Life Focus Center

Effective Solutions for Life's Challenges

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ADOPTIVE PARENTS

 

Did you know….

* If you are thinking about adoption, you need to get the word out to as many people as possible.  Many adoptions happen in this manner and are the most cost-effective. 

 

* You might tell your friends, colleagues, members of your place of worship, those who provide any kind of services to you: doctor, lawyer, hair   dresser, teachers, neighbors….since they might know of a potential birth mother, and hence, you save the cost of an official “match.”

 

* Some adoptions (in CA) can be completed without hiring an attorney. However, such a determination needs to be made with caution.

 

* Birth fathers have rights that must be protected in the adoption process. It is wise to hire an adoption attorney to help with the termination of birth father rights.  You should never ignore this step, nor work with anyone who is not aware of the importance of terminating birth father rights.

 

* Adoption laws differ from State-to-State.  Many adoptions occur between States.  Oftentimes, birth mothers come to CA from another State due to the ease of adoption law in CA, and the adoptive parents may also come from out-of-State. 

 

* In any adoption that occurs between States, an Interstate Compact Agreement (ICPC) is needed. 

 

* If you are from out-of-State, and your birth mother resides in CA, you still may complete your adoption in CA which may save you time and money.  You do not need to return to California to finalize your adoption.

 

* In Independent Adoptions in the State of CA you need the services of an Adoption Service Provider to help you move your adoption forward more quickly and to protect the rights of the birth parents (which also protects some of your rights).

 

* According to the laws of CA, if your birth mother is in counseling or has been in counseling at any time during the past two years, or is or was on psycho tropic medication, she needs to be seen by a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist for a competency evaluation before she can sign the consent.

 

*  If you are doing an Independent Adoption, you may complete your home study either before or after placement unless you come from out-of-State. In that case your home study needs be finished before you arrive in California.

 

*  If you come from out-of-State, or you are doing an Agency adoption, you need to have your home study complete before you can be matched with a birth mother.

 

*  It may be more cost-effective for you to complete your home study prior to being matched, because once you have been matched you can only go through the state agency.  For example, in CA, the cost of a home study varies from one private agency to another ($1500 on up) vs completed by the State, where the cost is close to $3000.

 

*  Post-placement visits are required and usually are completed by the Agency who completed your home study.  Again, costs vary.

 

*  It is in your best interest to check the credentials of any adoption entity you are considering.  Not all provide the same services. Costs vary.  Make sure you are clear on whether or not the fees quoted are all-inclusive or not.  Get references!  Do not skip this important step.

 

*  A reputable adoption entity should be able to get a proper match for you within 6 months to a year.  Exceptions always apply.  Find out what you can do to move your adoption along. Find out the policy about procedures should your birth mother change her mind.  Working closely with a birth mother, and your active involvement with her, helps to retain a placement.  Keep in mind that no one can predict the outcome of hormones!  Skilled birth parent counselors can determine with great accuracy whether or not a birth mother is committed, but even with the most trained eye, hormones throw a curve from time-to-time.

 

*  A quick match might not be best for you.  You need to get used to the idea of having a baby.  After all, a pregnancy is nine months long, and gives a couple an opportunity to prepare emotionally and financially.  In addition, you need a chance to go through the tons of paperwork given to you by whichever place you chose to represent you. 

 

*  You should never feel “put upon” to accept a possible birth mother who doesn’t fit your requirements.  For example, many people will accept a match with a birth mother who has used drugs and many will not.  Many are comfortable with a bi-racial baby; others are not.  It is your choice.  You should not be penalized for turning down a birth mother you are not comfortable accepting.  If it is a reputable adoption entity, another birth mother, more appropriate for you, will come along.  At the same time, realize that the more particular you are, the longer your wait time may be.

 

*  Our policy at Life Focus Center is to work with anyone who is appropriate for adoption regardless of gender preference, race, religion or any other perceived differences. 

 

*  In California, adoptive parents may be single or married.  The gender preference of a person, or a couple, does not prohibit an adoption.  The birth parent/s chose the person/s whose profile has the most appeal to them.  Some private agencies may chose not to work with gay couples.

 

* Adoptive singles or couples do have to be mature, committed, psychologically sound, financially stable and healthy.  A background check is completed on all applicants.  Any and all arrest records must be disclosed as must all major health concerns.  No applicants with a history of abusive behavior, or failure to provide child support, need apply.