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Archive for Adopting a child

7 of the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Open Adoption

Lifetime couple Chaun and Bobby with their open adoption blessing

Lifetime couple Chaun and Bobby admire their adoption blessing

Open adoption is very common nowadays, with most birth parents and adoptive couples hoping for some form of openness. Many adoptive families living with an open adoption relationship get questions from people unfamiliar with the concept. They get asked questions such as, “how does open adoption work?”

Lifetime is providing you with answers to 7 of the most frequently-asked questions you might get about your relationship with your child’s birth parents!

1. “What is open adoption?”

In an open adoption, there’s some amount of interaction between the birth family and the adoptive family. They might communicate with each other through social media, emails, and photos. Other adoptive families have visits with their child’s birth mother once or twice a year. Typically in open adoption, there’s no go-between (like an agency, attorney, or social worker) and the families communicate directly. The amount of contact is something that the adoptive family and birth family mutually agree upon.

2. “Aren’t you worried that she’ll come back and get her child?”

Once the adoption is legally final, the adoptive parents are the child’s legal parents. Once the birth parents sign the paperwork consenting to the adoption and their revocation period is over, the adoption is permanent.

3. “Does your child know their birth parents?”

In today’s adoptions, adoptive parents talk about adoption with their child from the beginning. This is done so that the child doesn’t grow up wondering about their birth family and where they came from.

4. “Isn’t it heartbreaking for your child’s birth mother to see him with you?”

Although open adoption visits are definitely emotional, most birth mothers have told Lifetime that they make her feel positive about the decision she made. Emails, photos, visits, and other forms of contact let the birth mother see her child is growing up happy and loved. So rather than feeling regretful, she feels validated.

5. “How many years do you have to stay in touch with the birth parents?”

The answer depends on the open adoption arrangement made between the adoptive parents and the birth family. Lifetime has worked with birth mothers who need to have lots of contact for the first few years after placement, but not as much after that. Of course, the opposite can also be true; it just depends on the birth mother and her needs.

6. “Isn’t open adoption confusing for your child?”

Adoption experts have found that open adoption reduces the amount of confusion for adoptees. In an open adoption, a child knows his or her birth family and the circumstances of his or her birth. Plus, adoptees in open adoption know that they’re loved by two families: their birth family and their adoptive family. So really, the truth of their adoption isn’t confusing, it’s liberating.

7. “Do you wish you had a closed adoption?”

Adoption isn’t about the adoptive parents only; it’s about all involved. Everything in open adoption is done in the best interest of the child, making them the most important person. The reason why birth parents choose to place their baby is because of their child; to provide them the best life that they can. Although they can’t parent, they chose adoption out of love for their child.

At the end of the day, it’s the adopted child who sees the most benefits from an open adoption. Because of open adoption, they’ll never have to question or doubt that they’re loved by their birth family.

Discover how Lifetime Adoption Agency can help you realize your adoption dreams! There is no obligation in filling out our application.

It’s completely free to complete our online application! Click here to apply to adopt.

“Are We Too Old to Adopt?”

Discover your options of adopting after 40 at our adoption agency in Florida!There are various reasons that couples decide to adopt when they’re in their 40s (and later). They may have been establishing financial security first or hoping to create a family after a second marriage. If this is the case for you, the question “Are we too old to adopt?” may have crossed your mind. Keep reading to learn your options with infant adoption at our adoption agency in Florida!

In the past, there existed a “40-year rule” in adoption, meaning that adoptive parents could be no more than 40 years older than the baby or child they adopted.

At our adoption agency in Florida, we’re seeing that this rule is gradually fading away. In fact, we’ve worked with many birth mothers who are seeking an established, mature couple. The bottom is that when it comes to adoptive parents, what matters most to birth mothers is your ability to provide a nurturing, loving, and safe home.

If you’re hoping to adopt after 40, you may have encountered adoption professionals who have age restrictions and “cut-offs” for their clients. This is not so at our adoption agency in Florida. While we do have a minimum age of 21, we don’t have a maximum age cut-off that would restrict you from adopting after a set age. We believe that what’s more important than your age is to show birth parents that you’re healthy, active, and eager to become parents. So, it’s not so much about the age of the adoptive parents. Instead, what you can offer her child is paramount to birth mothers.

Here at Lifetime’s adoption agency in Florida, we’ve assisted many older couples to adopt a baby. We’ve noticed that older adoptive couples have much to offer a birth parent. They’re financially secure and are established in stable careers and marriages. With more people delaying the start of their family until their forties, age is truly just a number. What’s more important is the love and commitment you can provide to a child!

Discover how Lifetime’s adoption agency in Florida can help you adopt!

Starting your journey with Lifetime is simple! Just complete our free online application.

What NOT To Do at the Hospital

Many adoptive families nowadays are blessed to get invited by the birth parents to be present for the birth of their baby. We want to share some general guidelines with you today about the adoption hospital experience!

At the hospital, there’s such a difference between adoptive parents that mean well and those who act entitled. Join Lifetime as we share four things that adoptive couples should avoid doing at the hospital.

1. Don’t Invite People

While this is a joyous occasion for you, consider the birth parents. Unless they request the company of your friends and family, avoid the urge to invite them to the hospital.

We want to advise you to not to treat her hospital experience as your own, by celebrating with friends and family.

A birth mother kisses her baby2. Don’t Take Charge
The birth mother should always be the one taking the lead. Remember that right now, you don’t have any legal rights to her child. Show your birth mother the respect she deserves by honoring this fact and understanding boundaries. Don’t make any decisions for the baby until the adoption paperwork has been signed. That means that if hospital personnel asks you a question about the baby, you’ll need to remind them to ask the birth mother. She needs to be the one making the decisions for now.

Lifetime has heard from many birth mothers who cherish the time they’re able to spend with their baby after delivery. So, make sure to let her enjoy this time.

Remember, let the birth mother take the lead and always ask for her permission. It’s important that you allow her however much time she needs to have with her baby.

3. Don’t Stay for Hours on End
Make sure to give the birth mother regular breaks from visiting with you and give her the space she needs. It’s sometimes easy for adoptive couples to be so excited about becoming parents, that they miss her social cues saying she needs some space. Your birth mother definitely needs to rest after giving birth, and she might also need some time alone with her baby.

Follow her lead, and provide for her wants and needs as you can. Avoid trying to take over, and don’t ask her for favors. For example, we’ve heard of adoptive couples asking to have the baby room with them, or for them to sleep over in the birth mother’s room. Don’t be that couple! Your birth mother already has so much on her plate, and she deserves to be in charge.

4. Don’t Pressure Her
Many birth mothers already feel pressured to follow through with adoption, so don’t do or say anything that to add to that. An example is gifts. Even though adoptive couples mean well, giving a gift right now just adds to the pressure she already feels. Your birth mother’s aware you’ve traveled a long way to get to the hospital. She knows the emotional ties you’ve made to her baby.

Our advice is to make sure to communicate with her. Are you unsure of what to say or do? Let her know! Tell her that you’re not there to pressure her. Let her know you’ll still love and respect her should she decide to parent.

Remember, for years to come you’ll be telling your son or daughter their birth story. So what’s important now is that you act in a way that will make your child proud of the role you played.

How to Get Closer to Your Resolution of Adopting a Baby in 2018

discover how you can adopt a baby in 2018!Every new year brings new potential and hope for the future. It also comes with the chance to commit to a New Year’s resolution. Do you hope to adopt a baby in 2018?

Starting your family through adoption is a resolution that’s not set to please other people or to gain attention. Becoming a parent through adoption is a life-changing event which will mark the start of a fresh chapter in your family.

Here are 5 ways to come closer to your resolution of adopting a baby in 2018!

1. Hear From Couples Who’ve Had Adoption Success
Your best resource to learn all you can about adoption is from a couple who’s adopted recently. Seek out the stories of experienced adoptive parents, and establish a conversation with them if you can. You might ask them for their advice, and about their adoption journey. After all, the more adoption stories you hear, the more viewpoints you’ll have to learn from. Follow adoption blogs, sign up for email newsletters, and join up with other couples also at the start of the adoption journey.

2. Continue Learning
Learn as much as you can about subjects like domestic adoption, open adoption, and modern adoption. There are a wealth of wonderful articles, books, and blogs out there. Check out the adoption stories featured on our “Recent Adoptions & Matches” page, which gets updated each day. You’ll also want to watch adoption webinars, available online for free at AdoptionWebinar.com.

3. Start to Finance Your Adoption
You don’t want to be scrambling for funds when the opportunity to adopt comes up. So, start getting all of your finances in order now by meeting with a financial planner. They can help you create a budget and get your finances straight. Look into adoption loans, grants, and fundraising, too.

4. Make Time for Adoption Each Week
Since most of us are very busy, we suggest that you set aside time each week to devote to learning more about adoption. By scheduling this time, you’re able to plan around things like appointments and work obligations.

5. Begin Your Adoption Profile
Even if you haven’t signed on with an adoption professional, you’re able to start working on your adoption profile. Consider taking quick photos of your day-to-day activities and favorite hobbies. And start considering what birth mothers will want to know about you: where you live, how long you’ve been married, what your jobs are, and why you’re hoping to adopt.

Christmas Blessings from Lifetime

When they saw the star, they were filled with joy.
-Matthew 2:10

Christmas Blessings from Lifetime!Merry Christmas, from all of us at Lifetime Adoption Agency Florida! We feel very blessed to be able to assist you as you move through your journey to adoption.

We hope that 2018 unveils the next step to actualizing your heart’s greatest desire, parenthood. Lifetime is praying for you during your adoption wait. We understand that the holidays can be difficult during this time of waiting.

Earlier this month, we provided tips here on our blog about how you can get through the holidays while you’re waiting. We encourage you to read this piece if you haven’t already: “Waiting to Adopt? Get Our Holiday Survival Tips.”

Lifetime knows that each of our adoptive parents experiences the holiday season differently. We extend our hearts to you and wish you a memorable time celebrating Christmas.

Remember this Christmas that God finishes what He begins; He is committed in guiding us to something GOOD. Focus on what He’s already done in your lives as you follow His lead throughout your adoption journey. Give thanks to God for what He’s doing as you wait.

While Lifetime will be closed on Christmas Day, Monday, December 25, our team will continue to answer our 24-hour Birth Mother Answer Line. Lifetime is always available to birth mothers, as well as matched families with critical updates at 1-800-923-6784.

From all of us at Lifetime Adoption Agency Florida, we wish you Christmas blessings of peace and joy! May the Lord give you prosperity and perspective in the New Year, as you move closer to learning how He’ll answer your prayers of adoption.

How Can Audible Help You Learn About Adoption?

Listen to Called to Adoption on AudibleSometimes, it’s overwhelming for hopeful adoptive parents to know where to start on their adoption journey. Lifetime fully believes education is key for anyone hoping to adopt! And a great way to start learning about Christian adoption is by reading Called to Adoption: A Christian’s Guide to Answering the Call. You can listen to this book on Audible at no cost!

Through the end of the year, Audible is running a great promotion. In it, they offer a three-month trial of Audible for only $4.95 per month. That’s a huge savings because their usual going rate is $14.95 a month! You’re able to use a credit each month towards any audiobook you’d like. The best part is, the book Called to Adoption is yours to keep, even if you cancel your Audible account! You’ll be able to continue learning about the many types of adoption, even if you end up deciding that Audible isn’t a good fit for you. Visit Audible.com to learn more about their promotion.

Called to Adoption is full of useful tips and heartwarming adoption stories! Read about adoptive couples’ journey to adopt their child, and what helped them along the way! It was co-written by adoption expert, adoptive mother, and Lifetime’s Founder, Mardie Caldwell. Any adoptive parent will find that Called to Adoption provides them with invaluable resources and tips. Get encouraged as you begin your adoption journey by listening to this book!

With Audible, you’re able to hear Called to Adoption from wherever you are. Learn about how modern, open adoption works during your work commute, at the gym, or while you’re making dinner!

Visit Audible.com to download your audio version of Called to Adoption today! Or, you can simply click on the book’s cover below:

Click to get Called to Adoption on Audible!

How Long Does It Take to Adopt Twins?

fraternal twin babiesQuestion: My husband and I have just started researching infant adoption, and we’re hoping to adopt twins. On average, how long does it take to adopt twins through Lifetime Adoption Agency?

Answer: Adoptions with twins happen from time to time at Lifetime; we might have two to three newborn, twin adoptions out of 100 adoptions in our agency each year. So, we suggest that you remain open with your adoption preferences. If you’re only open to adopting twin babies, it’ll increase your wait time. It might even stand in the way of successfully adopting! Most of our adoptive couples wait from six to 16 months to adopt, and those couples are open to both single baby and twin adoptions.

When thinking about the average time you’ll be waiting to be chosen by a birth mother for a match, there are many factors to keep in mind. So that we can learn more about you and your adoption hopes, you can take the first step today by completing our online application. It’s free to apply and doesn’t obligate you to anything. Once you tell us your specific adoption goals, we’ll be able to share with you if you’d be successful in joining Lifetime for your adoption. Then, we can give you information about what to expect and the average wait time.

Lifetime encourages all adoptive families to sit down and talk about what truly matters versus what you feel right now would be best. The process of adopting is unique because it joins two parties together to begin a new story. We don’t want you to feel pressured into taking a particular adoption opportunity, but we also wouldn’t want hopeful adoptive parents to miss out on what could be an amazing adoption! So take some time and write down any questions. We look forward to learning more about you when you apply!

Are You Ready to Adopt? Ask Yourself These 10 Questions

are you ready to adopt? here are 10 questions to ask!Are you truly ready to adopt? Before you contact any adoption professionals, really think about what your deepest wishes are for your family and for the child you hope to adopt.

Honesty is important because it’s your adoption professional’s task to understand your motivations so that they can effectively help you from the start. Your professional will then narrow down the preferences and relevant adoption situations and help you plan your adoption.

How do you know if you’re really ready to adopt a baby?

Here are 10 simple questions to ask yourself:

1. Why do you want to adopt?

2. How serious are you about adoption right now?

3. What is your ideal adoption situation?

4. Does your spouse want to adopt too?

5. Have you thought about how becoming a parent will change your life and are you willing to accept this responsibility?

6. Are you financially, socially and emotionally ready to adopt?

7. Will you love a child who comes into your family through adoption as much as you would a biological child?

8. If your child’s birth mother asked for photos, letters, and updates, would you honor her request?

9. Do you think you’d be a good parent, and why? If the answer is “no,” are you open to seeking assistance?

10. Do you and your spouse have the patience and time that’s needed to care for a child?

Don’t be offended when an adoption professional asks you investigative questions about your reasons for seeking adoption. They’re not trying to be nosey; they’re trying to help you find the best situation with as little time and stress as possible.

Plenty of preparation needs to be done for an adoption to be a success, and thoroughly understanding your needs is a large part of that. So, let your adoption professional help you, and you’ll be on your way to creating the family you have been dreaming of for a lifetime!

How to Research Adoption Benefits

learn how you can afford to adopt a baby!The #1 reason couples aren’t able to adopt is that they can’t afford it. The reality is, there are tons of adoption benefits out there, you just need to know where to look! Today, we’re sharing how to get access to the adoption benefits your employer, insurance, or church offers.

If you’re on a budget, you might be surprised at the cost of domestic infant adoption. The good news is that there are many adoption loans and financing alternatives that you can take advantage of. It IS possible for you to afford to adopt a baby!

Below, we share how you can research any adoption benefits that are available through organizations you’re affiliated with, like your employer, insurance, or church.

Adoption Benefits Through Your Insurance Provider

Asking your insurance provider about your adoption might seem strange to you. But, an insurance organization called MediShare grants its members $4,600 to use on an adoption!

Hopeful adoptive couples are supported by MediShare; the company helps to defray their adoption fees. Members of MediShare can share in adoption costs up to $4,600 per adoption. For two separate adoptions, the max amount goes up to $9,200. You can learn more at MyChristianCare.org.

Adoption Benefits Through Your Employer

Nowadays, more and more companies are offering their employees a reimbursement to help out with adoption costs, as well as paid leave. To find out whether your employer allows adoption benefits, just ask your Human Resource Department.

If you find that they don’t provide adoption benefits, you might help them start such a program by contacting the Dave Thomas Foundation. This non-profit offers information to employers through their Adoption-Friendly Workplace program. This program’s purpose is to make adoption affordable for every hopeful adoptive parent who’s employed. For details, visit AdoptionFriendlyWorkplace.org or give them a call at 1-800-275-3832.

Adoption Benefits for Members of the Military

If you’re a member of the military, you have adoption financing resources that aren’t available anywhere else. Active-duty military couples qualify for up to $2,000 per child in adoption benefits. The benefit increases to $5,000 if you’re adopting a sibling group. Get the details at MilitaryFamily.org.

Adoption Q&A: When Can We Name Our Baby?

when can we name our baby?Question: “When can we name our baby?”

Answer: Anytime really! You and your spouse can begin discussing it before you’re matched with a birth mother. You can talk about it during the match with your birth mother. Sometimes, the birth mother will already know or have an idea what she’d like to name her baby. So then you’d already have an idea of what she’s thinking about and if the name is important to her.

Some of the most beautiful adoption stories we’ve heard have been about the name. In these stories, the adoptive family has kept the desires of their child’s birth mother in mind, which definitely built and strengthened their open adoption relationship! Birth mothers have shared with Lifetime how touching it was to them when the family wanted to include her first name or middle name within the child’s name. It’s a way of honoring her and solidifying that commitment between the adoptive parents and the birth parents. It creates such a bond, and a beautiful story.

If you strongly dislike the name that the birth mother chose, you need to find out why it’s important to her. Listen as she tells you why this name is important. Have grace and give it some prayer. We encourage families to think about what’s really important. The name a child has doesn’t define who they are before they’re born. Don’t let the adoption fall apart just because of the name. Usually, there are compromises and ways to work around the name. If there isn’t, let your Adoption Coordinator know. She’ll try to work things out on your behalf.

While our office is closed today, Monday, September 4 for Labor Day, our 24-hour adoption line will be OPEN and AVAILABLE with Lifetime Staff to speak with birth mothers as well as any matched adoptive parents who may need to reach us urgently. That number is 1-800-923-6784.

Please keep your cell phone with you and on. Lifetime traditionally receives calls about urgent situations when other adoption professionals are not available because they are off enjoying the long weekend. If we need to reach you, we want to be sure that we can!