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Archive for Open adoption

“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.

What Does Open Adoption Mean to You?

Illinois adoptive couple Craig and Courtney were blessed to adopt a baby girl through Lifetime’s Florida Adoption Agency just a few weeks ago! Here’s sweet email that they recently sent to our staff about their open adoption relationship with their daughter’s birth mother:

“From the day we signed our contract with Lifetime we started praying for two people, our future child and also the birth mom (or birth family) that would forever be a part of our lives. To us, adoption was more than just starting our family with a baby, it was starting our family by welcoming a whole other family into ours.

We are so lucky to have such a special bond with our daughter’s birth mom. Since spending four days together in the hospital, we have struggled to find the right words to describe how amazing she really is. From meeting her in the parking lot, to Courtney hugging her head and cheering her on during the c-section, to taking those last steps together out of the hospital and feeling like we weren’t ready to leave her, we have fallen more and more in love with her each step of the way. Today we can honestly say we love her just as much as we love our baby girl!”

Craig and Courtney have a sweet open adoption story to share!

If you love reading sweet adoption stories like this one, check out our “Recent Adoptions & Matches” page!

Take the first step today towards adopting the baby of your dreams by completing Lifetime’s free online application!

Get Info on Your Choices With Open Adoption

Lifetime shares info on your choices with open adoptionWhen you make an open adoption plan with Lifetime, you’re in the driver’s seat. You have lots of choices, including your baby’s adoptive parents, how things will be handled at the hospital, and how much contact you’d like after the placement. Today, we’re going to give you some quick info on the three major choices with open adoption!

  1. Select the Adoptive Family for Your Baby
  2. This is one of the most important choices with open adoption. We’ll ask you what you’re looking for in parents for your baby. Maybe you’re hoping that they live in a certain area of the country, or maybe you’re looking for a couple who don’t have any children yet. Your Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime will mail or email you profiles all about the adoptive families that fit what you’re looking for. In the profile booklets, you can see photos and learn about their careers, parenting style, interests, and many other things. If you’d like to look at couples now, you can browse our hopeful adoptive family websites.

    Once you pick your favorite adoptive couple, you can interview them over the phone. We encourage you to ask them questions about topics important to you and get to know them better.

  3. Plan Your Hospital Stay
  4. You have the choice of how things are handled during your hospital stay for delivery. Here are some things to think about:

    • Who is allowed to be at the hospital when you deliver?
    • Would you like your baby in the room with you? Would you like your baby to stay in the nursery by the adoptive couple?
    • Once it’s time to check out, would you like to leave first, or should the adoptive couple leave first?
    • Would you like a copy of the newborn pictures the hospital takes?

  5. Determine Future Contact
  6. Another major one of your choices with open adoption involves how much contact you’ll have after placement. The relationship you have with your child and the adoptive family can run a wide range of options. Some women choose to have a very open adoption and get updates on their child through photos, emails, and visits. Other women are fine with not having visits and get updates on social media instead.

    Along with your child’s adoptive parents, you’re able to determine the amount and type of future contact you’d like to keep!

Whenever you’re ready to start learning more about your choices with open adoption, you can call Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784.

Did You Know That There’s a Symbol of Adoption?

The symbol of adoptionIf you’ve been blessed by adoption, you might wish to honor your journey in a meaningful way. The symbol of adoption has been used by many to share their love of open adoption. As seen in this image, the symbol of adoption is a triangle entwined with a heart. Each of the three sides of the triangle signifies the adoption triad: birth family, adoptive family, and adoptee. The heart symbolizes the love present in an open adoption relationship!

We encourage you to appreciate the fact that all in the adoption triad play a role in building a healthy, safe life for the child. Understanding what each party in the triad should (and shouldn’t) contribute is an important first step. Today, we’re sharing about the roles of adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoptees!

Adoptive Parents

adoption loveAdoptive parents provide the child with daily care, support, and love. They’re responsible for the child emotionally, medically, and financially. And adoptive parents are responsible for helping their child grow healthy self-esteem about their adoption. Openness and honesty are encouraged from the very beginning. It means sharing in an age-appropriate way that the child’s birth parents created this adoption plan to give them the best life possible.

Adoptive parents should honor the promise of ongoing contact that they made to the birth parents. If you promised to send pictures and updates, send them. If you agreed to visits, then schedule them. Open adoption is built on trust. If contact doesn’t happen, your child might search for his or her birth parents. You don’t want your child to hear that you broke your promise to keep in touch!

Birth Parents

Birth parents are a vital part of the adoption triad. They’ll always have a biological link to their child. At the same time, they should honor the level of contact they agreed to. It’s difficult to manage expectations if they thought, for example, that their child would still call them “Mom.” Having a sensitive conversation with them can help.

Sometimes birth parents make negative choices after placement. If you’re worried about your child’s safety, it’s acceptable to look at boundaries. But don’t change your open adoption agreement because some of the choices are ones you don’t approve of. Simply express your concern and hope for them.

The Adoptee

What a sweet update on baby Brynlee!Children should be provided the truth about their adoption in a way they can understand. You can share more and answer more questions as your child gets older. That way, your child doesn’t grow up confused about where they came from.

When parents wait to tell their child that they were adopted, it comes as a major shock, and there’s the potential for relationships to suffer. Part of loving your adopted child is loving where they came from, including their birth mother. Face the challenges you might feel when your child is curious about their origins.

When you understand adoption from everyone’s point of view as well as what healthy boundaries look like, these roles in the adoption triad will bring positive outcomes.

Find out how Lifetime can help you achieve your dream of adopting a newborn!

To get started, just fill out our free online application.

7 of the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Open Adoption

Lifetime couple Chaun and Bobby with their open adoption blessing

Lifetime couple Chaun and Bobby admire their adoption blessing

Open adoption is very common nowadays, with most birth parents and adoptive couples hoping for some form of openness. Many adoptive families living with an open adoption relationship get questions from people unfamiliar with the concept. They get asked questions such as, “how does open adoption work?”

Lifetime is providing you with answers to 7 of the most frequently-asked questions you might get about your relationship with your child’s birth parents!

1. “What is open adoption?”

In an open adoption, there’s some amount of interaction between the birth family and the adoptive family. They might communicate with each other through social media, emails, and photos. Other adoptive families have visits with their child’s birth mother once or twice a year. Typically in open adoption, there’s no go-between (like an agency, attorney, or social worker) and the families communicate directly. The amount of contact is something that the adoptive family and birth family mutually agree upon.

2. “Aren’t you worried that she’ll come back and get her child?”

Once the adoption is legally final, the adoptive parents are the child’s legal parents. Once the birth parents sign the paperwork consenting to the adoption and their revocation period is over, the adoption is permanent.

3. “Does your child know their birth parents?”

In today’s adoptions, adoptive parents talk about adoption with their child from the beginning. This is done so that the child doesn’t grow up wondering about their birth family and where they came from.

4. “Isn’t it heartbreaking for your child’s birth mother to see him with you?”

Although open adoption visits are definitely emotional, most birth mothers have told Lifetime that they make her feel positive about the decision she made. Emails, photos, visits, and other forms of contact let the birth mother see her child is growing up happy and loved. So rather than feeling regretful, she feels validated.

5. “How many years do you have to stay in touch with the birth parents?”

The answer depends on the open adoption arrangement made between the adoptive parents and the birth family. Lifetime has worked with birth mothers who need to have lots of contact for the first few years after placement, but not as much after that. Of course, the opposite can also be true; it just depends on the birth mother and her needs.

6. “Isn’t open adoption confusing for your child?”

Adoption experts have found that open adoption reduces the amount of confusion for adoptees. In an open adoption, a child knows his or her birth family and the circumstances of his or her birth. Plus, adoptees in open adoption know that they’re loved by two families: their birth family and their adoptive family. So really, the truth of their adoption isn’t confusing, it’s liberating.

7. “Do you wish you had a closed adoption?”

Adoption isn’t about the adoptive parents only; it’s about all involved. Everything in open adoption is done in the best interest of the child, making them the most important person. The reason why birth parents choose to place their baby is because of their child; to provide them the best life that they can. Although they can’t parent, they chose adoption out of love for their child.

At the end of the day, it’s the adopted child who sees the most benefits from an open adoption. Because of open adoption, they’ll never have to question or doubt that they’re loved by their birth family.

Discover how Lifetime Adoption Agency can help you realize your adoption dreams! There is no obligation in filling out our application.

It’s completely free to complete our online application! Click here to apply to adopt.

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/

Is It Positive Adoption Language to Call Her a “Birth Mother”?

is it positive adoption language to call her a birth mother?We wanted to share a question that our Florida adoption agency received recently about positive adoption language:

“I’ve noticed a few people saying online that the term ‘birth mother’ shouldn’t be used until after a woman places her child for adoption. So, I’m wondering if we should stop using the term ‘birth mother’? Is that negative adoption language?”

Let’s start with an easy definition…”birth mother” simply means a biological mother. So actually, a birth mother is any woman who gives birth.

In adoption language, we use the term ‘birth mother’ for a woman who’s considering adoption, or who is deciding to place her child. To identify the individuals involved in adoption, it makes things more accurate and simple to refer to adoptive parents (those adopting the child) and birth mothers (who will or have given birth). You’ll see that the legal paperwork required for adoption will use this adoption language to designate those involved in one child’s adoption.

Many adoption agencies and other adoption professionals prefer to use the term “birth mother.” It’s warmer than “biological mother,” which has a bit of a clinical ring to it.

We’ve seen terms like “expectant parent” or “expectant mother” used, but these aren’t always correct, since not every woman choosing adoption is pregnant. A mother can make an adoption plan weeks, months or years after her child is born; it’s never too late for adoption. Since many refer to adoptive parents as ‘expectantly’ waiting, using a term like “expectant parent” gets confusing. It starts to get very complicated, especially for people new to adoption and unfamiliar with positive adoption language.

Here at Lifetime Adoption Agency Florida, we don’t assume a woman is going to place her child when she’s in contact with us. We educate and provide support to every woman who calls us, regardless of whether she’s sure about adoption. In Lifetime’s social media accounts and informational materials, we use the term “birth mother” to protect her privacy. Of course, when we communicate with her one-on-one, she’s referred to by her name. Each woman who contacts Lifetime is listened to. We’re here provide her with help on her own terms, and as it applies to her unique situation.

It’s so important to be sensitive to a woman’s feelings when she’s deciding about her unplanned pregnancy and her baby’s future. Women typically see the term “birth mother” as positive adoption language when they were given the choice to lovingly and willingly choose adoption for her child. Using the term “birth mother” reminds us that she has an important role in creating her child’s custom adoption plan. Our hearts break for women who felt coerced into adoption, which was, unfortunately, the norm decades ago.

In open adoption, a woman who creates a plan for her baby or child can create and develop an on-going connection with her child and the adoptive parents. Whatever questions and thoughts she has are recognized, before, during, and after the adoption takes place. Even if she decides that adoption isn’t right for her, she’ll be able to help another woman who does choose adoption. So as you can see, the term “birth mother” is actually positive adoption language.

Touching Video from a Birth Mom to Her Baby Has Gone Viral!

Birth mother Hannah holds her newborn sonIn a heartfelt video that’s now viral, a birth mother tells her newborn born son that she’ll always love him.

Both People Magazine and The Today Show have featured this story, all about a loving birth mother with a loving message for her baby. “I thought I would make this video for you instead of writing a letter because it’s real and it’s in the moment,” birth mother Hannah says tearily in the video.

Hannah’s video is a lovely reminder of your birth mother’s love for her child. This love may also include you, the parents she chose for her baby. “His adoptive mom Emily is honestly everything I want to be as a person and a mother. I am so grateful that [my son] led me to her and their family. They are a blessing…” Hannah shares.

Your child will really appreciate having a video like this! Many adopted children grow up wondering about their birth family, and why they chose adoption. By taping a video like this, your child is provided with answers to many of their questions. As Hannah words it, “He will never have to think that I ‘gave him up’ or that I did not love him. He will always be able to know that I loved him more than anyone else in this world!”

Here’s birth mom Hannah’s full video:

“I made this video so that you know how much I love you,” Hannah says in the clip. “I made this decision completely out of love, and if I didn’t love you I wouldn’t of been in this position at all, and you wouldn’t have this awesome adoptive family. I fell in love with them, and they were beyond anything I could have asked for, and I have really really high standards for anyone who is going to raise my child.”

At the hospital, Hannah allowed the adoptive parents she chose to be present for some of her labor. After delivery, Hannah asked to have some time alone with her son. We were reminded of the saying in adoption: “you can’t say goodbye until you say hello.” Remember, if your birth mother requests time alone with her baby, it doesn’t mean she’s having second thoughts. It means that she loves her baby very much, and wants the best for him or her.

Today, Hannah has an open adoption with the adoptive couple she chose, Brad and Emily. They’ve shared that it’s important for them that all three of their sons have open adoptions. “Having our boys’ birth mothers so involved in their lives means they will never have to wonder if their birth moms loved them, they will never have to feel abandoned,” says adoptive mother, Emily. “They are all wonderful mothers and will always be our boys’ first mothers.

When is it Too Early or Too Late to do Adoption?

Lifetime has been asked many different questions about when’s the right time to make an adoption plan. The truth is, it’s never too late or too early to look into adoption for your baby! Here are some answers to common questions women ask when they’re thinking about adoption early in their pregnancy as well as late in their pregnancy:
 
“I’m not that far along in my pregnancy – when can I choose adoption?”
 
“I’m not that far along in my pregnancy – when can I choose adoption?”If you’ve just learned that you’re pregnant or aren’t that far along, know that you can start the adoption process now. Most women aren’t 100% sure adoption is right for their situation when they call Lifetime. You don’t have to be committed to adoption before you contact us.
 
Contacting Lifetime early in your pregnancy gives you more time to learn about the adoption process, get emotional and financial support, and search for the right adoptive family for your baby. Contacting us doesn’t force you to choose adoption: you have the right to change your mind at any time until the legal paperwork has gone through.
 
“My due date is coming up quickly! – when is it too late to find adoptive parents for my baby?”
 
“My due date is coming up quickly! – when is it too late to find adoptive parents for my baby?”Choosing adoption isn’t an easy decision to arrive at. Some women don’t contact Lifetime to learn about adoption until the final weeks or days of their pregnancy. We have women call us from the hospital in the beginning stages of labor, more often than you’d think! If your due date is near, you might be wondering, “Is it too late to give my baby up for adoption?”
 
It’s never too late to choose adoption. You can even make an adoption plan after trying to parent your baby. Lifetime can help you begin the adoption quickly if that’s what you’d like. Within a matter of hours, we can have the adoptive parents you select there at the hospital waiting room while you deliver.
 
No matter how far along you are, you’ll have the chance to review and get to know a pre-screened adoptive couple. They’re ready and excited to commit to you and your baby. In many cases, the adoptive parents can cover your medical, counseling, and living costs.
 

Learn more about how to get started with your modern adoption plan by calling or texting Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784 today!

Learn More About Domestic Adoption Through Free Online Webinars

did you know that you can learn about domestic adoption through free, online webinars?Each year, prospective adoptive families across the US make the life-changing and exciting decision to adopt a child. Yet, many people think an international adoption will happen more quickly and easily than a domestic adoption. That’s just due to a popular myth that says it will be difficult to adopt a baby in the United States.

Lifetime Adoption has been providing adoption services to adoptive parents and birth parents since 1986. We also educate about modern adoption and open adoption, so that light can be shed on adoption myths. Our free online webinars can be accessed by anyone who’s interested.

Our free, online adoption webinars provide information on the adoption process, what open adoption looks like, and gives adoption tips. Head over to AdoptionWebinar.com to start watching and listening to this FREE adoption resource! Each of our webinars feature expert answers and insights from people recently touched by adoption.

Lifetime focuses on each part of the “adoption triad”-the adoptee, birth mother, and adoptive parents. We assist women thinking about adoption for their baby with finding medical care, supportive counseling, and financial help. Prospective adoptive parents are guided through the open adoption process, which includes the home study, legal process, and creating their own adoption profile to present to birth mothers. We also help adoptive couples discover how to afford adoption, through adoption financing, adoption loans, adoption grants, and fundraising.

Subscribe to our free online adoption webinars at AdoptionWebinar.com today, so you can learn the important details you’ll need to know as you travel the path to adoption! When you subscribe, you’ll get exclusive access to webinar replays AND to invites to new LIVE webinars directly to your email.