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Archive for adoption tips

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!

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.

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.

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!

How to Get Closer to Your Resolution of Adopting a Baby in 2018

discover how you can adopt a baby in 2018!Every new year brings new potential and hope for the future. It also comes with the chance to commit to a New Year’s resolution. Do you hope to adopt a baby in 2018?

Starting your family through adoption is a resolution that’s not set to please other people or to gain attention. Becoming a parent through adoption is a life-changing event which will mark the start of a fresh chapter in your family.

Here are 5 ways to come closer to your resolution of adopting a baby in 2018!

1. Hear From Couples Who’ve Had Adoption Success
Your best resource to learn all you can about adoption is from a couple who’s adopted recently. Seek out the stories of experienced adoptive parents, and establish a conversation with them if you can. You might ask them for their advice, and about their adoption journey. After all, the more adoption stories you hear, the more viewpoints you’ll have to learn from. Follow adoption blogs, sign up for email newsletters, and join up with other couples also at the start of the adoption journey.

2. Continue Learning
Learn as much as you can about subjects like domestic adoption, open adoption, and modern adoption. There are a wealth of wonderful articles, books, and blogs out there. Check out the adoption stories featured on our “Recent Adoptions & Matches” page, which gets updated each day. You’ll also want to watch adoption webinars, available online for free at AdoptionWebinar.com.

3. Start to Finance Your Adoption
You don’t want to be scrambling for funds when the opportunity to adopt comes up. So, start getting all of your finances in order now by meeting with a financial planner. They can help you create a budget and get your finances straight. Look into adoption loans, grants, and fundraising, too.

4. Make Time for Adoption Each Week
Since most of us are very busy, we suggest that you set aside time each week to devote to learning more about adoption. By scheduling this time, you’re able to plan around things like appointments and work obligations.

5. Begin Your Adoption Profile
Even if you haven’t signed on with an adoption professional, you’re able to start working on your adoption profile. Consider taking quick photos of your day-to-day activities and favorite hobbies. And start considering what birth mothers will want to know about you: where you live, how long you’ve been married, what your jobs are, and why you’re hoping to adopt.

The Top 10 Blog Posts of 2017!

Lifetime adoptive couple Eric and Amanda with their daughter Mariella

Lifetime adoptive couple Eric and Amanda with their daughter Mariella

In 2017, Lifetime Adoption Agency Florida’s blog covered so many adoption topics, ranging from tips on how to handle the wait and guidance for getting ready to adopt to info about what modern adoption means and how to choose adoptive parents for your baby.

Here are the top 10 posts of 2017:

#10: We Reveal the Truth About 5 Adoption Myths
We shed light on five of the most widely believed myths surrounding the choice of adoption for your baby. Two of these five myths include that adoption is selfish, and that it means giving your baby away to strangers. Nothing could be farther from the truth: adoption is the most loving decision a woman can make. Also, with modern adoption today, you’re able to hand-pick the adoptive parents for your baby.

#9: 6 Smart Moves to Get Your Finances in Line for a Baby
We recommend that you get a hold of your finances during the adoption wait. That way, you’ll be able to enjoy the newborn days without worrying about money issues. This post shares 6 smart financial moves to make before your baby arrives.

#8: Why Choose Adoption?
This post seeks to answer the question: “why would I choose adoption for my baby?” In it, we provided a list of things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about adoption. We’re definitely not here to give you “reasons why you should choose adoption,” because only you know what’s best.

#7: 4 Terrific Tips on Listening to Birth Mothers
Many adoptive parents have said they were so nervous during the first phone call with a birth mother, that they ended up chattering on and on. This blog post shares a few easy tips on how to effectively listen to a birth mother, and begin to build a relationship!

#6: Wondering What It’s Like to Be Adopted?
If you’re thinking about adoption for your baby, you might be wondering what it’s like to be adopted. We interviewed Alexa, an 18-year-old adoptee for this blog post. She was excited to share her story because she’s so grateful to her birth mother for choosing adoption!

#5: How to Research Adoption Benefits
Sadly, the number one reason many don’t adopt is because they feel like they can’t afford it. There are so many of adoption benefits available if you know where to look! This blog post gives you info on how to learn about the adoption benefits your employer, insurance, or church offers.

#4: “My Baby’s Adoptive Mom is So Awesome!”
Lifetime is blessed to be able to share this birth mother’s Facebook post: “My baby’s adoptive mom is so awesome! [The adoptive parents] are the most amazing people I have ever had the pleasure of saying that I know…I could not feel more blessed to have found them!”

#3: Coping With Your Adoption Wait
Have you been wondering what you can do to get through your adoption wait? In this post, we shared action steps you can take in order to stay productive during your wait!

#2: How To Get The Counseling You Need During Your Adoption Planning
Choosing adoption for your baby is an emotional event, and every birth mother is going to experience the stages of grief in a different way. This posts shares how Lifetime is able to get you the counseling you need. We can refer you to a licensed third-party counselor or to a peer counselor, for free.

#1: How Long Does It Take to Adopt Twins?
This is a question that we get asked a lot here at Lifetime Adoption Agency Florida! Discover the answer to the question “On average, how long does it take to adopt twins through Lifetime Adoption Agency?”

What was your favorite blog post of the year? Are there any specific topics you’d like to see covered on Lifetime Adoption Agency Florida’s blog in 2018?

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!

Waiting to Adopt? Get Our Holiday Survival Tips

get Lifetime's tips for surviving the holidays while you're waiting to adopt!If you’re in the midst of your adoption wait, the holidays can become a time of added pressure and disappointment. People close to you may mean well but ask questions or make remarks that seem insensitive.

If you’re hopeful adoptive parents waiting for a child, you might be wondering “How are we going to get through the holidays?” Today, Lifetime is sharing 5 tips on how to survive the holidays while in the adoption wait!

1. Talk About It
Trying to hold your emotions inside will only make you feel worse. So, think about talking to a close family member, friend, counselor, or your pastor about what you’re going through. It may be that simply talking about it will raise your spirits so that you can enjoy the holiday festivities.

2. Be Honest
You might be feeling guilty that you’re not happy when everyone around you seems to be in the holiday spirit. You see that people around you are cheerfully celebrating. If you’re feeling down, don’t try to suppress your emotions. Grant yourself permission to cry and be sad. It might help to jot your feelings down in a journal. Decline invites to holiday parties and dinners you’re not up to attending.

3. Do Something for Yourself
Practice some self-care if you’re feeling unhappy during the holidays. This could be a nice long massage, a weekly yoga class, or treating yourself to that pretty dress you’ve been admiring. By doing something for yourself, relaxing, and unwinding, you’ll be better able to handle the hectic holiday season. Everyone deserves a break to re-group every now and then.

4. Help Those in Need
Often, giving back can lift your spirits. There are so many ways to do this, so pick something that feels right to you. You could volunteer at a homeless shelter, donate toys or gifts to a family in need, or even just do something thoughtful for a friend, co-worker, or family member. Helping those in need will give you an amazing feeling!

5. Get Involved
When you’re feeling blue, getting involved in a project or activity may help. “When we were in the adoption wait, I put a fresh coat of paint and got new furniture for our guest bedroom. Doing all this allowed me something to think about other than how sad I felt. And, it paid off! My mom ended up staying in this guest room and helping me out during the very first days home with our newborn son,” shares one Lifetime adoptive mom. Getting involved doesn’t have to mean undertaking such a big project, though. It may be an activity as simple as baking, scrapbooking, knitting, organizing a closet, or making homemade gifts.

Remember, this too shall pass, no matter how you choose to get through the holiday season while you’re waiting to adopt. And you’ll be parents before you know it!

Join a Special Webinar on Understanding the Adoption Tax Credit!

Click to register for the Adoption Tax Credit webinar!If you’re researching your adoption financing choices, you’ve likely heard of the Adoption Tax Credit. If you’ve found it challenging to make sense of how it works or how you can apply it to your taxes, then this webinar is for you!

Join Lifetime’s free adoption webinar on the tax credit next week on Thursday, October 19th at 6:00 pm Eastern. This is sure to be an info-packed webinar, with well-known tax expert, Becky Wilmoth. Wilmoth is an EA (Enrolled Agent) with Bill’s Tax Service. There, she not only advises and prepares taxes but is also one of the only federally licensed tax professionals who have unrestricted rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS. She’s both a licensed tax professional and an Adoption Tax Credit Specialist®. Wilmoth is fully educated and equipped to answer commonly-asked questions about the Adoption Tax Credit!

Here’s the link to register for this information-packed webinar on the Adoption Tax Credit:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5117208859587965954

You can attend our adoption tax credit webinar on your computer, over the phone, or via GoToWebinar’s app from your smartphone. Here are the links to download this app on your device:

GoToWebinar in the iTunes App Store
GoToWebinar in the Google Play store

After you register, you’ll be emailed instructions on how to tune in live. People in any stage of their adoption journey will benefit from learning more about the Adoption Tax Credit!

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.