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Archive for Adoption preparation

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.

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.

How to Talk to Your Children About Their Adoption Story

talking with your children about adoptionThe experts at our adoption agency in Florida recommend that hopeful adoptive parents start thinking now about how they will talk about your family’s adoption story. When a child grows up hearing about their adoption, it makes life less confusing and mysterious.

You might be wondering, “How do I talk about my child’s adoption?” or “How can I help them understand their adoption story?” Lifetime’s latest adoption webinar talks about this exact topic, providing practical tips on how you talk with your child about their adoption story.

In this webinar, we heard from two Lifetime adoptive mothers. They shared about their struggles and successes of raising an adopted child. Watch the recording of our webinar, “Talking About Adoption With Your Child” to get their tips on talking with your child about adoption, from the very beginning. Each adoptive mom has their own unique adoption story, so you’ll benefit from hearing their years of experience so far.

Our Florida adoption agency knows that talking about adoption with your child doesn’t need to be complicated. Nor does it need to be a major life event. It’s highly recommended to talk to them about adoption from infancy. But how do you start? How do you talk about adoption in such a way that leaves it open for future discussion as your child gets older? How do you adjust your conversation as your child grows up and becomes more mature?

Head over to AdoptionWebinar.com to watch the recording of our webinar, “Talking About Adoption With Your Child.”

Please note that in order to gain access to the webinar, you will need to subscribe to AdoptionWebinar.com. It’s free to subscribe, and it’ll give you access to watch all of the webinars. Subscribe using this link: AdoptionWebinar.com/subscribe/

How Can Audible Help You Learn About Adoption?

Listen to Called to Adoption on AudibleSometimes, it’s overwhelming for hopeful adoptive parents to know where to start on their adoption journey. Lifetime fully believes education is key for anyone hoping to adopt! And a great way to start learning about Christian adoption is by reading Called to Adoption: A Christian’s Guide to Answering the Call. You can listen to this book on Audible at no cost!

Through the end of the year, Audible is running a great promotion. In it, they offer a three-month trial of Audible for only $4.95 per month. That’s a huge savings because their usual going rate is $14.95 a month! You’re able to use a credit each month towards any audiobook you’d like. The best part is, the book Called to Adoption is yours to keep, even if you cancel your Audible account! You’ll be able to continue learning about the many types of adoption, even if you end up deciding that Audible isn’t a good fit for you. Visit Audible.com to learn more about their promotion.

Called to Adoption is full of useful tips and heartwarming adoption stories! Read about adoptive couples’ journey to adopt their child, and what helped them along the way! It was co-written by adoption expert, adoptive mother, and Lifetime’s Founder, Mardie Caldwell. Any adoptive parent will find that Called to Adoption provides them with invaluable resources and tips. Get encouraged as you begin your adoption journey by listening to this book!

With Audible, you’re able to hear Called to Adoption from wherever you are. Learn about how modern, open adoption works during your work commute, at the gym, or while you’re making dinner!

Visit Audible.com to download your audio version of Called to Adoption today! Or, you can simply click on the book’s cover below:

Click to get Called to Adoption on Audible!

How Long Does It Take to Adopt Twins?

fraternal twin babiesQuestion: My husband and I have just started researching infant adoption, and we’re hoping to adopt twins. On average, how long does it take to adopt twins through Lifetime Adoption Agency?

Answer: Adoptions with twins happen from time to time at Lifetime; we might have two to three newborn, twin adoptions out of 100 adoptions in our agency each year. So, we suggest that you remain open with your adoption preferences. If you’re only open to adopting twin babies, it’ll increase your wait time. It might even stand in the way of successfully adopting! Most of our adoptive couples wait from six to 16 months to adopt, and those couples are open to both single baby and twin adoptions.

When thinking about the average time you’ll be waiting to be chosen by a birth mother for a match, there are many factors to keep in mind. So that we can learn more about you and your adoption hopes, you can take the first step today by completing our online application. It’s free to apply and doesn’t obligate you to anything. Once you tell us your specific adoption goals, we’ll be able to share with you if you’d be successful in joining Lifetime for your adoption. Then, we can give you information about what to expect and the average wait time.

Lifetime encourages all adoptive families to sit down and talk about what truly matters versus what you feel right now would be best. The process of adopting is unique because it joins two parties together to begin a new story. We don’t want you to feel pressured into taking a particular adoption opportunity, but we also wouldn’t want hopeful adoptive parents to miss out on what could be an amazing adoption! So take some time and write down any questions. We look forward to learning more about you when you apply!

start your journey

Are You Ready to Adopt? Ask Yourself These 10 Questions

are you ready to adopt? here are 10 questions to ask!Are you truly ready to adopt? Before you contact any adoption professionals, really think about what your deepest wishes are for your family and for the child you hope to adopt.

Honesty is important because it’s your adoption professional’s task to understand your motivations so that they can effectively help you from the start. Your professional will then narrow down the preferences and relevant adoption situations and help you plan your adoption.

How do you know if you’re really ready to adopt a baby?

Here are 10 simple questions to ask yourself:

1. Why do you want to adopt?

2. How serious are you about adoption right now?

3. What is your ideal adoption situation?

4. Does your spouse want to adopt too?

5. Have you thought about how becoming a parent will change your life and are you willing to accept this responsibility?

6. Are you financially, socially and emotionally ready to adopt?

7. Will you love a child who comes into your family through adoption as much as you would a biological child?

8. If your child’s birth mother asked for photos, letters, and updates, would you honor her request?

9. Do you think you’d be a good parent, and why? If the answer is “no,” are you open to seeking assistance?

10. Do you and your spouse have the patience and time that’s needed to care for a child?

Don’t be offended when an adoption professional asks you investigative questions about your reasons for seeking adoption. They’re not trying to be nosey; they’re trying to help you find the best situation with as little time and stress as possible.

Plenty of preparation needs to be done for an adoption to be a success, and thoroughly understanding your needs is a large part of that. So, let your adoption professional help you, and you’ll be on your way to creating the family you have been dreaming of for a lifetime!

“How Much Did You Pay for Her?”

what to say if someone asks "how much did you pay for her?"When you’ve adopted, you may face rude questions from people. One of these is “how much did you pay for her/him?” Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re ever asked a similar question:

Adoptive parents don’t pay for a baby. They pay to have work done so that they can adopt a baby. Fees that are charged an adopting couple are used to support the work of the agency.

Adoption involves the time and efforts of numerous peo­ple who give service to biological parents, would-be adoptive parents, and babies. Each step of the proce­dure involves the work of highly trained professionals.

Also, agencies and attorneys must keep up to date on the laws and regulations con­cerning adoptions. They must pay rent or mortgage for their facility as well as costs involved with keeping up that facility.

The fee that adoptive parents pay when they receive a baby pays bills incurred by the agency as well as sala­ries of caseworkers, secretaries, the director, and oth­ers. Some states have individually set limits on the amount that an agency can charge for its services, thus keeping the possibility of adoption within the financial reach of most Americans.

In the case of a private adoption, the law in most states requires that the adopting parents pay only for the prenatal care, for the physician’s services, and for the hospital bill. This is meant to defray the medical costs incurred by the woman giving birth.

6 Smart Moves to Get Your Finances in Line for a Baby

get your money in line before you adopt!There’s no doubt that welcoming a baby into your home will affect your finances. There’s buying all the needed supplies, clothing, and bedding for a nursery, and then there’s the diapers, formula, toys, and child care. Add to that some costs that aren’t directly linked to the baby, but come into play such as increased life and disability insurance coverage.

Getting a hold of your finances right now, while you’re in the adoption wait, can help you enjoy your newborn without stressing out about money issues. Here are 6 smart moves to take before your baby arrives:

1. Check With Your Employer About Benefits

Ask your employer now which benefits are available to you, so you have an idea of how to budget. Parental leave is a necessary benefit, no matter if it’s paid or unpaid. There may be additional benefits you can take advantage of, like a health flexible spending account (FSA). Your employer may offer adoption-related benefits, so make sure to ask! Finally, you’ll want to research the life and disability insurance coverage your employer offers. Ask about the deadlines for buying increased coverage so you can plan ahead.

2. Pay Off Your Debt

Get out of any high-interest debt you’ve incurred, such as unpaid credit card balances. Once you start your family, finding money to dig yourselves out of debt might not be as easy as it was before.


3. Take a Look at Your Health Insurance

The costs for pregnancy and delivery vary a lot nationwide, depending on which doctor and hospital your birth mother will be seen at. Your insurance coverage will determine what your out-of-pocket medical costs for the birth mother’s pregnancy-related expenses will be. It’s smart to review the pregnancy and childbirth coverage included in your insurance now.

4. Start a “Rainy Day” Fund

Try to prepare now for the unexpected by routing 5% of your take-home pay into an emergency, “rainy day” fund. A good goal is to try and save the amount equal to three months’ of expenses into this fund. If you reach that target, continue to save 5% of your pay to cover unexpected costs like a car repair.

5. Consider Bonding Time

Per the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you’re able to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave after the adoption. Both you and your spouse can take time off of work to bond with your baby. But you want to start thinking now about how you’ll afford living three months (or more) without a second paycheck.

6. Learn Child Care Costs

Child care costs may take up a large portion of your monthly budget. If both you and your spouse work outside the home, talk about how that may change. Maybe one parent will stay home. If you do need child care, your employer and the IRS may offer some assistance. Ask your employer if they offer a flexible spending account for child care. On your taxes, you might be able to claim your child and child care in a tax credit. And let’s not forget about the Adoption Tax Credit! Use these tax savings on big expenses such as formula and diapers.

Surviving the Adoption Home Study

adoption home study visitWe recommend that you use your adoption home study as a way to learn even more about adoption. You’ll need to get a home study no matter where you live, or where you plan to adopt. An adoption home study is a document that shares the story of your life: your health, your family and marital history, and your finances. It also contains a description of your house and neighborhood, references, and info about any criminal record or health concerns.

For many hopeful adoptive couples, the idea of opening up their homes and lives to a stranger puts them on edge. A common worry about the home study is that it’ll find you ineligible to adopt. The truth is, it’s uncommon for a home study to end with a negative judgment. Even though you might feel that the process is invasive, remember its goal is to ensure children are placed into loving homes.

So what exactly is an adoption home study? It’s social worker’s written evaluation, based upon interviews they’ve had with you during at least one in-person visit to your home. Your home doesn’t have to be child-proofed, contain a finished nursery, or a separate bedroom for the baby before the social worker’s visit. They will want to know, however, how you plan to accommodate your precious arrival.

Lifetime Adoption Agency Florida provides home studies. Learn how we can help you with this aspect of your domestic adoption!

Just give us a call at 1-800-9-ADOPT-4 or learn more about our home study service here.

In the video below, our Founder and President Mardie Caldwell shares about the adoption home study service we provide to adopting families:

Avoid Using These 3 Things to Afford Adoption

Don't use these 3 things to afford adoption!Many hopeful adoptive couples have found that they need to allocate more funds to go through the process. Domestic adoption does come with the potential of a high price tag since there are so many people working on your behalf. Money may be standing in the way for you to realize your dream of adoption. Today, we’re sharing about a few financial tools that you should avoid using to afford adoption. If you do, your long-term financial profile and your family will be negatively affected.

Here are 3 financial resources that you should avoid using to fund your family’s adoption:

1. Mortgage or Rent
Using your mortgage or rent payment towards an adoption is a risky financial idea. After all, if you’re adopting, you’ll need a place to live! You’ll need to create and cultivate a home environment that is stable and secure. You could end up losing a lot more than you ever imagined when you start using the money that should be going towards your house.

2. Payday Loan
Using a “payday loan” allows you to get your full paycheck in before your actual pay date. This might sound like a great financial tool, especially if you’re in a rush to adopt. However, since you’re already are low on money, the odds are you have little to no reserves if you’re even considering this. You’re likely to fall into debt once you start using this type of loan. This is because payday loans come with very high interest rates and you can almost never “catch up”. Living paycheck-to-paycheck is not a great start for your new family.

3. Title Loan
Giving away the title to your car is one of the most financially risky plans to follow. You need your car to get from point A to point B. Without a car, it may be almost impossible for you to get to work. If you have one missed payment, you might end up losing your car. It can put an emotional strain on you, in knowing that the car isn’t really “yours.” It’s totally not worth it! Your future child shouldn’t be brought into a situation where their adoptive parents are so financially burdened. The stress of all this will seep into other areas of your life and even to your child.

As adoptive parents, you have the responsibility to give your child the best imaginable start with your family. Your arms might be aching for a child, but you don’t want to bring one into your life at a time of financial stress. Once you have a better idea how much money you’ll need to fund the adoption, try more positive ways to raise funds. Visit Lifetime’s link about Financing Your Adoption to get ideas on how to afford adoption.