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Author Archive for Adoption Agency Florida

How to Protect Yourself From Adoption Scams

Discover how you can protect yourselves from adoption scamsThe process of open adoption is a rewarding and emotional journey. The last thing we want is for any of our clients to fall victim to an adoption scam.

The vast majority of birth mothers who contact us are legitimate. However, each year, scam artists do make contact with a few of our clients.

Historically, Lifetime has done an excellent job of protecting clients from scams. In fact, most times we shut down a scammer’s activities within 24 hours. Our goal is to stop the process before people become emotionally hurt or lose money.

Lifetime’s Birthmother Coordinators speak to hundreds of potential birth parents each year. This experience enables our team to recognize “red flags,” sometimes within minutes of speaking with someone. While it is essential to be open and receptive to any potential birth parent that contacts you, it’s smart to allow the staff at Lifetime Adoption Agency to assess the situation objectively and thoroughly. Remember to call Lifetime whenever a potential birthparent contacts you.

Here are 5 tips to keep in mind in order to avoid adoption scams:

1. Requests Money
Never give funds of any kind to a birth parent unless an Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime has approved it. (FYI: many states limit the amount of money that can be given to birthmothers) A scam situation typically involves someone trying to take your money, but they can also be what is referred to as an emotional scammer. The following are examples of scams that we have come in contact with.

A birth parent may contact you on a holiday, weekend or late at night needing money immediately for food, housing or car repairs. This type of “crisis call” is geared to catch you off guard. Please direct the birth parents to call Lifetime. We will connect the birth parents to an emergency referral.

A birth parent may give you conflicting information. She may be genuinely confused because she is speaking with several families and cannot keep her details straight.

A birth parent offers to bring a baby to you contingent upon a plane ticket or money for a plane or bus fare. This is a typical ploy to take your money. Even if the situation is legitimate, some states do not allow this type of assistance. Do not take chances. Contact your Coordinator at Lifetime before providing transportation for anyone.

2. Multiples

Twins or triplets is frequently a sign of a scam. Do not accept faxed or emailed “‘proof of pregnancy” or a sonogram picture. We will confirm the pregnancy directly with the healthcare provider with a legal release of information.

3. Use Caution if You Get an Outrageous Story
Some scam situations have nothing to do with money. We refer to these as emotional scams. These scams are usually accompanied by an extreme crisis, complex emotional states and/or emergency medical emotional issues. A birth parent may keep you on the phone for several hours at a time or send you dozens of texts a day. Stories may be very sad and include rape and incest or involved stories of their own adoption. This type of scam involves your emotions, heart and time. Be sensitive, but refer the birthparent to Lifetime for professional counseling and support rather than trying to provide it on your own.

4. Doesn’t Want Adoption Professionals Involved
A birth parent may request that your adoption professional remains uninvolved with the adoption due to a negative relationship with the staff or a past bad experience with an adoption agency. This is a red flag: a scam birth mother will not want to talk to a professional counselor for fear of being “discovered.” Lifetime’s professional support and guidance will facilitate a successful adoption.

A birth parent may state that she’s choosing you at the last minute because a family or agency that she has been working with recently rejected her. This is often a tactic used to get you to move quickly and provide financial support. While it may be true that the birth parent has recently ceased working with an adoptive family or agency, the disruption most likely occurred for a valid reason. It may be that the birthparent demanded money shortly before the birth or after delivery, or the agency may have asked too many questions in an attempt to verify the birthparent’s situation.

5. Only Interested in Your Spouse
You may encounter a birth parent who shows an extreme amount of interest in your spouse, including wanting to only speak with him/her or wanting to know intimate facts about that person. This is not normal. Do not allow a birth parent to manipulate the situation. Refer the birthparent to Lifetime Adoption Agency.

Experienced Adoptive Parents in Missouri Excited to Adopt Again!

Andy and Christa were blessed to adopt their second son and look forward to growing their family through adoption again! As experienced adoptive parents, they have an open adoption with their son’s birth mother.

They say, “Open adoption has been wonderful and we are open to sharing letters, pictures, and visits with you too if you desire. We promise to provide for and give them every opportunity we can. We will always speak kindly of you and honor the adoption plan we create together. We will share our Christian faith and do our best to raise your child to be kind, loving, caring and compassionate!”

Andy and Christa recently recorded this heartfelt audio clip to introduce themselves and share more about what they have to offer your child. You can listen to it by clicking “play” below. Keep scrolling to learn more about this diverse couple who live in Missouri!

Experienced adoptive parents Andy and Christa

This Missouri couple has been married for nine years. Their lives are made up of dancing together, family prayer, frequent meals and Sunday lunches with extended family with lots of laughing! Andy and Christa’s home is constantly filled with friends and family BBQ-ing, Bible Studies, movie nights and more!

Andy works as a bi-vocational pastor at a new church in their city. He enjoys urban running, salsa dancing, and frequenting local coffee shops. Christa is a stay-at-home mom who enjoys baking, encouraging others to be healthy and fit via online support groups, taking the boys on local adventures and an occasional spa day. Their two sons, Josiah (6) and Timothy (4) are energetic, loving, sensitive and kind. Andy and Christa’s family live in an adorable 3 bedroom home. It’s across the street from the middle & high schools and within walking distance from all of Andy’s family.

You can find out more about experienced adoptive parents Andy and Christa by visiting their adoption website. You may also view all adoptive family profiles here on AdoptionAgencyFlorida.com. If you see an adoptive family that you’re interested in, please give us a call at 1-877-383-6847.

“Open Adoption is Amazing! We’re Thankful to Be a Part of It!”

Brynlee's parents exclaim, "Open adoption is amazing!"

Here at our adoption agency in Florida, we love to share updates from our adoptive couples who are experiencing the joys of open adoption! Today, we’re sharing a sweet open adoption update from Jesse and Alicia, a young adoptive couple living in Colorado. Earlier this year, we wrote about their thankfulness to God for writing their beautiful adoption story. And last summer, we blogged to congratulate them on their adoption!

A year ago, Jesse and Alicia wrote, “We’re so thankful to have found Lifetime. You all have been there every step of the way. Struggling with infertility for so long leaves you vulnerable and it is difficult to imagine that you may never become a parent. God led us to Lifetime because He knew this perfect little girl would be waiting for us and that everyone at Lifetime would be here every step of the way! Every phone call, every webinar, and every prayer helped us become stronger and prepared us for parenthood.”

Here’s the most recent update from Jesse and Alicia, who created their family through a Lifetime open adoption:

Brynlee having fun in Disneyland“We have been reflecting on our journey a lot lately. On Mother’s Day I couldn’t think of anything I would rather do than to spend time with the woman who made me a mom! We met with Brynlee’s birth parents and visited the aquarium downtown! I love that we are in the same state because we can visit each other often. Brynlee loved seeing the fish and she soaked up all the hugs and play time.

Watching them interact was such an amazing feeling. It showed us again, just how amazing open adoption really is and how thankful we are to be a part of it.

After struggling with infertility for so long and hiding from this day every year, it was nice to have someone to celebrate it with and I feel like it was part of my healing process.

Jesse, Brynlee, and Alicia in Disneyland with Minnie MouseWhen we were saying our, ‘see you later,’ they gave me flowers and I just about lost it! I was amazed at how strong and selfless this gesture was. I was so honored! I think about them and pray for them every single day! I pray they are safe and that they are content with the decision they made and this gave me the reassurance I have been needing. They are doing well and they know their daughter is cared for and loved so much!

Can you believe Brynlee is 1 year old!?? Time is flying incredibly fast and we are enjoying every second! We are learning so much as she is blossoming into a beautiful, independent toddler. I take full advantage of when she wants to sit on my lap or be held to fall asleep. We celebrated Brynlee turning 1 by having a birthday party with family and friends. We also took her to Disneyland and spent some time on the beach, she LOVES being in the water.

We are eternally grateful for being chosen to raise Brynlee and for all the amazing people we have met along the way.”

If you’re ready to see how Lifetime’s Adoption Agency could help build your family, please apply today! You can click here to take the first step towards becoming a Lifetime family.

With Modern Adoption, You Make the Choices

A woman learning about modern adoption on her cell phoneAdoption today means that you make all the choices. And modern adoption gives you tons of choices! You can choose the adoptive parents for your baby, how much you want to get to know the parents you choose, and what happens at the hospital when you give birth. If you want, you can even keep in touch after the adoption happens. You can do this through phone calls, emails, texts, letters, social media, and visits. You have a say in every step!

We provide you with the trusted adoption help you need, the way you want it. Learning about adoption is easy, private, and convenient with Lifetime! Get answers to your questions, see waiting adoptive couples, and receive free resources! With Lifetime, you have a wide variety of adoptive families of all backgrounds to choose from, living all throughout the US.

Lifetime offers a FREE BOOK for women thinking about adoption. Just visit FreeAdoptionBook.com. And in our smartphone app, you can listen to stories from other mothers who chose adoption.

You can get peer support, counseling, and help with your needs or pregnancy-related expenses as you consider an adoption plan for your baby. While you learn about adoption, you will receive free services and full support, as well as during and after the adoption.

On the new site ModernAdoptionAgency.com, you can learn about adoption from the privacy of your phone or laptop. Chat on the website, or message (with a real person!) on our Facebook page or on Instagram.

You can confidentially and safely begin your adoption plan online, by email, or by mail. Just let us know what’s best for you!

Call or text a caring adoption expert ANYTIME at 1-800-923-6784.

What’s a Typical Birth Mother Like?

What's a typical birth mother like?It’s common for hopeful adoptive parents to wonder what birth mothers are like. How old are most birth mothers? Are they married or single? Why are they choosing adoption? What’s a typical birth mother like? Today, we’re giving you the answers to these frequently-asked questions, and more!

A stereotypical birth mother is a teenager who dropped out of school once she learned of her pregnancy. She doesn’t have job skills. Because her parents have kicked her out, she has to get welfare. But the reality is, most birth mothers don’t fit into this stereotype.

Some birth parents are still working on their education, and their current life situation won’t work for good parenting. Many aren’t ready (financially or emotionally) to parent. Most are making an adoption plan out of love for their baby. Many are hoping for a two-parent family for their child, something that they can’t give their child right now. A few birth parents are even married, and can’t care for more children than they already have. It’s becoming more commonplace for the birth father or spouse to be involved and supportive of the adoption plan.

Deciding to make an adoption plan for a child is very difficult, but it’s a decision often made out of love. She could have gotten an abortion. But, because she values the life of her baby and loves him or her, she’s chosen adoption.

Some birth parents are on state or financial aid and simply can’t provide for this baby. There are also birth mothers from middle-class upbringings. She might be in college, live with her parents, or already have children. Birth parents might feel like they’re getting by but really can’t afford to provide for another child in addition to all they’re already doing.

It’s a myth that birth mothers have no job skills or education. Many birth mothers are going to school, already have a degree, or are in a stable career. Most have graduated high school and have held jobs. Studies have shown that women who choose adoption are more likely to have higher education and career goals for themselves than those who parent. Also, birth parents are more likely to finish school and have a job, and less likely to be on government aid.*

So what’s a typical birth mother like?

A typical birth mother is in her twenties or thirties, already parenting other children, and wants more for her baby than what she can provide. She may be in a relationship, but the man may not be taking on the role of a father to her kids. Even though she’s aware that adoption is a difficult decision, she knows it’s best for her baby.

The birth mom that you connect with could be completely and totally different than this, so that’s something you should also be prepared for!

*Source: The Institute for Adoption Information, Inc.’s “An Educator’s Guide to Adoption.”

Financially Stable Adoptive Couple for My Baby

With Lifetime, you can make the choices to build a personalized adoption for your baby. We’re here to help you every step of the way. One of the most important choices in your adoption plan is going to be picking your baby’s adoptive parents.

We have hopeful adoptive parents from all across the US of various races. All of the couples you see on our site are ready to adopt: they’ve had intense background checks and are excited to become parents through adoption. Each adoptive couple has different occupations, educations, religions, and interests, so make sure to tell your Adoption Coordinator what you’re looking for.

Maybe you’re thinking, “I’d like to find a financially stable adoptive couple for my baby” or “It’s important to me that the adoptive parents raise my child to know God.” Today, we’re sharing about Dave and Meghann, an active, financially stable couple in Florida.

They’re very excited to welcome another child into their lives! Dave works as a Financial Analyst, and Meghann works in HR. They believe in the importance of a quality education and will provide your child with a stable and nurturing home. Their son, Daxton, is almost a year old. Dave and Meghann live in a spacious 2 story, 3 bedroom home, with a large backyard. They live near parks, the beach, a zoo, an aquarium, a dog park, and a community pool. Dave and Meghann are open to future contact with you through photos, letters, and visits.

Dave and Meghann created this cute video to introduce themselves and share more about what they have to offer your child!

Dave and Meghann from Florida are a financially stable adoptive couple for my baby

You can find out more about hopeful adoptive couple Dave and Meghann by visiting their adoption website. You may also view all adoptive family profiles here on AdoptionAgencyFlorida.com. If you see an adoptive family that you’re interested in, please give us a call at 1-877-383-6847.

The Top 10 Tools to Prepare for Transracial Adoption

Get Lifetime's tips on adopting a baby of another race!Many couples are hoping to adopt a child who is of a race different than their own, but aren’t sure where to start.

If you’d like to pursue a transracial adoption, there are important steps to follow to help your child thrive. A couple of these steps include learning about your future child’s culture and respecting their connections to it.

Here are the top 10 tools to use in preparing for a successful transracial adoption:

1. Read a book about transracial adoption, such as In Their Voices: Black Americans on Transracial Adoption, Come Rain or Come Shine, or Inside Transracial Adoption. After both you and your spouse are done reading, review the book together and share your notes.

2. Watch and learn from the panel of adoptive mothers in Lifetime’s Q&A webinar about their experience in adopting a baby of a race other than their own.

3. Read articles and follow blogs about transracial adoption and what it’s like to become a multi-cultural family. Check out the blog White Sugar Brown Sugar: the sweet life of our transracial, adoptive family.

4. Watch educational videos on YouTube, such as “Considering Transracial Adoption? Four Questions to Ask Yourself” and “The Multi-Racial Family.”

5. As you’re thinking about adopting outside of your race, ask yourself these important questions.

6. Watch this webinar, which shares Brent and Latonia’s transracial adoption story: AdoptionWebinar.com/brent-latonias-adoption-story.

7. Network with other adoptive families who are hoping to adopt a child of a race other than their own. Also, find families who have raised transracially adopted children to adulthood. Ask questions.

8. Read stories from couples who adopted outside of their race.

9. Research and find local community resources that promote your child’s culture. Begin networking and attend festivals and gatherings prior to your child’s homecoming.

10. Write out a plan that includes activities you will do with your child to promote his/her ethnic identity.

Are you ready to take the first step in your path to adoption? Start today by filling out Lifetime’s free online application!

How Do I Find Just the Right Parents for My Baby?

the right parents for my baby?If you’re thinking about adoption for your baby, we understand that you might be worried about finding the perfect adoptive family. Anyone who decides adoption is the right choice wants to make sure that their child has the best life. How can you make sure that your baby receives just that?

Lifetime has developed a process of supporting women as they search for the perfect families for their babies. When you contact us for the first time, you’ll get your own individual Adoption Coordinator. She’ll help you to make sure your adoption goes just the way you want it to. That includes deciding on the perfect adoptive family for your baby. At this point, you may already know the type of adoption profiles you’re interested in looking at. Your Adoption Coordinator will help you to narrow down your preferences more by asking you questions like:

Is the location of the adoptive couple important to you?

Do you picture your baby growing up in an urban setting, or have you always dreamed of living on a farm in the Midwest? As a nationwide, full-service adoption agency, Lifetime works with families across the US. This gives you lots of choices as you consider where your child will live.

Do you want your child to have brothers or sisters?

Some women wish to place their baby with a couple who can’t conceive. Others feel that it’s important for a child to grow up with siblings. So, they look only at adoptive families who already have kids.

Does it matter to you if your child looks like his or her adoptive parents?

Some women hope to choose an adoptive family who shares their own culture and ethnicity. Fortunately, Lifetime has hopeful adoptive families of many races and backgrounds.

What values are important to you?

Are you hoping for a couple whose religious beliefs match your own? Or maybe there other values that are important to you as well, like work ethic or political beliefs.

You can explore some of the adoption profiles of families we work with, by viewing our pages of waiting adoptive families.

Speak with an Adoption Coordinator confidentially and with no obligation, by calling 1-800-923-6784. Or, send us a message.

What Are the Benefits of Paying an Adoption Agency in Advance?

why should we be paying an adoption agency in advance?“Why should we pay adoption fees up front, before we have a match? I have a friend who is adopting too, and she says that her agency only asks for part of the fee up front. And then once they’re matched, they pay the rest of the fee. Why should we be paying an adoption agency in advance?”

At our adoption agency and with many adoption professionals, the client pays fees when we begin working together. By doing so, we’re telling you that we’re going to put all of our efforts into your adoption. Paying your adoption fees in advance also means that you’re willing to make yourself available to consider every one of the birth mother situations we present to you. When you have the commitment like this coming on both sides, the adoption will succeed.

Some will argue against paying an adoption agency in advance, and say things like “But if we pay up front, the agency has no incentive.” If your adoption professional has a good track record and wants to keep it that way, they need to keep their clients satisfied! At Lifetime Adoption Agency, this has always been our incentive.

Another agency, such as the one your friend is contracted with, might ask you to pay a small fee up front. A second fee is due once they match, and a third fee is due once their child comes home. We’ve found that this fee structure actually works against the adoptive couple.

The agency is motivated to get you a match, even if it’s not a solid one. If the adoption falls through or the birth mother reclaims her baby, you don’t get a refund on that match fee. The next time they have a match for you, you’ll need to pay again.

It’s best to find an adoption agency that will charge you one flat fee for the work it does to find you a child. You need an agency that will work with you for a set period of time, or until a match is found.

We’d love to know more about your adoption goals! Connect with Lifetime to ask your adoption questions by calling 1-800-923-6784.

How to Get Ready for Your Home Study in Florida

We'd love to provide you a home study in Florida!We are happy to provide home study services for hopeful adoptive families living in Florida. Our affordable home studies are conducted by family-oriented caseworkers, making the process seem more like a friendly visit. Keep reading to learn more about getting a home study in Florida from the Lifetime Adoption Agency!

Preparation and communication are key to getting your home study completed. The home study process ends with a written report that the caseworker creates about your family. It will include basic information from interviews with you as well as information from others. Typically, a home study report includes:

  • Financial statements
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Background info about your family, relationships, and social life
  • Daily routines
  • Experience with parenting
  • Info on your home and neighborhood
  • Reasons for seeking adoption
  • References
  • Background checks

The home study process takes about four to six weeks, depending on your availability for interviews, the return of background checks, and how quickly you turn in the required paperwork. Our goal is to complete your home study within 30 days of receipt of all the required documents.

You can speed up the home study process by making sure to provide all of the necessary information accurately. Don’t procrastinate filling out and turning in paperwork, gathering the required documents, or scheduling doctor appointments.

To help you get ready for your home study in Florida, here’s a list of 7 items that you will need to gather:

adoptive couple visit with the home study caseworkerCriminal background check
Every adult in your home needs to complete forms for child protective services and the police check center. You’ll also need to get fingerprint checks from the FBI. Hopeful adoptive parents whose state or federal records show they’ve been convicted of harming children are unable to adopt.

Health statement
A physical exam within the past year is required for all prospective parents, as well as tuberculosis (TB) tests for every member of the household. Conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure won’t typically prevent you from adopting.

Financial report
You’ll need to list your family’s annual income, such as through a paycheck stub, a copy of an income tax form, or a W-2. But don’t worry; you don’t need to be wealthy or own a home to adopt. You should be deemed eligible to adopt so long as you have enough resources to provide for your family.

References
You’ll be asked to provide the names, addresses, and phone numbers of three or four individuals who can verify the stability of your marriage, your experience with children, and your emotional maturity. Good choices for home study references are close friends, an employer, a co-worker, a neighbor, or a pastor.

Autobiographical statement
You will need to complete a comprehensive questionnaire, which is basically the story of your life. It will help your caseworker understand your family and help them with writing your home study. You’ll also need to submit a guardianship statement in the event that something happens to you.

Copies of legal documents.
Provide copies of marriage licenses, birth certificates, divorce decrees, and other legal documents related to your application to adopt.

Training Certificates
You will need to complete 21 hours of required and approved training sessions available online and in person. A list of options will be provided to you.

If you’re interested in hearing more about our home study services, call us at 727-493-0933. Or, you can complete the short form below!