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Archive for Adoption preparation

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 Much Did You Pay for Her?”

what to say if someone asks "how much did you pay for her?"When you’ve adopted, you may face rude questions from people. One of these is “how much did you pay for her/him?” Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re ever asked a similar question:

Adoptive parents don’t pay for a baby. They pay to have work done so that they can adopt a baby. Fees that are charged an adopting couple are used to support the work of the agency.

Adoption involves the time and efforts of numerous peo­ple who give service to biological parents, would-be adoptive parents, and babies. Each step of the proce­dure involves the work of highly trained professionals.

Also, agencies and attorneys must keep up to date on the laws and regulations con­cerning adoptions. They must pay rent or mortgage for their facility as well as costs involved with keeping up that facility.

The fee that adoptive parents pay when they receive a baby pays bills incurred by the agency as well as sala­ries of caseworkers, secretaries, the director, and oth­ers. Some states have individually set limits on the amount that an agency can charge for its services, thus keeping the possibility of adoption within the financial reach of most Americans.

In the case of a private adoption, the law in most states requires that the adopting parents pay only for the prenatal care, for the physician’s services, and for the hospital bill. This is meant to defray the medical costs incurred by the woman giving birth.

6 Smart Moves to Get Your Finances in Line for a Baby

get your money in line before you adopt!There’s no doubt that welcoming a baby into your home will affect your finances. There’s buying all the needed supplies, clothing, and bedding for a nursery, and then there’s the diapers, formula, toys, and child care. Add to that some costs that aren’t directly linked to the baby, but come into play such as increased life and disability insurance coverage.

Getting a hold of your finances right now, while you’re in the adoption wait, can help you enjoy your newborn without stressing out about money issues. Here are 6 smart moves to take before your baby arrives:

1. Check With Your Employer About Benefits

Ask your employer now which benefits are available to you, so you have an idea of how to budget. Parental leave is a necessary benefit, no matter if it’s paid or unpaid. There may be additional benefits you can take advantage of, like a health flexible spending account (FSA). Your employer may offer adoption-related benefits, so make sure to ask! Finally, you’ll want to research the life and disability insurance coverage your employer offers. Ask about the deadlines for buying increased coverage so you can plan ahead.

2. Pay Off Your Debt

Get out of any high-interest debt you’ve incurred, such as unpaid credit card balances. Once you start your family, finding money to dig yourselves out of debt might not be as easy as it was before.


3. Take a Look at Your Health Insurance

The costs for pregnancy and delivery vary a lot nationwide, depending on which doctor and hospital your birth mother will be seen at. Your insurance coverage will determine what your out-of-pocket medical costs for the birth mother’s pregnancy-related expenses will be. It’s smart to review the pregnancy and childbirth coverage included in your insurance now.

4. Start a “Rainy Day” Fund

Try to prepare now for the unexpected by routing 5% of your take-home pay into an emergency, “rainy day” fund. A good goal is to try and save the amount equal to three months’ of expenses into this fund. If you reach that target, continue to save 5% of your pay to cover unexpected costs like a car repair.

5. Consider Bonding Time

Per the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you’re able to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave after the adoption. Both you and your spouse can take time off of work to bond with your baby. But you want to start thinking now about how you’ll afford living three months (or more) without a second paycheck.

6. Learn Child Care Costs

Child care costs may take up a large portion of your monthly budget. If both you and your spouse work outside the home, talk about how that may change. Maybe one parent will stay home. If you do need child care, your employer and the IRS may offer some assistance. Ask your employer if they offer a flexible spending account for child care. On your taxes, you might be able to claim your child and child care in a tax credit. And let’s not forget about the Adoption Tax Credit! Use these tax savings on big expenses such as formula and diapers.

Surviving the Adoption Home Study

adoption home study visitWe recommend that you use your adoption home study as a way to learn even more about adoption. You’ll need to get a home study no matter where you live, or where you plan to adopt. An adoption home study is a document that shares the story of your life: your health, your family and marital history, and your finances. It also contains a description of your house and neighborhood, references, and info about any criminal record or health concerns.

For many hopeful adoptive couples, the idea of opening up their homes and lives to a stranger puts them on edge. A common worry about the home study is that it’ll find you ineligible to adopt. The truth is, it’s uncommon for a home study to end with a negative judgment. Even though you might feel that the process is invasive, remember its goal is to ensure children are placed into loving homes.

So what exactly is an adoption home study? It’s social worker’s written evaluation, based upon interviews they’ve had with you during at least one in-person visit to your home. Your home doesn’t have to be child-proofed, contain a finished nursery, or a separate bedroom for the baby before the social worker’s visit. They will want to know, however, how you plan to accommodate your precious arrival.

Lifetime Adoption Agency Florida provides home studies. Learn how we can help you with this aspect of your domestic adoption!

Just give us a call at 1-800-9-ADOPT-4 or learn more about our home study service here.

In the video below, our Founder and President Mardie Caldwell shares about the adoption home study service we provide to adopting families:

Avoid Using These 3 Things to Afford Adoption

Don't use these 3 things to afford adoption!Many hopeful adoptive couples have found that they need to allocate more funds to go through the process. Domestic adoption does come with the potential of a high price tag since there are so many people working on your behalf. Money may be standing in the way for you to realize your dream of adoption. Today, we’re sharing about a few financial tools that you should avoid using to afford adoption. If you do, your long-term financial profile and your family will be negatively affected.

Here are 3 financial resources that you should avoid using to fund your family’s adoption:

1. Mortgage or Rent
Using your mortgage or rent payment towards an adoption is a risky financial idea. After all, if you’re adopting, you’ll need a place to live! You’ll need to create and cultivate a home environment that is stable and secure. You could end up losing a lot more than you ever imagined when you start using the money that should be going towards your house.

2. Payday Loan
Using a “payday loan” allows you to get your full paycheck in before your actual pay date. This might sound like a great financial tool, especially if you’re in a rush to adopt. However, since you’re already are low on money, the odds are you have little to no reserves if you’re even considering this. You’re likely to fall into debt once you start using this type of loan. This is because payday loans come with very high interest rates and you can almost never “catch up”. Living paycheck-to-paycheck is not a great start for your new family.

3. Title Loan
Giving away the title to your car is one of the most financially risky plans to follow. You need your car to get from point A to point B. Without a car, it may be almost impossible for you to get to work. If you have one missed payment, you might end up losing your car. It can put an emotional strain on you, in knowing that the car isn’t really “yours.” It’s totally not worth it! Your future child shouldn’t be brought into a situation where their adoptive parents are so financially burdened. The stress of all this will seep into other areas of your life and even to your child.

As adoptive parents, you have the responsibility to give your child the best imaginable start with your family. Your arms might be aching for a child, but you don’t want to bring one into your life at a time of financial stress. Once you have a better idea how much money you’ll need to fund the adoption, try more positive ways to raise funds. Visit Lifetime’s link about Financing Your Adoption to get ideas on how to afford adoption.

Are You Ready for Infant Adoption in 2017?

Ross and Carol were blessed through an infant adoption this past year!Adopting a child is a lifelong commitment. But at times the process to adopt can also seem to take ages! If you’re well-informed and prepared for an infant adoption, you’ll succeed!

There are various ways that adoption is similar to pregnancy. Just as pregnancy has lots of hopes, expectations, uncertainties, and restrictions, so too does adoption. The more equipped you are for the adoption process, the easier it’ll be to keep hope on your dream of extending your family.

Ask yourselves, “Will we be ready to adopt when we get ‘the call’”? How would you react if you were presented with an unexpected adoption situation? As a hopeful adoptive parent, you need the ability to concentrate on the adoption process and be prepared adopt at any time.

So how do you know you’re ready for infant adoption?

To begin with, understand your reasons for adopting. Don’t choose adoption just because people say you “should.” Infertility can be a distressing experience but adoption may not always be the right solution for couples fighting infertility. Adoption can’t erase the need to have a biological child. If this is the case, couples might need to grieve the biological child they may never conceive.

Likewise, feeling lonely isn’t a good reason to begin the adoption process. It takes a lot of self-sacrifice to provide a nurturing life to a child. If your motive to adopt is simply so you aren’t alone, putting their needs ahead of your own will feel like a burden.

If your spouse isn’t sure about infant adoption, don’t start the process hoping they’ll come around. What happens if they don’t come around after the child becomes part of your family? Your commitment to your child is forever and must be equally shared.

So, your reasons to adopt shouldn’t be idealistic or selfish. Make sure that you want to adopt because you’re ready to become parents.

Once you start the adoption procedures, prepare yourselves to face financial restrictions as well as demands on your energy and time. The process to adopt will require that you make commitments and lifestyle changes in order to be successful. Also prepare yourselves to face some ‘red tape’ during the process, no matter which path to adoption you pick. You must also be prepared to give your child the love, attention, and security that they deserve.

Set aside time to talk with your spouse throughout your adoption journey. Many couples have told us that once they started, they found they opened up more than they’d expected. Every conversation you have about the future is in preparation for the day you get “the call” that a birth mother has chosen you.

When you’re fully prepared and ready to move forward, adoption will become one of the most fulfilling experiences in your life!

Are you ready to start your own journey towards infant adoption?
Take the first step today and fill out Lifetime’s free online application to adopt!

start your journey

Myths About Domestic Adoption, Revealed

Discover the myths and truths surrounding domestic adoptionThe number of babies and children adopted through a domestic adoption has increased, and we have seen that the number of children adopted into the United States from other countries has dropped significantly over recent years. This is because of a variety of incidents involving children adopted internationally has resulted in many countries over the years discontinuing adoptions. Also, many countries have tightened their rules for international adoptions such as age limits and marital restrictions.

Some hopeful adoptive parents tell us they want to adopt internationally because they are afraid of the birth parents coming back to claim their child after the adoption has happened. Actually, that situation is dramatized and mostly occurs in TV shows and movies. In reality, an adoption reclaim happens very rarely. Reclaims happen if there has been adoption fraud or the child’s existence was hidden from the birth father. This is why it’s important to work with an adoption professional, with the experience in spotting potential adoption frauds and scams. Also, an adoption professional will ensure that the child’s birth father has been informed of the adoption plans and he’s legally consented to the adoption.

There are many children available for adoption in the US that range in age from newborn to older child, and even sibling groups. Consider adopting one of these children by browsing our website. Call us at Adoption Agency Florida if you’d like to learn the steps needed to get started with your domestic adoption: 1-877-383-6847.

Adoption Q&A: A Time of Year for Adoptions?

time of year for adoptions?

Lifetime adoptive couple Cliff and Sheila’s baby girl

Here’s an adoption question that we were recently asked: “Is there a time of year for adoptions? What I mean by that is, when do you notice more adoptions than at other times of the year? We want to start up when we have a better chance of being chosen.”

ANSWER: While sometimes there are notable trends behind the scenes for our coordinators who are assisting women choosing adoption, there is no “peak” time of year for adoptions taking place. Sometimes there may be many women beginning their adoption research, while at other times there may be many women going through labor and delivery or starting up a match with adoptive parents.

The reality is adoptions are happening all the time! If you want to adopt, it’s better to get yourself ready and available to potential birth mothers as soon as it’s right for you. The RIGHT birth mother could be waiting to find you NOW, or she could be around the corner in six months or a year. The point is that you’ll be ready when SHE is ready, and you’ll be chosen for her baby for reasons that may delight or surprise you…reasons that were just the right fit for that woman, for her baby’s future.

If you’re thinking about adoption, apply today and find out if Lifetime would be a good fit to help you along your adoption dream: Application for Adoption.

Considering Trans-Racial Adoption?

trans-racial adoptionWhen a family adopts a child that is a different race than their own, it is considered a trans-racial adoption. Currently, we are seeing this in the adoption of African American children by Caucasian families, through both domestic and international adoptions. Not only is this a trend in Christian homes, but high-profile celebrity adoptions are also setting examples. Sandra Bullock, Angelina Jolie, and Katherine Heigl have all recently adopted children with an ethnic heritage different than their own.

While you may be completely prepared for this, you will need to ensure that your family is prepared, as well. Ted and Amanda were open to a child of any race and were chosen by an African American birth mother to adopt her baby. Brought up in Christian homes, they never imagined that their families would have anything but love for their baby. Imagine their surprise when an uncle and a cousin both made racial slurs about their baby at the family gathering designed to welcome the baby home! Have these family conversations well in advance. You don’t need to change your plans based solely on your family’s approval, but you should be aware of their view. It may be an opportunity to pray for God’s change in their hearts.
Similarly, you should evaluate if you have resources in your city or county to expose a child to their heritage and others that share their ethnicity. It may seem odd when they are quite young, but when they begin to ask questions about why they look different than you, it will help you explain if you also have places to go and things to share to support your child as he grows up confident as the individual he is and as part of your family.

Your adoption home study provider may require or recommend classes for families open to adopting outside of their race. You should actively participate and ask questions so you will be prepared later. Seek out programs or support groups for families built through trans-racial adoption. If these are not available in your area, consider attending a church with diversity and programs available to support your child’s need for identity and belonging.

Here are a few important questions to ask yourself if you are considering trans-racial adoption:

  • How will you help your child be comfortable growing up in your hometown?
  • Do you already know people of diversity or who may share the same race as your child? Will you need to make new connections to expand your social circle for your child and family’s well-being?
  • Do you know of support or play groups for trans-racial families created through adoption? If not, would you be comfortable starting one?
  • Does your neighborhood or city hold cultural celebrations? Attend, introduce yourself, and get involved.
  • What are ways you’ll honor, respect, and celebrate your child’s difference within your family? Books, dolls, play groups, and other avenues are available to help a child identify with and embrace their unique racial differences in a positive way.

This information was excerpted from our Founder Mardie Caldwell’s book, Called to Adoption. Do you have questions about how we can help you adopt? Just send us an email or give us a call at 1-877-383-6847.