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Archive for adopt a baby

How to Get Your Adoption Home Study Done Quickly

Happy couple meeting with their adoption home study providerAs the first step in the adoption process, the home study can bring up many emotions, from the excitement of beginning the adoption journey to feeling nervous about the process. Typically, a home study includes paperwork and documentation, a precise background check, interviews with household members, and a visit to your home.
 
Even though this may seem like a lot, you can get through the home study process in record time.
 

Here are 7 proven ways to finish your home study quickly:

 
1. Make sure you’re both committed to the process
 
First of all, it’s crucial that both of you are committed to your adoption. It’s your home study provider’s goal to place children in loving, accepting homes. But family dynamics can be strained when one spouse is more dedicated than the other.
 
In addition, if just one parent is committed, the other tends to procrastinate about finishing the necessary paperwork and setting appointments.
 
2. Compile a list of required documents
 
Since some of the required documents for your home study might require additional time to obtain, we recommend that you start working on those first.
 
As an example, you’ll need to gather personal documents, like copies of your driver’s license, marriage and birth certificates. It can take awhile to request copies of these from the appropriate government departments if you don’t have these documents on hand. Some documents, such as your financial statement, will require notarizations.
 
Please check with your home study provider, because requirements vary state by state. Make sure to verify with them which documents are necessary to submit for your home study.
 
3. Schedule appointments as soon as possible

Most home studies will require a signed physician’s statement regarding your health. In addition, you’ll need to schedule a visit to an authorized authority so that you can get fingerprinted. So that these appointments don’t become a bottleneck in finishing your home study, schedule them right away.
 
4. Complete your paperwork online

Find a home study provider who will accept home study applications via e-forms. If you can complete your paperwork online, you may be able to finish it all within a week. Hopeful adoptive parents who complete paper forms typically take a few months to finish.
 
5. Give your references a heads-up

Most home study applications require reference letters from your family and friends. We recommend choosing your references early on in the home study process since it’ll take time to get the reference letters returned.
 
Once you’ve chosen your references, let them know they’ll receive a reference request. Kindly ask them to submit it as quickly as they can. That’s because missing reference letters are often the last hold-ups to completing a home study.
 
6. Dedicate time to work on this

Try to set aside some time in your schedule just for completing your home study application. The questions on the application should be pretty straightforward, so you just need to make some time to do this. Try setting aside a couple of hours each day to power through the application.
 
7. Check your home before the home visit

After you’ve completed the paperwork, the next step in the home study process is to schedule a home visit and interviews with a social worker.
 
Even though your social worker will give you an opportunity to fix any potential safety hazards before finishing their report, taking care of all safety hazards before their initial visit will expedite the overall process.
 

Lifetime Adoption Agency provides affordable home study services in Florida.
 
You can learn more by calling 727-493-0933 or visiting our Adoption Home Study page.

how to finish your adoption home study #homestudy #adoption #adoptiongoals #adoptionagency #adopt #hopingtoadopt
how to complete your adoption home study #homestudy #adoption #adoptiongoals #adoptionagency #adopt #hopingtoadopt
how to finish your adoption home study #homestudy #adoption #adoptiongoals #adoptionagency #adopt #hopingtoadopt

How to Rock Your Home Study

Married couple with adoption consultantMany hopeful adoptive parents find the home study to be the most time-consuming and nerve-wracking part of the adoption process. They wonder things like, “Will they find our home to be acceptable? What about our parenting approach?”
 
Today, Lifetime Adoption Agency will share what to expect with a home study and how to prepare, as well as shed light on common home study myths!
 

What’s the adoption home study?

It’s an evaluation that a licensed social worker completes on a prospective adoptive family. Per state and federal regulations, you must have an approved home study to adopt. That’s because your home study will be used by your attorney to file adoption paperwork with the court. Before he or she approves and finalizes your adoption, a judge will review your home study.
 
It’s the perfect time to learn more about the adoption process and how to parent an adopted child. So make sure to ask your home study provider your questions as they come up!
 

Information in a Home Study:

  • Your background (childhood, parents and siblings, and life events)
  • Important people in your lives
  • Marriage and family relationships
  • Reason for adopting
  • Expectations for your child and the adoption
  • Outlook about infertility issues (if relevant)
  • Parenting approach and childcare plans
  • Family environment
  • Your health history
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Finances (including your insurance coverage)
  • References
  • Criminal background clearances

What to Expect in a Home Study

The home study process typically happens in 3 stages:
 
1st Stage: Complete required paperwork
 
2nd Stage: A social worker will make at least one visit to your home, and conduct individual interviews of both of you.
 
3rd Stage: The social worker writes an evaluation of your family and their recommendation for adoption.
 
The home study process will take from two to four months, depending on how quickly you complete your paperwork and how busy the home study worker is at the time.
 
Completing adoption paperwork

Common Myths About Home Studies

“Our house must be perfect.”
A social worker is expecting to walk into a home that looks lived in, not one that’s been perfectly staged. The social worker won’t arrive in a little white outfit for a white glove test, we promise!
 
“We have to be rich.”
Even though adoption can get expensive, you don’t need to be wealthy to get your home study approved. The social worker is looking to see if you’re financially stable; that you stay out of debt and pay your bills on time. So, what’s more important than how well-off you are is your budget, debt, and how you spend.
 
“We have to own our home.”
Couples who rent a condo, apartment, or house can also get their home study approved.
 
“My past has to be clean.”
The social worker understands that you’re only human. With that said, you’ll have to answer questions about your criminal background, social environment, and medical history. Shares Linda Rotz, Lifetime’s Director of Adoption Services, “The adoptive couple needs to share if they’ve been directly or indirectly exposed to circumstances such as alcohol/drug abuse, physical abuse, mental abuse, sexual abuse, jail, counseling or financial issues. The truth is, most couples have had some sort of exposure,”
 
The social worker completing your home study will evaluate the issues and address them. Sometimes, a hopeful adoptive couple needs to show growth and change in a specific area, or take additional training. While there are felonies that would disqualify a couple from adopting, each state has its own laws. So it’s best to evaluate them with the social worker.
 
Social worker tours a couple's home

How to Get Ready for Your Home Study

Be prepared to answer questions about very personal topics such as your marriage, childhood, and any issues you might carry around. The home study provider might ask about your mental health, how you were disciplined as a child, marriage conflict, infertility issues, and financial struggles.
 
By asking questions like this, the social worker is seeking to determine how you manage stress and difficulty. How have you worked through tough issues in the past? Do you have a strong support system? Are you willing to ask for help when it’s needed? By being straightforward about how you’ve moved through difficult events, the social worker can get a clear picture.
 

Home Study Tips

Expect to spend quite a bit of time completing paperwork and gathering the needed documents. Here’s a list of items that most home study professionals require:

  • Tax records
  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage certificate
  • Background checks
  • Bank statements
  • Employment verification
  • Proof of insurance
  • Physicals

We recommend reserving a few weeknights or a weekend to work through the process. Put on your favorite music, grab some snacks, put on some music, and get to work!
 
It’s important to be yourself during the home visit and interview. Since the home study professional is trying to get to know you and your family, it’s beneficial for you to be honest and straightforward.
 
The adoption home study might involve a lot of work, but once you bring your baby home you’ll see that it’s completely worth it!
 

Home Study Resources

Adoption webinars about the home study, which are free to access!

Lifetime’s Adoption Expert Q&A: The Adoption Home Study, and more…
Behind the Scenes of Your Adoption Home Study
Adoption Q & A – All About the Home Study
 
Here are some useful articles on the adoption home study:
 
Home Study 101: All You Need to Know
6 Proven Tips on How to Get Your Home Study Done in a Flash
How to Get Ready for Your Home Study in Florida
Surviving the Adoption Home Study

Adoption Home Study #adoptionhomestudy #homestudy #adoption #hopingtoadopt
Adoption Home Study #adoptionhomestudy #homestudy #adoption #hopingtoadopt
Adoption Home Study #adoptionhomestudy #homestudy #adoption #hopingtoadopt

Your Quick Guide to Finding the Best Adoption Agency in Florida

Adoptive parents Bobby and Chaun admire their daughterCreating a family can happen in many ways. If you’d like to build your family through adoption, it’s important to find the best adoption agency in Florida. Since there are a vast array of adoption agencies, it can be challenging to find one that will match what you desire.
 
With research and careful consideration, you’ll be in a better position to partner with the adoption professional who is the best fit for you. Keep reading to learn what you should consider when looking for the best adoption agency in Florida!
 

Interview Adoption Professionals

Schedule interviews with representatives from the different adoption agencies you’re considering. Since agencies might be located across the country, setting up a phone interview is best. Make sure to discuss important items like average match time, fees, the home study, and birth mother presentation. During the phone interview, you’ll also have the opportunity to ask them questions. Get ideas on possible questions you might ask here.
 

Consider Experience

Ask the representative that you speak with how many years that the agency has been in existence. How much experience do they have in the field of domestic adoption? To work closely with an experienced adoption agency, choose one that has been actively matching birth mothers and adoptive couples for a long time.
 

Ask About Adoption Fees

When you’re looking for the best adoption agency in Florida, consider the clarity of their fees. How up front is the adoption agency about their fees when you talk to them?
 
Make sure that you understand what all of their fees are before engaging with an adoption agency in your state. Before you pay anything, make sure that you know the purpose the adoption agency will serve in your adoption journey. For example, some agencies will charge match fees while others do not.
 

Speak to References

Ask your representative at the adoption agency to speak with references. Talking to couples who recently adopted through the agency will provide you with an idea of what to expect.
 
Find reviews online of the adoption agencies you’re looking into. Many review sites will have feedback from those who adopted through the agency. The Better Business Bureau’s website is a great place to start. You can see Lifetime’s BBB rating and read reviews here.
 
 

The better informed you are about adoption agencies, the easier it’ll become to choose one who will match your specific needs and concerns. With the proper research into adoption agencies in Florida, you can find one who is committed to your success!
 
Schedule your complimentary adoption consultation with Lifetime Adoption Agency today, by calling us 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.

“Thank you for helping us on the journey to parenthood. We love Lifetime!”

Chris and Carrie adopted their son through the Lifetime adoption agency

Lifetime’s adoption agency in Florida loves it when we get to share updates from our adoptive couples who have experienced the joy of infant adoption! Today, we’re sharing a sweet updated from Chris and Carrie, a young adoptive couple living in Kentucky. Earlier this year, we wrote about their exciting news of being blessed to adopt a baby boy!

Back in January, Chris and Carrie shared with us: “The whole process was just absolutely amazing! Colton’s birth parents are angels. They allowed us to be present for the entire process. We were in the room for his birth and the four of us spent an hour and a half together before we went to separate rooms. Colton’s birth mother was able to hold him as well!”

Here’s the most recent email from Chris and Carrie, who created their family with the help of the Lifetime adoption agency:

Chris and Carrie's son, ColtonHi Tiffany,

Here are some photos of us and sweet Colton. We are beyond grateful that we get to raise Colton. He is the most amazing gift! We are so thankful for his birth parents, we love them dearly.

Colton is almost five months, he loves to coo, smile, suck on his hands and laugh. We are trying to enjoy every moment with him.

We just finished our last post placement visit and hope to finalize within the next month. Words cannot accurately express the joy and life he has brought to our family. Thank you for helping us along this journey to parenthood, we love Lifetime!

And check out this short video about their experience with the Lifetime adoption agency!

If you’d like to read more adoption stories like this one, please visit our “Recent Adoptions & Matches” page. Our adoption staff updates this page all the time, so you’ll want to keep visiting the page to see new baby photos and stories!

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.

Your Florida Adoption Agency Was There Every Step of the Way!

Lifetime’s adoption agency in Florida loves it when we get to share updates from our adoptive couples who have been blessed by infant adoption! Today, we’re sharing a sweet one from Joe and Megan, a young adoptive couple living in New Jersey. In their adoption video, they shared: “We cannot wait to welcome this baby into our family and cherish them forever!”

Here’s a heartwarming email from Joe and Megan, another adoptive couple who built their family with the help of our Florida adoption agency!

Joe and Megan adopted through our Florida adoption agency!

“From the beginning, I felt at ease with Lifetime. Our journey started with Kim, who was so knowledgeable and made us feel so welcomed. We then spoke with Linda and Natalie and we knew we had met the perfect team. All our questions and concerns were answered in a timely manner.

Natalie was always able to make me feel better on days I never thought this would happen. And then we got *the call* from Chrissy and our lives changed in the greatest way! Also, I cannot forget Tiffany, who stepped in during an important time in our match process.

We can never thank Lifetime enough for bringing us such great joy. You all are amazing and we are beyond thankful for all the work you do. Thank you for being there every step of the way!”

Want to read more touching adoption stories like this one? Just visit our “Recent Adoptions & Matches” page. We add to this page every week, so keep visiting to see cute baby photos and stories!

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

We Love Lifetime With All Our Hearts…Thank You!

Lifetime’s adoption agency in Florida loves it when we get to share updates from our adoptive couples who have been blessed by infant adoption! Today, we’re sharing a sweet one from Luke and Lindsay, a young adoptive couple living in Illinois. They adopted their son, Lincoln, through Lifetime last year. Last May they emailed us, “We truly can’t believe he’s here…it still feels like a dream! So thankful to you all at Lifetime and to God for this journey!”

Here’s a recent email Luke and Lindsay, another adoptive couple who’s expanded their family with the help of our Florida adoption agency!

Luke and Lindsay rave about Lifetime

Hello! It’s hard to believe Lincoln is already a year old. I wanted to send an email thanking you all again for all the support, love, encouragement and clarity in the chaos happening this time last year!

Lincoln and his proud big sister HannahThe year has just flown by…we still can’t believe how much this little boy has overcome and accomplished. He is into everything, loves to belly laugh, and is best friends with Hannah. The first thing they do when waking up is to find each other and share hugs in the morning. She refers to him as her “little buddy Win-con.”

We never imagined how beautiful our story would unfold. We tried so many years to have children…never in a million years did we see being blessed with two amazing babies in 3 years. God is so good!

We also exchange such sweet text messages with Lincoln’s birth mom. We text around holidays and send her photos every other month or two. Its been such a sweet connection, being able to share his accomplishments and adorable smiles.

We love Lifetime with all our hearts…thank you again!

Forever grateful,
Luke and Lindsay

Want to read more touching adoption stories like this one? Just visit our “Recent Adoptions & Matches” page. We add to this page every week, so keep visiting to see cute baby photos and stories!

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

Check Out This Review of Our Adoption Agency in Florida!

Lifetime’s adoption agency in Florida loves to share reviews from our adoptive couples! Today, we’re sharing a sweet comment from Brandon and Terra, a Wisconsin couple who are still in their adoption wait. Just last month, we wrote about their short and sweet adoption video, which they created to share how excited they are to adopt a baby.

Terra recently emailed her Adoption Coordinator, Natalie:

“Hi! We wanted to write and say how thankful we are for Lifetime. We were on a flight yesterday speaking to a couple that recently adopted and it was not a pleasant experience. That truly hurt my heart as this should be a happy time. The agency they used did not provide half of what we get with Lifetime, especially the webinars.

When we were talking about our experience thus far, the couple was blown away by the above and beyond service you all provide your families. I felt it was only fair to share. We are thankful every day that God brought us to you all!”

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

Another Forever Family, Made Possible By This Florida Adoption Agency!

Lifetime’s adoption agency in Florida loves it when we get to share updates from our adoptive couples who have been blessed by infant adoption! Today, we’re sharing a sweet one from Clayton and Sarah, a young adoptive couple living in Indiana. Last Fall, they shared with us how ready and excited they were to adopt a baby of any race. Here’s a heartwarming email Clayton and Sarah, another adoptive couple who built their family with the help of our Florida adoption agency!

Clayton and Sarah adopted through our Florida adoption agency!

“Just wanted to check in to let you know that yesterday WE FINALIZED!!! Such a huge and special day for our family! Both sets of grandparents traveled to be with us and to *officially* welcome Aubrey into our family forever (even though in our hearts it was already done!).

Aubrey is now a week away from three months old and is doing great! She loves being held and worn in a wrap (best invention for adoptive mamas in my opinion!). She recently started to recognize my and Clayton’s faces and began smiling when we talk to her or make funny faces which is the cutest thing on earth.

We love her so much and are so thankful for the entire staff at Lifetime! So grateful for the education we received from you all about open adoption. We frequently text with Aubrey’s birthmom and have an added level of peace knowing she is doing well and is still glad that she chose adoption.

We had a great experience working with you and will definitely refer all future couples we know who are thinking about adoption to Lifetime!”

Want to read more touching adoption stories like this one? Just visit our “Recent Adoptions & Matches” page. We add to this page every week, so keep visiting to see cute baby photos and stories!

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

“God Has Written Us a Beautiful Adoption Story!”

Lifetime Adoption Agency Florida loves to share updates from our adoptive couples who have been blessed by infant adoption! Here’s a heartwarming one from Colorado adoptive couple Jesse and Alicia:

What a sweet update on baby Brynlee!“Hi Natalie!

I hope you and everyone at Lifetime are doing well. Now that we are winding down from the very busy holiday season, I wanted to take a few minutes to update you on how we are doing! Brynlee is seven months old, can you believe it!? She is crawling now and keeping us very busy! Watching her learn and grow is such a joy! I feel like it wasn’t long ago that I was emailing and calling you to get suggestions from you on how we could improve our profile. What a beautiful story God has written for us! Thank you for being a part of it!

Adoptive couple Jesse and Alicia with their daughter BrynleeThanksgiving was such a special day for us. Looking over at Brynlee in her high chair at the dinner table was such a dream come true. We have so much to be thankful for, every day is Thanksgiving in our home!

Our Christmas was amazing! Brynlee’s birth parents planned a special dinner so we were able to spend time with them and meet their families. We are extremely grateful for the relationship we have with Brynlee’s birth parents. This was the start of a new Christmas tradition that we hope to continue for many years to come!

On December 28th, we finalized our adoption! As our family filled the courtroom, I couldn’t help but feel so overwhelmed with emotions. There were countless nights of hoping, praying and longing to be parents and now that we are, I just couldn’t imagine our lives without her!”

To see more photos and adoption stories, visit our “Recent Adoptions & Matches” page!
Are you hoping to adopt a baby? Call us at 1-877-383-6847 or email us to learn the steps needed to get started with a domestic infant adoption.