Working With Us Before the Match

Understand the Law
Make sure you understand your local adoption law. This may vary from county to county within a state. Talk to other parents that have adopted or join an adoptive parent support group. The adoption agency or social worker that did your homestudy should understand adoption law and you can always meet with an adoption attorney. It is important to remember in some areas of the country that adoption law is complicated and sometimes convoluted. It may even defy common sense.

If you finalize in your local county, know what expenses are permissible and know if it makes a difference whether you do an agency adoption or an attorney adoption. Sometimes living expenses are not allowed in your home state but it is not a problem if you finalize in another state where they are allowed. And sometimes this depends on whether you use an adoption agency or attorney to do your legal work. Know this information before you choose a birth mother because some birth mother situations may not work for you. This is why we recommend that you work with us in conjunction with your local adoption agency or attorney. The last thing you want to do is get into a good situation and find out it’s more complicated legally (and thus more expensive) than you had planned. This is your responsibility. We are not attorneys and do not understand all the laws in all the states.

Assess your Budget
Do an honest assessment of your financial resources. This may include savings, equity, help from within your families or loans. Do not pick a situation whose estimated expenses stretch your budget. Unanticipated expenses are possible or things can go wrong and you may have to start again.

Your money must be relatively liquid. Most adoption agencies require their fee up front and in cash. We do not recommend borrowing money unless you are at the end of an adoption and it looks very good.

Have Realistic Expectations
A crisis pregnancy is just that—a crisis. And if it’s a crisis for a birth mother, you can believe it will also be a crisis for you as an adoptive parent. Do not expect things to go smoothly; instead, expect a roller-coaster ride. Most adoptions have some ups and downs.

Pray for Guidance
It has been our experience that God is a big fan of adoption. Ask Him for help. Answering prayers is one of his specialties.

Advertising
The first step to getting your baby is to find a birth mother who wants to place her baby for adoption. We do extensive adoption advertising looking for such women. But there is more to finding a birth mother than just finding someone who says they want to do an adoption. We get numerous phone calls each day from women who say they are interested in adoption. They are motivated by many different reasons, often very complex reasons. We do our best to screen out those who are sincere from those who are not. We use a profiling system based on our experience over the years, and we have become very good at this. While we will work with any birth mother who says she wants to do adoption, we will not always work with them on their own terms. Some cases appear to be too high risk–it is not fair to the adoptive parents to put forth large sums of money into living expenses when experience has shown that the birth mother has only a small likelihood of following through with her adoption plan.

We require all birth mothers to prove they are pregnant. They will send us verification or we may do a three-way call with her doctor or both. We like to get medical paperwork but because of the HEPA law few doctors will ready cooperate. A local adoption agency or attorney will have more luck with this than we will. The birth mother then fills out a preliminary intake. This gives us the basics of the situation. It also helps us screen out girls that don’t know their own mind or that might be scammers. Then each birth mother fills out an extensive social-medical background form. Birth mothers that cooperate to this point we consider very serious. We then review the paperwork looking for red flags in the case. Usually we will come back with a couple of questions for the birth mother to answer--to clarify an issue or two. If things still look good, we consider her ready to match.