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Archive for adoption agency

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!

Steer Clear of These 5 Mistakes, Says an Adoption Expert

Adoption expert Mardie Caldwell warns of 5 mistakes to avoidMardie Caldwell is the Founder of Lifetime Adoption, a nationally-recognized adoption expert, and award-winning author. Today, we are giving you adoption advice direct from the expert!

I’ve been in the adoption field for over 30 years. During that time, I’ve seen and heard of every kind of mistake in adoption. Some mistakes were made due to ignorance and others because of stubbornness or procrastination.

I hope that by sharing some of these mistakes, you’ll be able to avoid them and your adoption journey won’t be filled with guilt or regrets. Here are the 5 most common adoption mistakes I see, along with solutions:

1. Not studying your adoption contract
If you have signed a contract but didn’t read, make sure to read it now. Ask your adoption professional questions as they pop up. It’s not too late!

2. Making decisions from your heart only
If you’ve already made adoption decisions with your heart, you might be dealing with regret. Learn from this experience so that next time, you’ll be able to look at all sides of the situation before you commit.

3. Going against your adoption professional’s recommendations regarding birth mother expenses
If you’ve already paid a woman considering adoption and you just thought it would be OK, learn from this. In some states, paying for birth mother expenses is illegal. You don’t want to put your adoption into jeopardy! If you’re not sure, ask your adoption professional.

4. Dragging your feet on your home study
I’m surprised how many adoptive parents put off doing their home study! If you forget to complete (or update) your home study, you’ll miss opportunities to adopt. Many couples have found that it’s more expensive to rush a home study when they needed it done “yesterday.”

If your home study was completed more than 12 months ago, reach out to your home study provider to see when it expires. Mark this date in your calendar. If your home study is expired, ask them how the update process works and what it will cost. Make sure to get it done within 30 days.

5. Not keeping the promises you made to your child’s birth mother
If you’ve forgotten to stay in touch with your baby’s birth mother, consider where you’d be without her. I know I wouldn’t be a Mom if it weren’t for my children’s birth families. Because of that, I respect our agreements.

Take a few minutes today to email your child’s birth family, or to post an update to a social media account you’ve set up for this purpose. A simple email or card along with a photo lets them know they’re thought of often. It’s a way to say thank you for making your family possible. Keeping in contact doesn’t take away your role as parents. Letting your child know their adoption story shows them respect. You’ll be blessed by honoring your commitment to open adoption.

I hope that by knowing what to avoid, it’ll help you in your adoption journey and beyond. God Bless you in your adoption!

Why Should We Choose a Christian Adoption Agency?

Tommy and Kaycee, one of the many happy couples that Lifetime's Christian adoption agency has helped!“My wife and I have just started to look into adopting because fertility treatments aren’t working. Since our faith is such a major part of our lives, we want to adopt through a Christian adoption agency. But, we’ve noticed that there are so many Christian adoption agencies out there! How do we decide?”

The best way to evaluate all of the agencies you’ve found is to create a list of questions that are important to you. Then, call each agency and speak with a real person. If you’re wondering what to ask them, you can get ideas from these 20 questions: “Your Checklist for Choosing an Adoption Professional.”

When you talk with a representative from the agency, don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. After all, this is the organization that will be helping guide you to the child God has meant for you! Ask, and make sure to take good notes so that you can refer to later.

Religious beliefs play a role in every aspect of one’s life, including adoption. When it becomes clear after lots of prayer that you’re being called to adopt a baby, it’s important to keep your faith in mind when searching for an adoption agency.

Lifetime has worked for hundreds of Christian couples as they prayerfully traveled down the path of adoption. Christian adoption agencies such as Lifetime are not just faith-based, but Christ-centered as well. From the person who processes your application to adopt to the one who works with your birth mother, it’s comforting for Christian adoptive couples to know the people at their agency share their core values and speak a common language of belief.

Many birth parents of faith have chosen our Christian adoption agency because they want their child to be raised by parents of the same faith. When a birth mother creates an adoption plan for her older child, she benefits from knowing that the foundation of faith she’s begun in her child’s life will continue. Providing this match and assurance is one of the many ways a Christian adoption agency like Lifetime can offer support to all involved.

The adoption process can be an emotional one, but you can take comfort knowing that the adoption agency you choose is more than just a business. Instead, it’s a prayerfully built ministry, called to assist both adoptive and birth parents.

We’d love to answer your questions about how Lifetime can help you adopt! Just give us a call at 1-800-923-6784 or email us.

We invite you to step forward in faith today, and fill out Lifetime’s free online application to adopt!