adoption medicine physicians play before, during, and after the adoption process.

Health Considerations

U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs
Provides information about the health of children adopted from other countries and the health information that is provided to prospective adoptive parents. Describes the medical exam required for all internationally adopted children.

International Adoption: Immigrant and Refugee Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Discusses health problems that may be present in children adopted internationally and links to news resources relating to health considerations for these children.

International Adoption Project

University of Minnesota
Describes a clinic that specializes in medical services for children who were adopted internationally.

Medical Issues in Adopted Children: How Can Adoption Agencies Best Support Parents Before, During, and After Adoption?

Schulte (2020)
Adoption Advocate, 142
Compiles information for adoption professionals and parents on handling medical conditions or medical issues in adopted children and when an adoption medicine physician should be involved.
Preadoption and Postadoption Medical Assessments

Adopting a Child From Another Country (Intercountry Adoption)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Outlines medical considerations for when adopting a child from another country and highlights the importance of medical reviews as part of the process.

Comprehensive Health Evaluation of the Newly Adopted Child

Jones, Schulte, & Council on Foster Care, Adoption, and Kinship Care (2019)
Pediatrics, 143(5)
Addresses the elements of a complete health evaluation of a newly adopted child, including the preadoption visit, current and past medical history, and referral for diagnostic evaluation.

International Adoption Medicine (S1:E18)Podcast]

Children's Hospital Colorado (2017)
Offers a podcast featuring experts in the field of international adoption discussing medical support for families adopting internationally. The discussion explores why international adoptions require a different medical approach than domestic adoptions and why pre- and postadoption medical assessments are necessary. The podcast also discusses expectations and guidelines for these assessments, and more.

Internationally Adopted Children: Important Information for Parents

HealthyChildren.org
Provides an overview of medical evaluations for children adopted from other countries, including what to expect during the first medical visit, a checklist of what a doctor should do, information on growth and nutritional issues, and more.

Medical Examination

U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs
Reviews how prospective adoptive parents should request a comprehensive medical evaluation of their adopted child and should be aware of the unique health issues children adopted internationally may face.

The Role of Pre-Placement Medical Review in Contemporary Adoptions: Setting Expectations, Assessing a Child's Needs, and Supporting Successful Family Formation

Johnson (2019)
Adoption Advocate, 131
Discusses pediatricians' roles in the adoption process and describes how new knowledge about adversity in early childhood has expanded the medical field's understanding about risk factors for medical, developmental, emotional, and behavioral issues in adopted children.

Intercountry adoption clinics and doctors

Foster Care, Domestic and International Adoption

University of Minnesota
Describes a clinic that specializes in medical services for children who were adopted internationally.

International Adoption Center

Cincinnati's Children Hospital Medical Center
Describes the services provided by the Center, including pre-adoption consultation, postadoption evaluation, and its research program.

International Adoption Clinic

Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital
Provides services before, during, and after international adoption to help assess and manage medical needs commonly seen in adoptions from other countries.

International Adoption Health Program

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Supports the healthcare needs of families who have adopted internationally and provides pre- and postadoption counseling, therapy, and other services for children with special developmental needs.

International Adoption Medical Clinics

International Adoption Help (2017)
Supplies a directory of clinics and doctors who specialize in international adoption medicine.

Program Specific Information about Children Available

International Adoption Children Info (from KidsFirst)​

Support for Birth Injuries

Birth Injury Resources

            Sokolove Law is an established national law firm and has decades of experience handling birth injury medical malpractice claims. Sokolove's lawyers   
            understand the suffering that families affected by birth injuries go through. They will work with families to understand their unique situation
            and fight for compensation.

CHIP Handbook of Help

HandBook of Help Download

            A reference handbook that provides multiple direct providers by sections such as: housing, healthcare, food pantries and more. 

INDYCOC

HandBook of Help Download

            A reference handbook that provides multiple direct providers by sections such as: housing, healthcare, food pantries and more.