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Archive for family for my baby

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

How to Prepare for Your First Meeting With the Adoptive Parents

Pregnant woman talking on the phone at a parkYou’ve put a lot of time and effort put into choosing the perfect family for your baby. You’ve read profile after profile until you finally found “the one.” It can be a big relief to have that part of your adoption planning behind you.
 
That is until you realize now it’s time to meet them. If the thought of meeting them has you feeling stressed, you’re not alone. The adoptive couple is very nervous too because they want to make a good first impression.
 
Your Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime will help you get ready for that first meeting or phone call with an adoptive couple. She can also join the phone call, too, to help you begin the conversation and move it along.
 

Here are three helpful tips that’ll have you feeling more prepared for your first meeting with the adoptive couple:

Be Natural

Since you’ll need to create a connection with your baby’s potential adoptive parents, just be yourself. They’re just as nervous as you. The adoptive couple isn’t there to judge you, they want to get to know you and to show you that they’re dependable.
 
The more calm and open-minded you can be, the better. This will set a good tone as you get to know each other. You’re seeking a genuine connection because this will be a lifelong relationship.
 

Choose a Neutral Location

Try to meet in a neutral setting if possible, one where you’ll feel comfortable. You might choose to meet in a spot such as your favorite restaurant or shop. We recommend that you don’t meet up in the adoptive couple’s home or your home because it can create pressure. If you don’t live close enough to the adoptive couple to meet, we recommend talking on the phone for your first meeting.
 
If it’s hard to break the ice or the conversation goes off course, a public setting will give you more to talk about. Small talk can help make everyone comfortable and lead to a more meaningful discussion.
 

Ask Questions

You’re in charge of this meeting, so feel free to ask as many questions as you want. After looking at their profile, you can try to get a better feel for who they are and what they have to offer. Use the information in their profile to dig a little deeper. When you’re getting ready for the meeting, we recommend writing down the questions you’d like to ask. Then, you can add more questions as you think of them.
 
The most important thing to remember as you prepare for this first meeting is that it’s up to you. If you don’t feel comfortable with the adoptive couple, you don’t have to choose them. Adoption isn’t easy, and the hardest part can be making sure you’re choosing the right adoptive family for your baby. So, don’t stress, take your time, and remember that you are in control.
 

Questions about adoptive couples, or about adoption in general?

Call or text Lifetime Adoption Agency at 1-800-923-6784 anytime of the day or night!

Is Adoption What’s Best for My Baby?

Pregnant woman wonders, 'is adoption what's best for my baby?'Are you pregnant and considering adoption? You’re not alone; we’re here to help you. Lifetime Adoption Agency helps expectant mothers in Florida and across to the U.S. explore adoption in a supportive, safe, and personalized environment. We’re here to provide you with up-to-date adoption information and support.
 
Discovering that you’re pregnant unexpectedly can be a very emotional time. No matter where you live, we can connect you with a hopeful adoptive couple who wants to provide your child with a stable, loving home.
 

Why Do Women Choose Adoption?

Are you wondering “is adoption what’s best for my baby?” There are many reasons why a woman decides to make an adoption plan for her baby. Overall though, women choose adoption because they want the best for their baby. Here are a few common reasons why a pregnant woman or mother might choose adoption:
 

  • Not ready to become a parent right now
  • Not financially able to provide for a baby
  • Still in school
  • Doesn’t want to be a single parent
  • Desires the best for her child

How Will My Baby Benefit from Adoption?

If you’re not ready to become a parent, you can choose an adoptive family for your baby through our Florida adoption agency. Adoption can provide your baby with many things, such as:
 

  • Safe, stable, loving home life
  • Parents who are emotionally ready to care for a child
  • Loving grandparents and relatives
  • Financially stable parents
  • Opportunities for a happy, fulfilling life
  • Opportunity for a quality education

Women reads adoption profiles from hopeful parents

Getting Started with Adoption

After you have learned all about adoption and have decided to move forward, our adoption agency in Florida is here to help you create your adoption plan.
 
An “adoption plan” describes your wants and needs for the adoption process. It includes your preferences on the adoptive family you’re hoping for, the level of contact you’d like in the future, and your adoption hospital plan.
 

Choosing a Family

A big part of the adoption process is selecting the adoptive family for your baby. Lifetime’s hopeful adoptive couples have been pre-screened and are approved to adopt a baby in the U.S. Plus, they’re excited to provide a safe, stable, loving home for your baby.
 
After you select your favorite adoptive family, we encourage you to speak with them. During the phone call, you can ask them questions about their faith, family traditions, parenting style, family background, and more.
 

We’re Here to Support You

Lifetime’s Adoption Coordinators are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We’re happy to discuss your options, answer your questions, and help you make the decision that’s best for you and your baby.

Just call or text Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784 anytime, day or night.

How to Create a Connection With the Family You Chose

Once you choose adoptive parents for your baby, you’ll move forward in what’s called an adoption “match.” Through modern adoption, you have options on how you’d like to communicate with them throughout your pregnancy.

You’ll be part of each other’s lives for many years to come, so we encourage you to get to know the adoptive parents you’ve picked. Doing so can make you feel positive and confident in your decision.

Today, Lifetime Adoption Agency is sharing 4 effective ways to connect with the adoptive couple:

Birth mother chats on the phone with adoptive family

By Talking on the Phone

We want your adoption match to be a cooperative (and conversational) journey between you and the adoptive parents. Talking with the adoptive couple on the phone allows you to create a two-way conversation where you can share your wishes. Not sure what to say when you only talk with the adoptive couple on the phone? You might share about your pregnancy, how involved you’d like to be in your child’s future, and what you want for your child as they grow up. Your Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime is here to help you during this process.

By Emailing or Texting Back & Forth

Are you intimidated at the thought of talking on the phone with the couple? You might try starting out by emailing or texting back and forth with them. Think of it like this: you’re getting to know a new friend, and you share one of the most important people in your lives in common.

By Seeing Them In Person

Lifetime recommends having a face-to-face meeting with the adoptive couple. Visiting with them will make all of you feel more comfortable and familiar with each other. Meeting up allows you to see that they care about you, not just your baby. Choose to meet in a casual, public location to start, so there’s no pressure. “I’m so glad I met up with my daughter Hailey’s adoptive parents before giving birth! It allowed me to feel much more comfortable with them once the time came to deliver her,” says one birth mother, Jessica.

Birth mother in the hospital

During Your Hospital Stay

In open adoptions, many adoptive families wish to be at the hospital when their baby is born. But it’s totally up to you whether or not they’re allowed in the delivery room. Some birth mothers decide to allow the adoptive mother to be present.

We recommend that you decide how your hospital stay will go down before you go into labor. Here a few things to think about for your hospital stay:

  • How much time do you want alone with your baby after he or she is born?
  • Would you like to have a family member or friend with you as support?
  • When it comes time to go home, would you like to leave before your child’s adoptive family, after, or at the same time?

Your Baby, Your Choices

You can decide how much contact you’d like to have with the adoptive couple before you give birth. If you’d like to have an open adoption with visits later on, try to take the time to get to know the adoptive family before your baby is born. Many birth mothers have shared with us that getting to know the adoptive couple made them feel more confident in their decision. It allowed them to realize that this was the right family for their baby.

Lifetime is always here for you to talk to about your baby, the process, any concerns you have, and so much more.

Just call or text us at 1-800-923-6784.

Get Advice on How to Pick the Perfect Parents for Your Baby

Pregnant woman tries to pick the perfect parents for her babyLots of women ask us how to pick the right adoptive family. The answer is different for everyone, but it always starts with asking yourself what’s important to you. This will help you choose a family that best matches your wants and dreams for your baby.

If you’re worried about whether your baby will be safe with the adoptive couple, know that Lifetime Adoption only works with families who are approved to adopt a baby in the U.S. Every one of our adoptive families have been pre-screened, had their backgrounds checked, and have proven they’re emotionally, physically, and financially equipped to provide a safe, stable, and loving home for your baby.

Here are 5 practical tips to follow as you search for the perfect parents for your baby:

1. Don’t Rush Yourself

While you might like to find a family during your pregnancy so you can begin getting to know them, make sure to take your time in finding a couple who is the right match for you and your baby. Don’t feel like you have to rush into a decision because your due date is approaching. You’re able to choose a family after your baby is born, too. It’s never too late!

2. Consider Open Adoption

If you want to have a very open adoption relationship, you might want to view families who have already adopted and have an ongoing relationship with their child’s birth mother. When you see a couple who remain in contact with their child’s birth mother, it’s a good sign that they’d be willing to have an open adoption relationship with you as well.

3. Remain Flexible

You won’t know exactly how much and what type of post-adoption contact you’ll want until you’ve placed your baby with his or her adoptive parents. During the planning stages of the adoption, some women feel like they’d like to visit with the adoptive family twice a year. But after placement, they decide that once a year is enough. It’s important to have an adoptive family who is open to that possibility and willing to be flexible. You might want to talk with the adoptive couple about leaving some room for flexibility in your post-adoption contact.

4. Talk to More Than One Couple

You might wish to speak with more than one adoptive family, even if it is just for comparison. It’s your right to talk to more than one couple if you want to. Some birth mothers know right away that the adoptive family they’ve selected is the perfect fit. Others want to talk to several adoptive couples to compare. This helps them make sure that their top pick is really the right family.

5. Trust Your Intuition

If you start to see “red flags” at any time that this might not be the right family for your baby, do something about it. Let your Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime know of your doubts. In the matching phase of your adoption planning, you’re not obligated to any one couple. If you start to feel uncomfortable, speak up and think about choosing another family.

How Do I Know My Baby Will Be Safe?

Adoptive family and children on the beach in FloridaWe know that you want to pick the perfect adoptive family for your baby. When you’re looking at adoptive parent profiles, they’ll probably all say things that you like, and appear to be nice and friendly.

But, as one woman says it, “how do I know these couples are going to be good parents? How can I know for sure whether my baby will be safe?”

Keep reading to get insider info about the background checks and intensive screening that everyone has to get in order to adopt!

 

How Do the Adoptive Families Get Evaluated?

An adoption professional will screen and evaluate the hopeful adoptive couple. In-depth screenings and background checks are performed, and the couple will have a social worker visit them at home. The social worker is there to check out whether their house is a safe place for a baby or child. The adoptive couple is interviewed by the social worker, who asks questions to make sure they’re qualified and ready to be parents.

The adoptive couple has to pass criminal background checks, prove their income through payroll stubs or tax records, and get physicals to make sure they’re healthy.

Here’s a quick list of what’s included in the evaluation process to adopt a child:

  • Background checks
  • Multiple interviews with each adopting person
  • Medical history
  • Questions about the stability of a couple’s relationship, their family, and discipline practices
  • Personal references
  • Criminal record, child abuse, and FBI clearances
  • Physical exams
  • Income tax records
  • A tour of their home and surroundings

All of this combined is how Lifetime knows that each adoptive couple has good morals, is financially secure, and in a stable marriage. Before they can adopt, Lifetime adoptive couples are required to pass an intense screening process. As you can tell, you can be sure your baby is going to a safe and loving home with Lifetime!

And it doesn’t stop at placement. After your baby goes home with the adoptive family, the social worker and agency will conduct follow-up interviews and visits. They’ll ensure that your child continues to flourish. A regular part of every Lifetime adoption is phone conversations, doctor’s reports, updates, and pictures.

Do you have questions about adoption? Lifetime is available 24/7; you can text or call us at 1-800-923-6784.

6 YouTube Channels for Women Thinking About Adoption

watching videos of birth mothers sharing their storiesWhen you’re thinking about adoption for your child, you’ll probably deal with a wide range of emotions. And, you’ll probably have lots of questions about what type of adoption is best for you. Know that Lifetime is just a phone call or text message away to answer your questions. You can reach us anytime, at
1-800-923-6784.

But, we realize too that sometimes you’re not ready to talk or text. When it comes to adoption, Youtube can be a great source of info. These 6 YouTube channels can give you encouragement, support, and info on what to expect as you go through the adoption process:

1. BraveLove hopes to change the way people think about adoption by producing honest and informative videos of birth mothers sharing their stories. Hear firsthand from women who chose a loving, eager adoptive family for their children.

2. Melissa Link: She’s a filmmaker and birth mother who created a documentary on her experience of placing her child for adoption. She shares about learning of her pregnancy, telling her family, and deciding on adoption. Her documentary has helped many birth mothers confirm that their adoption decision was the right one.

3. Beauty Amidst the Ashes: This channel’s goal is to educate people about adoption. They have tons of videos of birth mothers telling how their adoption process went and sharing their stories. These birth mothers come from many different backgrounds and situations and hope that their personal stories can encourage and support women thinking about adoption.

4. Lifetime: Our YouTube channel covers open adoption from every side, including yours. We have videos covering the adoption process from beginning to end, which can help answer any of your questions about the process. Make sure to check out the adoption videos that hopeful adoptive couples have made, too. Watching them is a great way to learn more about potential parents for your baby.

5. Mrs. Marshelle: She’s actually an adoptive mother, but she has some videos that’ll give you a peek into how an open adoption works in the real world. These videos feature her and her children visiting with their birth mothers.

6. Binti: This channel has interviews of birth mothers, which is great because you can learn from their experiences. Plus, you can learn about options you have with modern adoption that you maybe didn’t know existed! The birth mothers in Binti’s videos answer questions about a wide range of topics, from contact with the adoptive family to how involved the birth father is.

Lifetime Adoption Agency Florida is here to help you as you decide whether adoption’s the best choice for you.

Call or text us whenever you have questions or are ready to learn more: 1-800-923-6784.

“How do I know my baby is going into a good home?”

get Lifetime's answer to the question '"How do I know my baby is going into a good home?'Question: “Right now, I’m 30 weeks pregnant, and I’m looking at adoptive families on your site. They all look friendly, and I like what they write, but how do I know my baby is going into a good home? How do I know the parents are good people?”

Answer: Lifetime Adoption Agency Florida is fully licensed and we do an in-depth screening of each of our adoptive families. That’s how we know that they’re financially secure and stable couples in a solid marriage. They’ve passed criminal background checks, have proven their income via tax records and payroll stubs, and have been declared healthy by doctor physicals.

Couples hoping to adopt also have to be asked lots of questions from a social worker, who visits their home to make sure it’s ready for a baby and to interview them. We do all of this so that you can be rest assured that the adoptive couples you see on our site are approved, screened, and questioned. They also attend adoption courses, so that they understand your need for future communication in what’s known as an “open adoption.”

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!

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: