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Your Baby, Your Choice

A pregnant Hispanic woman walks while talking on speakerphoneDid you know that a woman considering adoption for her baby is in control of the adoption process? You’re in control over exactly how your adoption experience goes down. Here, we’ll talk about just a few of the choices you can make during the adoption process.
 

Type of Adoption

You can take as much time as you need to when you’re making an adoption plan. Along the way, you’ll determine if adoption is best for you and your baby, what kind of relationship you’d like to have with the adoptive family, what your hospital stay might look like, and other details that’ll make your adoption experience just how you want it to be. The steps you take to make an adoption plan for your baby will be customized according to your wishes.
 

Adoptive Parents

One of the best parts about open adoption is that you can decide who will be your baby’s adoptive parents, and choose how much future contact you’d like to have with them. Lifetime Adoption Agency works with adoptive couples across the US, so you’ll have a wide variety to choose from. There are adoptive couples of various backgrounds, faiths, and ethnicities. You can get tips on how to pick the perfect parents for your baby here.
 

Your Adoption Coordinator

During your adoption process, you’ll have a dedicated Adoption Coordinator who will work one-on-one with you. She’s here to help you navigate throughout your steps for adoption. If you ever have questions or concerns, your Adoption Coordinator is always just a phone call or text away at 1-800-923-6784.
 

It’s Never Too Late to Choose Adoption

The speed at which you work through each step of the adoption process is up to you. Your pregnancy will last around nine months, but that doesn’t mean your adoption process needs to. You can choose to make an adoption plan as soon as you find out you’re pregnant, after you have your baby, or any time in between. Some women decide to give parenting a try at first, and then later decide on adoption. It’s never too late to choose adoption.
 
You’re in the driver’s seat of your adoption plan, so you can work as slowly or as quickly as you’d like to. Some women take weeks or even months to find the right adoptive family. Others select one after their first day of searching.
 

Making Changes to Your Plan

Remember, this is your baby and your choice, which means you can change your mind. If after talking on the phone, you find out that the adoptive family isn’t quite who you hoped they were, you can look at others. If later on, you decide that you’d like more or less contact with the adoptive family, you can change that too.
 

To learn more about how you’re in control of the adoption, call or text Lifetime Adoption today at 1-800-923-6784 or request free adoption information.

Gift Ideas for Your Child’s Birth Mom

Overhead shot of a young woman opening a gift“I want to give a gift to my daughter’s birth mother to honor her and the choice she made, and to thank her for her part in creating our family. There’s no possible way I can say thank you enough to her!
 
Is it appropriate to send a gift? What sort of a gift should I give her?”

 
What a touching and thoughtful question! Yes, it’s completely appropriate to give your daughter’s birth mother a gift. Please be sure to ask your adoption attorney if it’s legal in your state to give gifts to her.
 
What you give your child’s birth mother will depend on the relationship you’ve developed with her, and what she likes. As you get to know the birth mother better, you’ll discover her interests and get a better idea of what kind of present she’d like.
 

Here are our 10 favorite birth mother gift ideas that will show your child’s birth mom just how much she means to you!

1. Necklace with a locket that has a special engraving or a photo of her child inside
 
2. A framed photo of her son or daughter
 
3. Photo gift like a calendar, coffee mug, or book filled with pictures of her child
 
Adoption prayer bracelets4. Jewelry (check out these beautiful adoption bracelets!)
 
5. Photo credits at a site such as Snapfish so she can order a photo gift, and whichever photos she likes
 
6. Gift basket filled with items like lotion, body wash, masks, self-care treats, and gift cards
 
7. Her child’s sweet handprint or footprint in clay
 
8. Meaningful hand-lettered artwork, like the gorgeous designs at LetterMyHeart on Etsy
 
9. Flowers
 
10. Gift certificate for a massage, facial, or another pampering service
 

Do you have ideas for birth mother gifts? Or maybe a creative present you’ve given your child’s birth mother that she loved?
 
Please share it with us by leaving your comment below!

Ashley’s Adoption Story – “There isn’t one day that I regret my decision”

When you’re thinking about adoption, hearing others’ stories can be a great help. By reading other women’s adoption stories, you can identify with their reason for choosing adoption and find commonality in their emotions, relationships, and opportunities. In this guest blog post, we’re sharing Ashley’s adoption story.
 
It’s our hope that reading Ashley’s adoption story will give you insight and perspective as you think about your choices
.
 
Guest blogger Ashley shares her adoption storyWhen I got pregnant, I was 19 years old and a freshman in college. I felt nervous, scared, and alone. I didn’t discover I was pregnant until six months along, leaving just three months to figure out what I was going to do.
 
I wasn’t ready to become a mom. I wanted to finish college, start my career, and travel. I couldn’t afford everything that it takes to raise a child. I wanted my baby to have a good education and two married parents. I wanted her to be raised with good values, morals, and to have every opportunity in life.
 
I had to do some growing up and I put my own feelings aside. At that moment, I only thought about what was best for my child. I picked an amazing, loving adoptive couple to become her parents through Lifetime. I could feel their joy about becoming parents, and how much love they would provide my daughter.
 
The minute I saw my sweet baby girl’s face, my whole life changed. I was forced to grow up and mature. There was a part of me out in the world and I knew I had to start making some different life choices. Every decision from then on was always made with my daughter in mind. I had to think about what was best for her, not what I wanted. I realized I couldn’t be selfish because I had to be realistic about my child’s future.
 
Just a week after giving birth, I was back at my college like nothing had happened. I didn’t tell very many people about my pregnancy and adoption plan, because I felt embarrassed and ashamed. Finally, a year later, I started telling people. It was then that I realized the adoption was a positive experience. I get to watch a great couple live their dream of being a family.
 
The adoptive couple sends me pictures and videos, and we meet up once a year. I feel blessed to be able to be a part of my daughter’s life and to know that all her needs and wants will be fulfilled. My daughter did NOT deserve a single parent home, living paycheck to paycheck, and getting just an average education. She deserves the BEST life. She deserved an amazing childhood like I got to experience. I didn’t have to worry when I was a child; I had two happily married parents who took me on amazing trips around the country. They made sure my brothers and I got top-notch educations. I knew that my daughter deserved that same chance at life, to get all the opportunities that I got to experience.
 
Because of the adoption, I got a second chance at life to better myself. I want to become a role model for her as she gets older. I chose a better life for her than what I could have provided because that’s what she deserves. Because of my adoption decision, I graduated early with a Bachelor’s Degree and got accepted into a graduate school program. I’m one semester away from graduating with a Master’s Degree in Speech Pathology. In September, I’m marrying the man of my dreams, and I get to watch my daughter being raised by the most amazing parents. There isn’t one day that I regret my decision. So many lives have changed for the better because of the decision I made four years ago.
 

Would you like to learn more about adoption? Learn more here.
 
If you have questions, you can Call or text Lifetime Adoption Agency at 1-800-923-6784 anytime of the day or night!

A Birth Mothers adoption story #adoptionstory #adoption #unplannedpregnancy #adoptionagency #adopt
A Birth Mothers adoption story #adoptionstory #adoption #unplannedpregnancy #adoptionagency #adopt
A Birth Mothers adoption story #adoptionstory #adoption #unplannedpregnancy #adoptionagency #adopt

How to Get Your Adoption Home Study Done Quickly

Happy couple meeting with their adoption home study providerAs the first step in the adoption process, the home study can bring up many emotions, from the excitement of beginning the adoption journey to feeling nervous about the process. Typically, a home study includes paperwork and documentation, a precise background check, interviews with household members, and a visit to your home.
 
Even though this may seem like a lot, you can get through the home study process in record time.
 

Here are 7 proven ways to finish your home study quickly:

 
1. Make sure you’re both committed to the process
 
First of all, it’s crucial that both of you are committed to your adoption. It’s your home study provider’s goal to place children in loving, accepting homes. But family dynamics can be strained when one spouse is more dedicated than the other.
 
In addition, if just one parent is committed, the other tends to procrastinate about finishing the necessary paperwork and setting appointments.
 
2. Compile a list of required documents
 
Since some of the required documents for your home study might require additional time to obtain, we recommend that you start working on those first.
 
As an example, you’ll need to gather personal documents, like copies of your driver’s license, marriage and birth certificates. It can take awhile to request copies of these from the appropriate government departments if you don’t have these documents on hand. Some documents, such as your financial statement, will require notarizations.
 
Please check with your home study provider, because requirements vary state by state. Make sure to verify with them which documents are necessary to submit for your home study.
 
3. Schedule appointments as soon as possible

Most home studies will require a signed physician’s statement regarding your health. In addition, you’ll need to schedule a visit to an authorized authority so that you can get fingerprinted. So that these appointments don’t become a bottleneck in finishing your home study, schedule them right away.
 
4. Complete your paperwork online

Find a home study provider who will accept home study applications via e-forms. If you can complete your paperwork online, you may be able to finish it all within a week. Hopeful adoptive parents who complete paper forms typically take a few months to finish.
 
5. Give your references a heads-up

Most home study applications require reference letters from your family and friends. We recommend choosing your references early on in the home study process since it’ll take time to get the reference letters returned.
 
Once you’ve chosen your references, let them know they’ll receive a reference request. Kindly ask them to submit it as quickly as they can. That’s because missing reference letters are often the last hold-ups to completing a home study.
 
6. Dedicate time to work on this

Try to set aside some time in your schedule just for completing your home study application. The questions on the application should be pretty straightforward, so you just need to make some time to do this. Try setting aside a couple of hours each day to power through the application.
 
7. Check your home before the home visit

After you’ve completed the paperwork, the next step in the home study process is to schedule a home visit and interviews with a social worker.
 
Even though your social worker will give you an opportunity to fix any potential safety hazards before finishing their report, taking care of all safety hazards before their initial visit will expedite the overall process.
 

Lifetime Adoption Agency provides affordable home study services in Florida.
 
You can learn more by calling 727-493-0933 or visiting our Adoption Home Study page.

how to finish your adoption home study #homestudy #adoption #adoptiongoals #adoptionagency #adopt #hopingtoadopt
how to complete your adoption home study #homestudy #adoption #adoptiongoals #adoptionagency #adopt #hopingtoadopt
how to finish your adoption home study #homestudy #adoption #adoptiongoals #adoptionagency #adopt #hopingtoadopt

Loving Oklahoma Couple Ready to Grow Family Through the Blessing of Adoption!

Meet Charles and Jennifer, a loving, joyful couple from Oklahoma ready to grow their family through the blessing of adoption! They have one son, Aidan, who’s 14 and is looking forward to becoming a protective big brother. Charles and Jennifer promise to raise your child in a safe, secure, and faith-based home and provide him or her with an excellent education. Check out Charles and Jennifer’s adoptive family video today!
 
They created this short and sweet video to introduce themselves and share more about what they have to offer your child. Keep scrolling to learn more about this fun and loving Oklahoma couple!
 
Hopeful adoptive parents Charles and Jennifer
 
“We would love to hear the hopes you have for your child and we are open to sharing letters, photos, and visits with you as your child grows!” say Charles and Jennifer.
 
Their three bedroom home is located in a family-friendly neighborhood close to great schools. Charles and Jennifer’s home has a nice yard that their dog loves to run around in, a garden, and a lot of space for your child to grow and play! Charles and Jennifer have two cats and dog, Max, who’s a German Shepard/Cattle dog mix. He’s friendly with everyone he meets and loves taking walks around the neighborhood.
 
“Jennifer is passionate, strong, very loving, and selfless. She is a great mother to Aidan and a wonderful wife!” says Charles. And Jennifer shares about her husband, “Charles is the sweetest man and I am so grateful to have him by my side. He is dependable, considerate, and has such a fun personality.”
 

Curious to know more about Charles and Jennifer? You can check out their website, which has more photos, info, and a video.

Interested in talking to them as potential adoptive parents to your baby? Just text or call Lifetime 1-800-923-6784!

Why Does Adoption Cost So Much Money?

How can we afford to adopt?Once you’ve shared about your plans to adopt a baby with others, you may get asked, “Why does adoption cost so much money?” People who ask questions like this might pose it negatively, maybe even adding “Babies who need a home should be free!” How do you answer prying questions about the cost of adoption?
 
The reality is that your answer depends on who you’re chatting with.
 
If it’s someone close to you, you could share more details on what’s required in every adoption.
 
To answer people who you’re not as close with (or feel like spending a lot of time educating!), you might just explain that there are many processes and professionals involved in helping a family adopt a child.
 
When you think about it, the birth of a biological child involves many medical professionals and procedures. But since medical insurance covers a biological child’s addition to a family, most of these costs are not as obvious. To adopt, there are even more people needed to get proper clearances and support birth parents and adoptive parents. Adoption professionals also ensure that the adoption is handled safely and legally.
 
Lifetime Adoption Agency’s fees include many things, like:

  • Nationwide outreach to birth mothers through social media ads, marketing to hospitals, pregnancy centers, doctors, campuses, counselors, churches, etc. (anywhere a pregnant woman might consider her options)
  • Support as you create your adoption profile, website, and video using Lifetime’s exclusive, proven recipe for success
  • A one-on-one review of your adoption profile
  • Private website for clients, packed with helpful webinars, tips, guidelines, answers, and articles
  • 24-hour availability for support and services to all birth mothers
  • Licensed, third-party counseling for birth mothers
  • Complete support throughout your match
  • Collaboration with the attorneys working on your match
  • Communication with the hospital where your baby will be born
  • Recommendations for adoption loans, grants, savings, and extra assistance
  • Experienced support so that you can get ready to adopt
  • Referrals to home study providers and attorneys to help you achieve a safe, successful adoption

Antonio and Tina's sonWondering how you’ll afford adoption? Lifetime has several payment options. After you apply and become pre-approved to adopt, we’ll share payment options that could work for your family’s needs. In addition, we can provide ideas for an affordable adoption, including referrals for adoption loans and grants, and fundraising.
 
If you think about it, adoption is more affordable than most infertility treatments. And, your investment in adoption comes with a higher chance that you’ll end up with a baby than cycles of IVF or treatment do.
 
There’s an Adoption Tax Credit available too; you can claim your adoption on your taxes and receive a credit for the year your finalize your adoption. With the Adoption Tax Credit, you get money back—not receive a deduction.
 
Adoption benefits through your employer are also a possibility, and this type of benefit is becoming more widely available. To find out if your company offers an adoption benefit, ask your HR/Payroll department. Adoption benefits do not cost a company anything to provide. Depending on the company, adoption benefits can range from $1,000 to over $10,000. If you want to help your company start an adoption benefit program, visit the Dave Thomas Foundation online. The Foundation can send you a packet of information to give to your HR department for review.

What makes adoption so expensive #adoptionagency #adopt #adoption #hopingtoadopt #waitingtoadopt #wantingtoadopt #adoptababy
What makes adoption so expensive #adoptionagency #adopt #adoption #hopingtoadopt #waitingtoadopt #wantingtoadopt #adoptababy
What makes adoption so expensive #adoptionagency #adopt #adoption #hopingtoadopt #waitingtoadopt #wantingtoadopt #adoptababy

If I Adopt Out My Baby, Do I Get Paid?

Woman stressing out and thinking 'should I adopt out my baby?'“Can I get money if I adopt out my baby?”

“Do birth mothers get paid for choosing adoption?”

“Can I get paid for making an adoption plan?”
 
These are a few of the common questions about money that women ask when they’re thinking about adoption. You can’t get paid for making an adoption plan for your child, because it’s illegal to trade a child for money.
 
But if it’s legal in your state, you may be able to get help from the adoptive parents with your pregnancy expenses. So actually, rather than being compensated for placing a child, you can receive financial assistance.
 

“How Much Will Adoption Cost Me?”

It doesn’t cost you anything to choose adoption. Adoptive couples are responsible for paying adoption fees though, and they might even be able to give you financial help if allowable in your state.
 

“What Kind of Financial Assistance Can I Receive?”

It’s common knowledge that having a baby is expensive! When you’re pregnant, you’ll face doctor’s bills, buy clothes that fit your expanding belly, and get pregnancy gear such as a belly support band. Plus, you might have to take a sick day away from work if you have pregnancy issues like bad morning sickness.
 
The adoptive family that you choose can typically pay for the extra expenses that you face. Allowable living expenses will differ based on your state’s laws. Here are a few of the items that you could receive assistance with:
 
Paid for adopting out my baby?

Rent & Living Expenses

Many women dealing with an unplanned pregnancy find that since they’ve had to call in sick to work, they can’t pay rent. If a birth mother can’t afford this living expense due to pregnancy, the adoptive family she chooses can pay her rent (in most states). You can also get help with living expenses like your cell phone bill, utilities, and transportation.
 

Medical Expenses

It’s very important to continue having regular prenatal visits throughout your pregnancy. And women with high-risk pregnancies will require extra care, more doctor’s appointments, and even prescription medication. Whatever the medical costs during your pregnancy might be, an adoptive family could cover those.
 

Food

Having a healthy, well-balanced diet is important not just for your health, but for your baby’s health too. And it’s pretty common to eat more food during your pregnancy-you are eating for two, after all! Typically, the adoptive family can help out with any food expenses that the birth mother incurs during pregnancy so that she can maintain the health of her baby.
 

Counseling

For your mental health during the adoption process, Lifetime strongly recommends getting therapy. The sooner you start the process of healing, the better off you’ll be in the long run.
 
Lifetime can connect you with a licensed therapist or a peer counselor, or both! A peer counselor is a woman who’s already made an adoption plan for her child. As she’s been where you’re at right now, she can give you valuable tips on what to expect. The adoptive family will be responsible for paying for these counseling services.
 

Legal Expenses

When you choose adoption for your baby or child, you don’t need to pay for legal help from adoption attorneys. The adoptive family you’ve selected is responsible for paying legal fees.
 

State Laws About Adoption Expenses

Every state has its own laws about which expenses can be paid for or repaid by an adoptive family. Your adoption lawyer will know which financial assistance options are available to you during the adoption process.
 
No matter what your situation is, an adoption attorney can help you understand what expenses the adoptive family can pay for to ease your financial strain.
 

Do you have questions about adoption? Call Lifetime for answers!
We’re available 24/7 by text or phone call at 1-800-923-6784.

If I Adopt Out My Baby, Do I Get Paid? #adoptionagency #adoption #unplannedpregnancy #choosingadoption #adoptiveparents
If I Adopt Out My Baby, Do I Get Paid? #adoptionagency #adoption #unplannedpregnancy #choosingadoption #adoptiveparents
If I Adopt Out My Baby, Do I Get Paid? #adoptionagency #adoption #unplannedpregnancy #choosingadoption #adoptiveparents

3 Things Birth Mothers Want to See in a Profile

Woman looks at open adoption profilesMany hopeful adoptive parents wonder what birth mothers are looking for in an adoption profile. They want to increase their profile views so that a birth mother chooses them. However, what to include in your adoption profile isn’t an exact science. That’s because every birth mother is different, and so there’s no single answer to what every woman wants to see. Because every birth mother’s preferences are different, so is what she wants to see in the profile of the family she picks.
 
With that said, there are three major items that most birth mothers seek in adoption profiles:
 

1. A Genuine Connection

When we’ve asked birth mothers why they chose the particular adoptive couple that she did, most of them share that they just had a “gut feeling” about the family. Sometimes, birth mothers know the exact attributes they want to see in an adoptive family. Others might not know what they want and then something just “clicks” when they look at an adoptive family profile.
 
Usually, the thing that makes her feel an immediate connection is a small, unique trait. As an example, a birth mother that had a particular breed of a dog growing up might see a family with that same breed and then decide they’re right for her. It might also be that the adoptive mom shares their interests or hobbies.
 
The things that allow a birth mother to feel a connection are usually things that an adoptive family can’t control. That’s why it’s important to be yourself in your adoption profile. It seems to be the unique things about a family that causes a birth mother to choose them. If you’re true to yourself in your profile, you’ll have a better chance of the right birth mother choosing you.
 
Women reads adoption profiles from hopeful parents

2. Happy, Candid Photos

While birth mothers do read an adoptive family’s profile, the text usually comes second to the pictures. Like most people today, birth mothers often prefer looking at photos over reading text. Having quality, current, photos in your adoption profile will give her a better idea of what your family is really like. Naturally, a birth mother would be more comfortable choosing an adoptive couple who looks happy and candid in their photos over one with staged, stiff photos.
 

3. A Positive View of Adoption

Adoption is a difficult decision to make. So, birth mothers want to feel reassured that the family they select for their baby respects and celebrates adoption. Most birth mothers want their baby to grow up knowing about his or her adoption and their birth family. Seeing an adoptive family focus on that commitment in their profile is crucial.
 
Put yourself in a birth mother’s shoes, and try to imagine what she’s going through. Make sure to share how you’ll celebrate adoption and your child’s birth mother in your family. If you emphasize your excitement for the adoption in your profile, a birth mother will notice it.
 
If you’re a hopeful adoptive family, make sure to represent yourselves honestly, and the right birth mother will find you!
 
At Lifetime Adoption Agency, each adoptive family receives one-on-one guidance and tips from their own dedicated Profile Coordinator.
 

Do you have questions about adopting through Lifetime or how we can help you create an effective adoption profile?

Send us an email or call us at (530) 271-1740!

What birth mothers want to see in a profile #adoptionprofile #adoption #hopingtoadopt #adoptiontips
What birth mothers want to see in a profile #adoptionprofile #adoption #hopingtoadopt #adoptiontips
What birth mothers want to see in a profile #adoptionprofile #adoption #hopingtoadopt #adoptiontips

This Easygoing Tennessee Couple Will Be Awesome Parents!

Tennessee adoptive couple Jacob and BriMeet Jacob and Bri, a young, low-key Tennessee couple who are ready to become parents through adoption! To share about themselves with you, they’ve taped this cute adoption video.
 
They like hiking, going to the movies, working on home projects together, and playing with their dogs Gus and Belle.
 
Jacob and Bri would love to welcome a baby boy or a baby girl of any race into their loving Tennessee home. They will feel blessed if chosen to adopt your baby!
 

“Why Should I Consider Jacob and Bri as My Baby’s Parents?”

Tennessee couple Bri and Jacob walking on their propertyJacob and Bri are a loving, family-centered Christian couple who would love to share their lives and home as parents. They’re committed to each other and support each other’s jobs and goals. Jacob and Bri both have their immediate families living nearby, so your baby would grow up seeing their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins regularly.
 
They’re easy to talk to and are interested in getting to know the birth mother who chooses them. Jacob and Bri want your child to know you as he or she grows up, and so they’d like to stay in contact with you in the future through letters, photos, and visits. Jacob and Bri care about birth mothers and recognize that an adoption relationship with you isn’t just about your baby.
 
Bri and Jacob's large propertyJacob is a hard-working man and a dedicated husband who will provide for the family through his work as a Sales Engineer. Bri is patient, compassionate, and kind, and works part-time as an office assistant. Once they adopt, she’ll become a part-time stay-at-home mom.
 
They own a five-bedroom home which has a fully fenced-in backyard and a small fish pond. Jacob and Bri have been setting up their future baby’s nursery. Their large property is perfect for fishing, and they grow a vegetable garden, and plan to get a big playset!
 

Watch Jacob and Bri’s short & sweet adoption video to get a glimpse into their lives!

Young, Adventurous Tennessee Couple Would Love to Adopt! from Lifetime Adoption on Vimeo.

If you’re interested in learning more about Bri and Jacob, check out their adoption website! On it, they’ve written a heartfelt letter to you, complete with photos, which shares more about themselves.
 

Would you like to speak with Jacob and Bri? Just give Lifetime a call at 1-800-923-6784!

How to Rock Your Home Study

Married couple with adoption consultantMany hopeful adoptive parents find the home study to be the most time-consuming and nerve-wracking part of the adoption process. They wonder things like, “Will they find our home to be acceptable? What about our parenting approach?”
 
Today, Lifetime Adoption Agency will share what to expect with a home study and how to prepare, as well as shed light on common home study myths!
 

What’s the adoption home study?

It’s an evaluation that a licensed social worker completes on a prospective adoptive family. Per state and federal regulations, you must have an approved home study to adopt. That’s because your home study will be used by your attorney to file adoption paperwork with the court. Before he or she approves and finalizes your adoption, a judge will review your home study.
 
It’s the perfect time to learn more about the adoption process and how to parent an adopted child. So make sure to ask your home study provider your questions as they come up!
 

Information in a Home Study:

  • Your background (childhood, parents and siblings, and life events)
  • Important people in your lives
  • Marriage and family relationships
  • Reason for adopting
  • Expectations for your child and the adoption
  • Outlook about infertility issues (if relevant)
  • Parenting approach and childcare plans
  • Family environment
  • Your health history
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Finances (including your insurance coverage)
  • References
  • Criminal background clearances

What to Expect in a Home Study

The home study process typically happens in 3 stages:
 
1st Stage: Complete required paperwork
 
2nd Stage: A social worker will make at least one visit to your home, and conduct individual interviews of both of you.
 
3rd Stage: The social worker writes an evaluation of your family and their recommendation for adoption.
 
The home study process will take from two to four months, depending on how quickly you complete your paperwork and how busy the home study worker is at the time.
 
Completing adoption paperwork

Common Myths About Home Studies

“Our house must be perfect.”
A social worker is expecting to walk into a home that looks lived in, not one that’s been perfectly staged. The social worker won’t arrive in a little white outfit for a white glove test, we promise!
 
“We have to be rich.”
Even though adoption can get expensive, you don’t need to be wealthy to get your home study approved. The social worker is looking to see if you’re financially stable; that you stay out of debt and pay your bills on time. So, what’s more important than how well-off you are is your budget, debt, and how you spend.
 
“We have to own our home.”
Couples who rent a condo, apartment, or house can also get their home study approved.
 
“My past has to be clean.”
The social worker understands that you’re only human. With that said, you’ll have to answer questions about your criminal background, social environment, and medical history. Shares Linda Rotz, Lifetime’s Director of Adoption Services, “The adoptive couple needs to share if they’ve been directly or indirectly exposed to circumstances such as alcohol/drug abuse, physical abuse, mental abuse, sexual abuse, jail, counseling or financial issues. The truth is, most couples have had some sort of exposure,”
 
The social worker completing your home study will evaluate the issues and address them. Sometimes, a hopeful adoptive couple needs to show growth and change in a specific area, or take additional training. While there are felonies that would disqualify a couple from adopting, each state has its own laws. So it’s best to evaluate them with the social worker.
 
Social worker tours a couple's home

How to Get Ready for Your Home Study

Be prepared to answer questions about very personal topics such as your marriage, childhood, and any issues you might carry around. The home study provider might ask about your mental health, how you were disciplined as a child, marriage conflict, infertility issues, and financial struggles.
 
By asking questions like this, the social worker is seeking to determine how you manage stress and difficulty. How have you worked through tough issues in the past? Do you have a strong support system? Are you willing to ask for help when it’s needed? By being straightforward about how you’ve moved through difficult events, the social worker can get a clear picture.
 

Home Study Tips

Expect to spend quite a bit of time completing paperwork and gathering the needed documents. Here’s a list of items that most home study professionals require:

  • Tax records
  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage certificate
  • Background checks
  • Bank statements
  • Employment verification
  • Proof of insurance
  • Physicals

We recommend reserving a few weeknights or a weekend to work through the process. Put on your favorite music, grab some snacks, put on some music, and get to work!
 
It’s important to be yourself during the home visit and interview. Since the home study professional is trying to get to know you and your family, it’s beneficial for you to be honest and straightforward.
 
The adoption home study might involve a lot of work, but once you bring your baby home you’ll see that it’s completely worth it!
 

Home Study Resources

Adoption webinars about the home study, which are free to access!

Lifetime’s Adoption Expert Q&A: The Adoption Home Study, and more…
Behind the Scenes of Your Adoption Home Study
Adoption Q & A – All About the Home Study
 
Here are some useful articles on the adoption home study:
 
Home Study 101: All You Need to Know
6 Proven Tips on How to Get Your Home Study Done in a Flash
How to Get Ready for Your Home Study in Florida
Surviving the Adoption Home Study

Adoption Home Study #adoptionhomestudy #homestudy #adoption #hopingtoadopt
Adoption Home Study #adoptionhomestudy #homestudy #adoption #hopingtoadopt
Adoption Home Study #adoptionhomestudy #homestudy #adoption #hopingtoadopt