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.
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.
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.
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.
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.