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Archive for Adopting a child

Can We Adopt if I’m Overweight?

Can we adopt if I’m overweight?Question: “My husband and I have just started to look into adopting, after trying IVF for four years. I’m heavy-set, and I’m worried that would prevent us from being chosen by a birth mother. Can we adopt if I’m overweight?”

Answer: The truth is, birth mothers choose adoptive parents because they can relate to them. They’re not basing their selection on looks, but rather due to factors like faith, location, family structure, hobbies, and traditions. Birth moms often look for families that share something in common with them. There are many birth moms out there that are similar to you and can visualize their baby in your family.

Adoption isn’t a beauty contest. It isn’t any kind of competition at all. Birth mothers aren’t looking for perfection. They’re looking for a family that will provide a loving home for their baby. If you’re overweight, it doesn’t make you any less appealing. It makes you more human, more relatable.

Rather than go on a drastic diet, it’s more important that you focus on your overall health and wellness. Being active and exercising regularly can improve your stamina. That’s something you’ll need when you’re parenting the baby you bring home. Choosing healthy food and seeing your doctor regularly is a good idea for any parent. Babies and children demand that you keep up with them every step of the way!

Lifetime believes that you are going to be wonderful, loving parents. There is a birth mother out there that will be the ideal match for you. When your adoption professional calls you with a match, it will be because you have unique qualities that will stand out to her.

How to Bring Truth to These 4 Common Adoption Myths

Join Lifetime as we shed light on 4 common adoption myths!“Wow, I thought adoption was super-expensive, how did you afford it?”

“Aren’t you worried that her birth mother will come to take her back?”

“Don’t you want a baby of your own?”

Upon telling your family and friends you’re adopting, you may have gotten asked questions like these, followed by looks of concern. Even though they just want what’s best for you, ignorant questions like these prove that they don’t fully understand how modern adoption works.

In movies and TV shows, we often see an inaccurate picture of adoption, one that’s full of drama. As a result, many are led to believe the adoption stories they watch in the media are typical of real-life adoptions.

Lifetime encourages you to educate family and friends with the truth to these 4 commonly-believed adoption myths:

1. “You have to be rich if you want to adopt.”

While adoption can be expensive, it doesn’t mean that wealthy celebrities are the most common adoptive parents. Most adoptive families are ordinary, middle-class people.

Adoption costs vary, with international adoption being the most expensive. So, there’s a type of adoption to meet every budget. For those who pursue domestic adoption, the adoption tax credit can compensate for most of your expenses. Every hopeful adoptive parent’s situation is different, so it’s a matter of determining the type of adoption that works best for you. Many adoptive couples budget, fundraise, and save in order to afford adoption, and there’s also the adoption tax credit, which helps defray adoption costs.

2. “The birth parents can just come by and reclaim their child!”

In reality, after the adoption is final, birth parents aren’t able to reclaim their child. Up to the point that they sign papers relinquishing their parental rights, which can be 24 hours or longer depending on their state laws, they can change their minds.

But this is no longer the case once the adoption is final. At that point the adoption becomes final, you are the child’s legal parents. You may have heard adoptive families called “forever families,” and that’s because adoption truly is forever.

3. “Most birth mothers are irresponsible teenagers.”

The truth is that birth mothers are a variety of ages within range of childbearing years. We have helped birth mothers anywhere from their teens up to their forties, but most birth mothers we support are in their twenties and thirties. Rather than focus on birth mothers’ age and situation, we encourage you to share that birth mothers are women who make a decision so their baby can have opportunities they are unable to provide.

4. “It’s hard to develop a relationship with a child you’re not biologically related to.”

Adoptive parents, like biological parents, develop a deep and lasting bond with their child. If you ask any adoptive parent, they’ll tell you that there’s no difference in the love they have for a biological or an adopted child. The child they adopted is their “own,” despite the fact they didn’t give birth. Love, not biology, is what creates a family!

Why is Open Adoption So Wonderful?

“Hi, my husband and I are hoping to adopt a baby after enduring several failed attempts to conceive. As I do research online, I’ve been seeing the term ‘open adoption’ a lot. But we are worried that the birth mother would just be dropping by our house unannounced all the time. Does this really happen? I guess I’m really asking, what makes open adoption so great?”
 

Peter and Helen were blessed by open adoption!

Lifetime adoptive couple Peter and Helen were
blessed by open adoption!

Great question! Often, when you’re new to adoption, the idea of an open adoption can seem daunting. Open adoption gives your child security as they grow and start to ask questions about their heritage and origins. If you have an open adoption relationship with your child’s birth mother, you’ll be better equipped to answer their questions. It will help you maintain and celebrate your child’s connections with all the important people in his or her life.
 
It also serves as a comfort to your child’s birth family, with the knowledge that they chose a family for their baby. They’re able to know and see their child grow up, through the emails, letters, videos, and photos that you send them. Some adoption relationships even include in-person visits once or twice a year. The birth family can have peace of mind in knowing that their child is happy and thriving, and enjoying the life they hoped and prayed for.
 
Open, modern adoption empowers you, the adoptive parents, as you raise your child. It equips you with knowledge about your child’s birth family and their family’s medical history. When you have your home study, your social worker will educate you on the many positive features of open adoption. You can also discuss which type of contact arrangement you’re most comfortable with. It’s important to be honest and open with your adoption professional about the type of relationship you envision with the birth family. Then, you’ll be able to build a relationship with your child’s birth mother that’s authentic and truthful!

Here are some recommended resources to check out:

7 of the Most Frequently-Asked Questions About Open Adoption

Adoptive Couple Jesse and Alicia’s Adoption Story

How to Build a Relationship With Your Baby’s Birth Mom

Adoption Webinar: An Adoptive Mom and Birth Mom’s Stories

Adoption Webinar: Questions Most Asked About Open Adoption

Start your adoption journey today, by filling out Lifetime Adoption Agency’s free online application!

Hoping to Expand Your Family With a Second Adoption?

Discover how Lifetime Adoption Agency can help you with a second adoption!

James and Kellie adopted their first child through Lifetime in 2014…

Are you thinking about adopting another baby? After experiencing the joys of parenthood, many couples hope to expand their family by adopting a second time. Lifetime would love to help you adopt again!

Many of Lifetime’s birth mothers are looking for experienced adoptive parents. Adoptive couples who have already adopted a child know the ins and outs of open adoption, because they’re currently in this type of relationship with their child’s birth mother. And this is something that’s very attractive to prospective birth moms.

Today, we’re providing info on how you can expand your family through the blessing of a second adoption!

James and Kellie's children, all adopted through Lifetime Adoption Agency!

…and adopted twin boys through
Lifetime last year!

A More Streamlined Adoption Process

As an experienced adoptive parent, you have much to offer that is appreciated by adoption agencies. You have already created an adoption profile, had a home study, and completed the necessary paperwork for your first adoption. With this experience, those first steps in your adoption journey should be much more streamlined and prompt for your second adoption. As seasoned adoptive parents, you’ll already have significant experience by having been through the meticulous preparation and assessment process.

Greater Need for Experienced Adoptive Families

Lifetime Adoption Agency has seen an increase in birth mothers seeking a couple who has already adopted. We have come to find that birth mothers want a couple who have already adopted and is prepared to match. Due to the couple’s experience with the adoption match with their first child’s birth parents, they’re able to develop a relationship with birth parents more easily.

“When I decided to adopt out my baby, I was looking for a couple who would stay in touch afterward. I chose a couple who had just adopted their daughter a couple of years ago. I read in their adoption profile that they had visits with their daughter’s birth mom once a year and would like an open adoption with me, too. Right when I read that, I knew they were the perfect couple for my baby,” says a Lifetime birth mother.

Besides your experience with open adoption, your practice with parenting an adopted child makes you valuable to birth mothers. You’re already experienced in approaching the unique concerns involved in raising adopted children.

Aspects to Consider

It’s easy to see why many couples adopt again: they’re able to fulfill their dream family structure and give their child a sibling! Before you seek a second adoption, we encourage you to consider aspects like your child’s age, your family structure, and possible expenses. If you think you’d like to adopt again, make sure to take into account how this will affect your current children.

Before you consider adopting again, it’s important to give your child plenty of time to feel secure in your family. Many adoption agencies suggest that you’ve had at least a year to adapt to living together as a family before thinking about another adoption.

Let Us Help You Adopt a Second Time!

If you feel that God is nudging you toward bringing another child into your heart and your family, we’d love to help you adopt again! You can reach Lifetime Adoption Agency at 1-877-383-6847 if you have questions. We look forward to chatting with you about how we can help you build your family through a Lifetime Adoption.

Take the first step by filling out our free online application! Our application is the best place to begin, or restart, the adoption conversation with Lifetime Adoption Agency:

Apply to adopt today!

How to Find Out If You’re Both Ready to Adopt

Communicate openly with your spouse to find if you're both ready to adoptYour decision to adopt a baby probably didn’t happen overnight. Most couples take weeks, months, or years to move from fertility treatments to adoption. It’s important that you make sure you’re ready to adopt before you start the adoption process.

Today, Lifetime shares three basic requirements you should meet before signing on with an adoption professional:

1. You’ve Moved on from Infertility

So that your adoption can be successful, the decision must be fully embraced by both of you.

People handle stressful situations and grieve differently. So, it’s common for one spouse to be ready to adopt and the other to be uncertain.

Allow your spouse fully grieve failed fertility treatments, and the dream of having a child biologically, so that they can move through the grief and loss process at their own pace. If one of you isn’t fully ready to move to adoption, it might lead to complications during the adoption process down the road. Neither of you should feel pressured into adopting just because the other one is ready.

We encourage you to see an infertility counselor or a marriage and family counselor if you’re struggling to move on from infertility.

2. You Have Similar Adoption Plans

Just as each of you should be ready to adopt, you should also be on the same page as to how you’re going to adopt. Consider if you want to:

  • Adopt a newborn or an older child.
  • Adopt domestically, internationally or through foster care.
  • Adopt a baby of a specific gender.
  • Adopt a baby of a particular ethnicity
  • Be in contact with the birth parents, and if so, how much.

Speaking with an Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime will help both of you gain a better understanding of all the elements in adoption. Listening to webinars will help you gain more information about all aspects of adoption. Visit AdoptionWebinar.com to get started. Seek input from adoptive families for their experience with the type of adoption you’re interested in.

3. You’re Financially Ready for Adoption

There will be various adoption costs you need to prepare for. Examples include medical, legal and travel expenses.

Begin by carefully researching all of your options. Balance those costs with your budget to decide if you’re financially ready to pursue adoption. If finances are a concern, look into adoption fundraising, grants, and loans.

When you’re deciding whether or not you are ready to adopt, it’s essential to communicate openly with your spouse. Talk about all aspects of adoption, financial security, adoption goals, and your feelings surrounding infertility.

If you’re both ready to adopt or if you have questions about moving on from infertility, call Lifetime Adoption Agency at
1-800-923-6784.

Why Did They Adopt, But Not Us?

Why did they adopt, but not us?There are many sides to the adoption journey when you’re eagerly waiting to be chosen by a birth mother. Many adoptive couples go through the process joyfully, trying to be as patient and proactive as possible. Others struggle with feelings of jealousy and frustration, asking themselves, “Why did they adopt, but not us?”
 
During the wait, most adoptive families may wonder things like:
 
Why did that couple get chosen by a birth mother and not us?

Why is this taking so long?

Why are they taking new adoptive families when we’re still waiting?

We would have happily adopted that baby. Why didn’t they offer the adoption to us?

Thoughts like these might make you doubt your adoption professional and your adoption plans. They can even make you question what you have to offer a child. It’s what you do with these thoughts that’ll affect your peace of mind, while you’re in the adoption wait. Today, we’re going to elaborate on each common question to find the truth:
 

Why did that couple get chosen by a birth mother and not us?

In modern adoption, birth mothers choose adoptive families for a variety of reasons. Lifetime has worked with birth moms who chose the couple they did because they looked kind, familiar, or fun. Other women have chosen their baby’s adoptive family based on where they live, their hobbies, and even their pets. There isn’t one predictable reason a birth mother may prefer one family over another. However, the truth is that she can only pick ONE adoptive family for her baby. This makes her decision difficult when she learns about so many wonderful couples who’d make loving parents for her child.
 

Why is this taking so long?

If adoption was easy or fast, more people would pursue it. It’s hard to predict exactly how long your adoption wait will be. At our agency, every adoption depends on a birth mother’s choice. So in order to maximize your exposure to women thinking about adoption, it’s very important to follow your adoption professional’s recommendations.
 
Similarly, it’s crucial to keep your adoption preferences as open as you are comfortable. Each time your profile is shown to a birth mother is another opportunity to be picked. The truth is that there are reasons why some couples wait longer than others, such as procrastinating on getting their adoption profile or home study completed or passing up opportunities within their preferences. For couples who have been proactive from the start, the truth is it’s just a matter of time.
 
Birth mother considering adoption

Why are they taking new adoptive families when we’re still waiting?

Many assume that an agency should avoid welcoming new clients until their current ones have adopted. This reasoning behind this argument is that with fewer couples to choose from, the longer-waiting ones are more likely to get chosen. But, the argument ignores the fact that couples ARE completing adoptions each month, and there continues to be a need for adoptive families who are open to a variety of situations.
 
The truth is that birth mothers are less inclined to consider adoption when she doesn’t see any adoptive families that interest her. She might look for an adoptive family at another agency, or even give up on adoption altogether. When she really has a choice in who adopts her baby, a birth mother is more likely to feel confident in moving forward with an adoption match when she’s ready.
 

We would have happily adopted that baby. Why didn’t they offer the adoption to us?

Many factors come into play when an agency picks a family for a baby, including the birth mother’s preferences. Even if she wants the agency to pick the adoptive family, a birth mother may still have requests. Also, the agency must carefully consider the adoptive family’s readiness, preferences, and budget.
 
Lifetime’s Adoption Coordinators are thorough when they help adoptive parents and birth mothers connect. The truth is that because of confidentiality you don’t know every detail that went into an adoption match. It’s impossible to know what happened “behind the scenes.”
 

Remain Positive & Hopeful

Most adoptive families will tell you, that looking back now, perspective is everything when you’re in the adoption wait. When questions like these pop up in your mind, focus on the truth rather than fears or frustrations. This will help you remain positive and hopeful. The best way to fight feelings of discouragement or jealousy is to celebrate the adoptions of other adoptive parents and to focus on what IS happening as you wait. If you find the adoption journey pressing on your insecurities, reflect and then take action to tackle them during your wait. Not every step of your adoption path will be a milestone, but all are a necessary part of leading you to the child you long to add to your family.

Pick the Best Adoption Agency With These Simple Strategies

Adopt a baby with these tips on picking the best adoption agencyThe very first step in the adoption process is to choose the best adoption agency. This step is important and must be done after careful thought and deliberation. You’ll need to know the level of service they provide and if they are the right one for you.
 
Many families lose their peace of mind, money, and time by selecting an adoption agency who doesn’t meet their needs. With a bit of preparation, you can avoid such a situation on your adoption journey.
 
If you are looking at multiple adoption agencies and trying to pick the best adoption agency, this checklist will help you assess if they’ll be genuinely committed to making your adoption journey a success.
 
These 10 questions will help you measure your adoption agency’s level of commitment and engagement with the adoption process. Let’s take a look at the key questions you might consider:
 
1. Does the adoption agency have the right resources (licenses, experience, and so on) to perform their role well?

2. Does he/she take every opportunity to make the adoption successful?

3. Can the adoption agency produce testimonials, such as recognition or praise, for doing good work?

4. Do you think the adoption agency cares about you as a person and understands your needs and concerns?

5. Does the adoption professional encourage you on your adoption journey?

6. Does the agency have the legal expertise to deal with complexities that may arise during the adoption process?

7. Is the professional committed to doing quality work?

8. Does an external agency periodically review them?

9. Is the adoption agency transparent about the financial aspects of the adoption, his/her fees, and so on?

10. Does the agency have qualified staff to counsel adoptive parents?
 
The more information you gather about multiple agencies, the easier it will be to narrow them down to the one who will meet your specific needs and concerns. It is imperative to know the level of adoption services provided by each agency before you select them. With proper research and verification, you will be able to choose the best adoption agency, one who is committed to your adoption success.

Get 6 Tips on How to Support Your Loved One’s Adoption

Discover how to support your loved one's adoption journey!Today’s post is meant to help your friends and family better understand how adoption works today. If they want to participate in your adoption experience, this information can help serve as a starting point for meaningful conversations about how your adoption will affect everyone.

Please feel free to share this post with those close to you!

When someone you care about is hoping to adopt, you become a member of their adoption circle. As a member of their adoption circle, you’ll need information and insights about adoption. Whether you’re excited or anxious, experienced or unfamiliar with adoption, this info is useful for anyone touched by adoption. Lifetime hopes to help as you participate in their lives as an adoptive family!

Here are 6 ideas to support your loved one’s adoption journey:

1. Learn about modern adoption
Let them know that you want to learn more about domestic infant adoption. It’s helpful to know is that adoptions today are done so differently than they were 50 years ago, and drastically different than Foster to Adopt situations. Modern adoption is much more open, with the birth mother choosing the adoptive parents for her baby, and staying in contact as their child grows up.

2. Encourage them to see your point-of-view
Remind them that adoption was once new to them, as well. If you seem awkward as you talk about adoption or adoption terms, it’s because this is totally new to you.

3. Take risks
Part of being supportive and involved in their adoption will include asking questions and talking about adoption. If you’re not sure how to best discuss adoption, ask.

Don’t be worried if you accidentally say what might be seen as the “wrong” thing. Everyone, and that includes adoptive parents, says the wrong things about adoption inadvertently. Share that your questions come from a genuine and heartfelt place of interest.

adoptive father explains modern adoption4. Understand that sometimes, they might be sensitive about adoption and their child.
Sometimes, adoption is a touchy topic for the adoptive parents. We find this to be true if they’re still becoming comfortable with adoption themselves, or when they’re waiting to be chosen by a birth mother.

5. Apologize if needed
Do you feel like you’ve made mistakes in the past or said things you regret? Think about making an apology if it’s warranted. Tell them that you’re trying to learn more about adoption, then forgive yourself and move on.

6. Be open to learning and growing.
It’s normal to feel lost when you begin to learn about domestic adoption. So, keep an open mind and be willing to expand your knowledge as you support your loved one’s adoption journey.

When someone you care about is offering you the opportunity to participate in their adoption, it’s a beautiful thing. Maybe they’re even including you in their adoption process, for example by asking you to write a reference letter or appear in a photo for their adoption profile. It’s wonderful to get to share in the experience of your loved ones who are adopting!

How to Fundraise and Save So That You Can Afford Adoption

Young couple saving up so they can afford adoptionTrying to afford adoption is a common worry among hopeful parents. There’s the home study fee, adoption professional’s fees, travel costs, and legal fees. And sometimes birth mother expenses. So what can you do?

Today, we’re giving you 5 useful and practical tips that you can start following today, to get you closer to your adoption!

1. Make responsible financial decisions

If you’re thinking about taking out a second mortgage or borrowing from your retirement fund, keep your adoption goals in mind. Speak with a financial planner or a relative or friend who’s financially savvy. If you make irresponsible financial decisions now, it’ll have a negative impact on your finances in the future.

2. Start cutting back

Before you ask other people to donate towards your adoption, start cutting back on the extras. Your “extras” might be daily trips to Starbucks, cable TV, dining out, or memberships that you don’t use often. Take some time to decide what’s actually essential. Then, you can use the money you were spending on those things to save up for your adoption.

3. Sell unneeded items

Start a collection of the stuff you don’t need or don’t use. Selling some of it might make you money! We’re thinking bigger items or a vintage collection of something. By selling these things, you’ll get more space for all the baby stuff, and you’ll make money so that you can afford adoption!

4. Consider taking a second job

Start working another job on the weekends or evenings, sell products on Etsy, or offer a service such as tutoring. But be wary of “pyramid schemes” which mean a lot of work for little payoff. If you do choose direct sales, check out the company’s reputation and ensure that it doesn’t require a lot of up-front investment from you.

5. Fundraise

Adoption fundraising can be very effective. To get ideas for your adoption fundraiser, check out Facebook groups or do a Google search. Some options are selling t-shirts, puzzle fundraisers, auctions, dinners, or yard sales. Connect with others who held successful adoption fundraisers in the Facebook groups, and copy what they did.

How to Choose the Best Adoption Agency for You

We'd love to provide you a home study in Florida!Once you’ve decided to grow your family through domestic infant adoption, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is selecting a professional to help you through the process. Most hopeful adoptive parents realize that they’ll need the support of an adoption agency through the process. But they wonder how to find the best adoption agency. Discover how to choose the best adoption agency for you and your family!

1. Research

Begin by doing your research and asking questions of the adoption agencies you’re exploring. It’s important that you feel comfortable with the adoption professional you’re relying on. Adopting a baby can seem overwhelming, but a good adoption professional will become a trusted partner and will help lead you through the entire journey.

Many agencies offer informational webinars once a month or so. Lifetime Adoption provides adoption webinars at no cost to you. Attend a webinar, and don’t be shy about asking questions. Visit AdoptionWebinar.com to learn more.

2. Network

Besides doing research, networking will help you make sure the agency you choose will respond to your needs as you begin your adoption journey. It helps to speak with couples who have recently adopted from the agency you’re thinking about, and have them share their experiences. Lifetime Adoption Agency will provide you with a list of references that you may contact for this purpose. These adoptive parents will be able to tell you what they thought about the adoption agency. Previous clients can give you the low-down about an agency’s staff, quirks, and practices.

3. Investigate

Verify the adoption agency’s reputation and certification. Scrutinize agencies: they should be licensed, and have professional licensed social workers on staff, who have completed higher education in social work and have experience in adoption. Determine how long the agency has been in business, and how many adoptions it has completed in recent years.

Check for the adoption agency’s Better Business Bureau rating to check whether any complaints have been filed against the agency. You can also call the attorney general’s office in the state where the agency is licensed.

Red Flags

Be cautious of an adoption agency that doesn’t require a home study fee, or who promise you a child before they ask for a family assessment. Also, be leery of agencies that tell you birth parents can relinquish their parental rights before the baby is born.

Regulations and Licensing

Adoption agencies, including Lifetime, are licensed and regulated by their state’s Health and Human Services Departments. They’re staffed by social workers who perform home study services and conduct post-placement visits. Lifetime Adoption, Inc. is a Licensed Florida Child Placing Agency.

Taking the time and effort to choose the best adoption agency for you will save you lots of unnecessary stress. Hiring the right agency will help your adoption journey go smoothly and successfully!