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Archive for Adoption services

Join Adoption Agency Florida on Facebook!

LIKE Lifetime Adoption Agency Florida on FacebooK!Lifetime Adoption Agency Florida is excited to share that we’ve just reached 1,000 fans on Facebook! To celebrate, we’re offering a FREE download of an info-packed tip sheet, Ten Tips of a Safe and Healthy Open Adoption. Download this special report for free here!
 
On our Facebook page, Lifetime Adoption Florida, we share free adoption tips, link to adoption webinars, give important reminders, and share updates from clients who’ve adopted a baby through Lifetime! From time to time, we also post about ways that you can help women who have lovingly chosen adoption, through a donation to the Lifetime Foundation.

We also list inspiring quotes, upload adoption videos, share adoptive family websites, and link to helpful adoption articles we’ve written. You can direct message Lifetime Adoption Agency Florida on Facebook too, with any questions or concerns you might have. One of the most popular (and educational!) features are the conversations we are having with both birth mothers and adoptive parents.

So be sure to LIKE Lifetime Adoption Florida on Facebook and join the conversation. We want to connect with YOU!
 
Lifetime Adoption Florida has reached 1,000 fans on Facebook!

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:

How to Choose an Adoption Agency – Step #3

Here’s the final step in the three-step process of choosing an adoption agency! Last week, we shared how you can effectively interview adoption agencies.
 
The third and final step is to make your final decision on which adoption agency you’ll contract with. At this point, you’ll probably have just two or three adoption agencies that you’re seriously considering. The agencies should not only meet your criteria but also feel like a company you’d be happy working with. However, you still have some more research to do.
 
The adoption agencies you’ve been in communication with should be able to provide you with a list of references. At Lifetime Adoption Agency Florida, we share a long list of references and their contact information with all prospective adopting parents. Our references are adoptive families who have adopted using our services, and so they can answer questions such as what to expect with a Lifetime adoption. We suggest that you contact as many of the references an agency provides you with, to gain a bigger picture. If the adoption agency you’re talking to doesn’t provide you with referrals, consider it a red flag!
 
It’s also smart to see if there have been complaints made against an adoption agency. Since there’s is no central website where complaints against adoption agencies are stored, you’ll have to check a few different places. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) records complaints against adoption agencies. Check the BBB website for all cities in which the agency operates. The BBB provides complaint information by phone and online.
 
An adoption agency’s standing within the adoption community is another factor to keep in mind. We suggest that you take online reviews with a grain of salt, since the anonymity of the Internet sometimes brings out the worst in people, especially with such an emotional topic as adoption.

How to Choose an Adoption Agency – Step #2

Last week, we shared step #1 in how to choose an adoption agency that’s right for you: early research. Today, we’re giving you step #2: interviewing potential adoption agencies.

Ensure that you’re picking an adoption agency you feel comfortable with; trust your intuition. The agency is going to direct you the sometimes puzzling path towards adoption. Selecting an adoption agency is a complex decision and depends on what you’re seeking in adoption.

Now that you’ve done some research and narrowed down your list of potential adoption agencies, it’s time to get more information and get a feel for the agency and its staff. We suggest contacting each agency from your list and scheduling a time to talk with them. This interview could take place in person or over the phone. Make sure you set aside enough time for the interview because you probably have lots of questions to ask. If you need help thinking of questions to ask them, check out this post: Discover What You Need to Know About Your Adoption Professional.

Don’t just email adoption agencies your list of questions. So that you can decide whether you see yourself trusting the agency to help you bring your child home, you need to actually talk with them. You’re looking for more than just their stats such as average wait time and the amount of successful adoptions per year. You’re also trying to measure if you trust them to help you build your family. Take thorough notes during the interview, not just about the information they provide, but also on their attitude and values.

After the interview, take some time and examine if you’d enjoy working with them. Consider their stance on subjects important to you, their overall manner, and how helpful they were.

Keep an eye on our blog next Monday, when we’ll share Step #3 in choosing the right adoption agency for your family!

How to Choose an Adoption Agency

The process of infant adoption can be confusing, so your adoption agency is there to act as your guide. It’s worth spending the time to research agencies until you find the right fit for you. Don’t be tempted to rush through your research and settle for the adoption agency that’s cheapest. It’s well worth your effort to spend the time needed to find the best agency for you and your family!
 
As with all big decisions, it may be tough to analyze all of the factors and then rank them. Is it important to you that the agency provides birth mothers with support and counseling? Would you like an agency located close to you? How big of an agency do you desire?
 

Today, we’re sharing the first step in a three-step process to help you choose the right adoption agency for you:
 
Step #1 Early Research

There are thousands of adoption agencies in the US. Clearly, researching all of these agencies isn’t possible. So your goal in this first step is to narrow down the amount of possible adoption agencies without contacting each one. Narrow down your list to just the agencies that fulfill your basic conditions. Think about whether you’re hoping for a local adoption agency or a nationwide one. Which pre- and post-adoption services you want your adoption agency to offer?
 
Here are 5 factors to keep in mind as you narrow down the list of adoption agencies:
 
Experience: Adoption is an intricate process, particularly when you have two states’ laws to keep in mind. You need an adoption agency that knows the process inside and out. You can determine whether or not the adoption agency has the necessary experience to help you by checking how long they’ve been in operation. Lifetime Adoption Agency Florida has over 30 years of experience in the field of domestic adoption. We’re well-versed in interstate adoption laws and requirements.
 
Location: Adoption is governed by state law, and most states will allow you adopt through an agency licensed in another state. So, you have the option of using a national agency or a local one. When you contract with an adoption agency which works nationwide such as Lifetime, they often have better means of reaching pregnant women considering adoption. Also, national adoption agencies often have more adoption placements and more experience.
 
Support to Birth Parents: An indication of a great adoption agency is what sort of birth parent support they provide. Making an adoption plan for their child is one of the most painful decisions in a birth parent’s life. A great adoption agency knows this, and keeps the best interest of birth mothers and birth fathers in mind. Seek out an adoption agency that provides counseling to birth mothers before and after the adoption. Lifetime Adoption Agency Florida offers licensed third-party counseling to our birth mothers. That way, the counselor doesn’t have a vested interest in whether she chooses adoption. In addition, we provide peer counseling from women who made an adoption plan for their child. We know that it really helps potential birth mothers to have the ability to speak to a woman who’s been in their shoes.
 
Completed Adoptions: The amount of adoptions completed per year is also an important element to consider. Once you sit down and interview an adoption agency, you’ll be able to get more information about their expertise. But before that, make sure that they complete enough adoptions per year to be able to help you. Lifetime completes around 130 adoptions per year, and we make sure to balance the number of adoptive families we have with the number of potential birth mothers.
 
Adoption Training: An exceptional adoption agency will do more for you than giving you paperwork to complete and conducting your home study. Check to see whether the agency offers adoption education. Pre-adoption education is a sign they’re invested in your long-term wellbeing as a family formed through adoption. Lifetime Adoption Agency Florida provides our clients with adoption webinars a few times a month. At these webinars, our adoption experts share various aspects of the process. Also, our webinars feature successful adoptive families who share their stories and tips. Our President and Founder Mardie Caldwell knows the importance of pre-adoption education, and saw to the creation of a clients-only membership website. It’s packed with information, articles, tips on adoptive parenting, and more! We provide waiting adoptive families with personal, one-on-one consultation with adoption professional who are experienced with both birth mothers and adoptive families.
 
Stay tuned to our blog for Step #2 in choosing the right adoption agency for your family!

How to Simplify the Complicated World of Adoption

adoption myths

A baby boy who was adopted through Adoption Agency Florida

Adoption is a very rewarding option for couples who cannot conceive a child. But the journey to the baby meant for your family can be complex. Today, we share tips on how to streamline the adoption process.

1. Learn from Others Who’ve Adopted
Don’t take advice from those who haven’t experienced adoption for themselves. A great place to hear from successful adoptive families is by tuning into webinars on AdoptionWebinar.com. Often, people who haven’t adopted recently will give advice about the methods and laws of adoption that have since changed.

Many are just ignorant about adoption and learn what they know from the media instead of real life. Most adoptions go well and without problems. Since the media knows that drama sells, they only portray a small portion of the adoption experience.


2. Get the Help of a Professional

Along with the people who sincerely want to help you adopt, there are also many out there who want to scam you. A good rule of thumb is to avoid spending a penny until you sign on with your adoption agency. There are a lot of dishonest people who say they want to help you, but they just want your money. An example of an adoption scam is an advertiser who says they’ll help you find a birth mother. A reputable agency is there to identify scams for you; they field inquiries from women who call in saying they want to choose adoption for their baby.

Many times, higher priced, experienced adoption professionals with a record of success will give you much value than someone less expensive. Compare adoption companies and don’t rush yourself when you do your research. Just a few weeks of research can pay off tremendously. Check out the professional with the Better Business Bureau and ask for referrals of past clients.

3. Don’t Be a Perfectionist

With adoption, you just can’t wait for the perfect time to get started. Realize that you don’t have to learn everything all at once. Start by researching adoption terms. If you have questions, write them down, then research and ask others. Don’t obsess: take it one step (or topic) at a time. Consider devoting one hour a day to learning about adoption. You can do this by reading, speaking to others who have adopted, and seeking out adoption professionals.

4. Consider Open Adoption
In an open adoption, the birth mother chooses the adoptive family for her baby. They meet each other in person and have ongoing contact as the child grows up. There are many benefits to open adoption, including that you’ll have knowledge of your child’s medical history in the future if needed. And, your child will grow up knowing that they were adopted, so when they ask you where they came from you’ll be able to answer.

Lifetime Adoptive Families Share: Our Adoption Experience

If you’re thinking about working with Lifetime Adoption Agency to bring home your baby or child, you might be wondering, “what is it like to work with Lifetime?” and “how does life look after the adoption?”

Hear from successful Lifetime adoptive families, as they share stories of their adoptions of their children, and what life’s like now:


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I Grew in Mommy’s Heart

Deena,

I cannot believe its been 1 year since I was matched. I remember everything about that morning, including calling you back at 10:10 am ET and saying yes.

Lindsay turns 1 in a few short weeks. She has been a constant joy and entertainment. I would not trade a moment of our time together (even the teething, she has 8). She is my Lovey. As I celebrate her year of firsts, I wanted you to know I have not once forgotten about Lifetime or you and the gift you have given me. You and Lifetime are in the business of making dreams come true.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am so blessed to call myself Lindsay’s mom.

Love and blessings, Cynthia


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A Double Blessing

Hi Linda,

We’re planning a birthday party for the twins, but it won’t be until January because of everyone’s work schedules right now (holidays). We had a little party for them on Tuesday. I will forward a pic once I have the boss’s (Retta) seal of approval on one that looks nice…lol.

Rayne and JD are such an absolute blessing, and we thank God for them every day! And we appreciate so much all of your help in bringing us together!

–Matt & Retta & Rayne & JD


raphael & kim adoption finalization

Forever Family!

Linda and Deena, God is good! We are elated to tell you that our adoption of our angels Alexis and Javon finalized via a video conference hearing yesterday. We are a forever family! We are feeling so joyful and so blessed. The kids were so excited about the final hearing that they could barely sleep the night before. They have been telling everyone that they have a forever family. Again thank you all at Lifetime for the persistence and hard work in making our dreams of parenthood come true. Raphael, Kimberly, Alexis and Javon


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Our Dream Come True

We can’t thank you guys enough for all the joy and blessing you have bought us. We just can’t stop singing your praise of how professional and helpful Lifetime has been in making this a smooth and enjoyable experience. I know we have referred Lifetime to several families that have expressed interest in adopting. Our little princess was born in December and this is absolutely the most precious blessing anyone could pray or wish for, she has brought so much joy into our life. Just to be on the safe side I am including a couple of photos that we like the best and you ladies can decide which one you prefer, we’re fine with either one.

Best regards,
Charles, Rosa and baby Chase Rose
 

Learn about how you can adopt the baby of your dreams! Please call us at 1-877-383-6847 or take the first step today and fill out our free online application to adopt.

Adoption Agency Home Study

If you have just started your adoption journey to adopt a baby or child, you may have heard and read about the adoption “home study.” The home study is a requirement in order to adopt. It includes a report of your family, your daily life, as well as an assessment of where you will raise your child.

As a full-service adoption agency, Lifetime Adoption Agency provides this integral adoption service as you prepare for your domestic adoption. In this video, Lifetime Adoption Agency’s President and Founder Mardie Caldwell describes our agency home study service:

The agency home study is conducted by one of our licensed social workers. They will train and educate you as you prepare for your journey to adoption. The licensed social worker collects information about the prospective parents for the report. Information compiled includes your finances, criminal background checks, work, health, parenting styles, and your ability to care and love for a child that is not of your body, but comes to you through adoption. The social worker will also include in the home study a few visits to your home. These visits mainly are done to make sure that your home meets state licensing standards for safety.

If you have questions or would like to employ our home study services, please call Lifetime Adoption Agency at 1-800-923-6784 or send us a message.

9 Ways to Check Out an Online Adoption Professional

call adoption professionalHere are 9 ways you can check out the reputation and professionalism of an online adoption professional:

  1. Get to know the adoption sites online. Before working with anyone, verify their existence in a “brick and mortar” building.
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  3. On visiting the website of a professional, see if they display memberships in organizations like the Better Business Bureau and their local Chamber of Commerce. That’s a first good sign.
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  5. They should list a phone number and a physical address, not just a post office box. If they don’t, move on.
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  7. Call! Ask questions. On any inkling of doubt, consider another professional.
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  9. If you sense they’re trustworthy, ask for three to five references of clients who have successfully adopted through them. If they won’t provide this to you, consider it a red flag.
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  11. Call the references. Ask questions. If you always get a voicemail, question this reference.
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  13. Go online. Enter the precise firm name in a Google search and check the adoption websites to see if any bad reports come up.
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  15. Visit several online adoption communities and post messages asking if anyone has worked with the firm and willing to share their experiences.
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  17. Do the e-mail test: Send a simple adoption question and see if they respond in a timely, professional way. Look to see if their e-mail signature is consistent. If it all checks out, keep them on your list of candidates. Call the organization again. Ask them if they can send their contract to you to review. Some don’t until they agree to represent you. If they do, review it: Their contract should be extensive but clear and glowing with professionalism. At Lifetime, we don’t send out a contract until the applying family has been approved for our program. Be cautious of any organization that takes just anyone.

Would you like to learn more about Lifetime as an online adoption professional? Please fill out our free application to adopt as your first step. If you have questions, please call us at (727) 493-0933.

Deciding if Adoption is Right for You


Here’s an email we recently received from a woman thinking about adoption for her soon-to-be-born baby:
“Thank you for sending the profiles. It’s all a little overwhelming, but I’m grateful. Everything was so well put together. Thank you for the sweet little gift too.”
We understand for many of the mothers who call us, researching adoption can be very overwhelming, full of mixed emotions and questions, but it can also be reassuring. Whatever you decide, researching adoption will be the only way to figure out if it’s a good plan for you and your baby. We are here to help you decide if adoption is right for you.
Call to request your adoption packet or get answers to some of your questions: 1-877-383-6847.