HOPING TO ADOPT

Learn more about growing your family through adoption.

  • Orientation
  • Home Study
  • Placement
  • Support
  • Post Placement
adoption orientation

Orientation

We know that the adoption process can be an intimidating and overwhelming experience.

If you are new to adoption, there are many resources here for you to give you the knowledge you need to be empowered on your adoption journey.

adoption home study

Home Study

The Adoptive Pre-Placement Evaluation, generally called a Home Study” help prepare you for adoption and ensure you meet agency and state requirements.

We accept completed adoptive home studies from other sources that adhere to similar professional adoption standards as Heart To Heart Adoptionst

adoption placement

Placement

We know that the goal of any adoptive family is to add a child to their family as quickly and easily as possible. While adoption is sometimes unpredictable, our goal at Heart to Heart Adoptions is to help you realize your dreams.

Throughout the entire process we will make sure your needs are being met to help you grow the family you always dreamed of having.

adoption support

Support

Our agency understands the challenges involved in this complicated procedure.  We are dedicated to helping both birth parents and adoptive families through this complex process.

Our adoptive family department will serve as your advocate and guide throughout your application, matching, and placement. We are always ready to offer assistance and make this process easier.

 Many members of our staff have adopted children themselves, and have worked in the adoption field for many years.  We understand the psychological, emotional, and financial aspects of adoption.  Please discuss any questions or concerns you have with our knowledgeable staff

adoption post placement

Post-Placement

HeartsConnect is a safe, private, confidential way for adoptive families to communicate and share media with birth families. You will have your own group through the web based and mobil app.

Heart to Heart has a Post Placement Department that handles communication between birth parents and adoptive families. This includes forwarding packages, pictures, and letters to the birthmother from the adoptive family and vice versa.  It can also include setting up and supporting conference calls between birth parents and adoptive families and facilitating visits.

Our staff can answer questions and facilitate communication for as long as you desire.

ANSWERS TO COMMON QUESTIONS

  • Orientation
  • Home Study
  • Placement
  • Support
  • Post Placement
adoption orientation

Orientation

We know that the adoption process can be an intimidating and overwhelming experience.

If you are new to adoption, there are many resources here for you to give you the knowledge you need to be empowered on your adoption journey.

adoption home study

Home Study

The Adoptive Pre-Placement Evaluation, generally called a Home Study” help prepare you for adoption and ensure you meet agency and state requirements.

We accept completed adoptive home studies from other sources that adhere to similar professional adoption standards as Heart To Heart Adoptionst

adoption placement

Placement

We know that the goal of any adoptive family is to add a child to their family as quickly and easily as possible. While adoption is sometimes unpredictable, our goal at Heart to Heart Adoptions is to help you realize your dreams.

Throughout the entire process we will make sure your needs are being met to help you grow the family you always dreamed of having.

adoption support

Support

Our agency understands the challenges involved in this complicated procedure.  We are dedicated to helping both birth parents and adoptive families through this complex process.

Our adoptive family department will serve as your advocate and guide throughout your application, matching, and placement. We are always ready to offer assistance and make this process easier.

 Many members of our staff have adopted children themselves, and have worked in the adoption field for many years.  We understand the psychological, emotional, and financial aspects of adoption.  Please discuss any questions or concerns you have with our knowledgeable staff

adoption post placement

Post-Placement

HeartsConnect is a safe, private, confidential way for adoptive families to communicate and share media with birth families. You will have your own group through the web based and mobil app.

Heart to Heart has a Post Placement Department that handles communication between birth parents and adoptive families. This includes forwarding packages, pictures, and letters to the birthmother from the adoptive family and vice versa.  It can also include setting up and supporting conference calls between birth parents and adoptive families and facilitating visits.

Our staff can answer questions and facilitate communication for as long as you desire.

Heart to Heart has high standards for our adoptive families. When it comes to COVID, we absolutely follow the rules and guidelines of the hospital where the birth mother is delivering. We work in many states and find some areas more strict than others. We expect that our Heart to Heart families will abide by the rules and mandates issued by the birth mother’s state and hospital. Additionally, as circumstances will undoubtedly change throughout the match and placement, we expect our families to follow the professional guidance of their assigned case manager and the policies of our agency.

Our agency is unique because there is a minimal application fee of only $500 and we encourage families to apply with multiple agencies.

We also have a low-risk policy.  If you have a failed placement, only 10% of your adoption fees are at risk. There are no add–ons or surprise fees at the end.

There are three types of expenses that are associated with our adoptions.

The first is the ADOPTION FEE. The full agency fee for all situations is $46,000. Based on certain situations and family income, some active families may apply and be approved for a subsidy. Additionally, the fee on specific special needs situations fee may be lowered.

The second expense is MEDICAL COSTS.  Some of our birth mothers do not have medical insurance. The adoptive family assumes all of the medical expenses that are not otherwise covered.  This includes doctor visits, emergency room visits, hospital costs, and pediatrician costs. The medical expenses can vary by state and hospital. Most families will pay between $3,000 – $10,000 for a full medical situation.

The third fee is the LEGAL FEES. The majority of the time, the legal fees for placement are built directly into the full agency fee. In rare state-to-state circumstances, additional legal fees may come into play. If this is the case, you will know prior to being matched those additional legal costs.

Almost all babies that have Native American heritage require additional legal work. The birth mother is required to go before a judge and state she understands the laws regarding the Indian Child Welfare Act and that she is choosing to place her child outside of the tribe. This is usually an additional cost of $4,500.

The fee for a HOME STUDY in Utah is $1000, which includes post-placement visits.

We will discuss your adoption budget with you before you become active with our agency.

We will discuss all fees associated with each particular situation with you before we show your profile to any potential match situations.

Wait times vary with each situation. We don’t know in advance who will be calling to place their baby for adoption. The more specific preferences an adoptive family has, the more their wait time will increase. We find that couples waiting for African American babies don’t wait more than 6-9 months. Couples waiting for a Caucasian baby don’t wait more than 12-18 months. Prospective adoptive families will wait a little longer if they fall into one or more of the following categories.

  • Want a specific gender
  • Cannot pay for medical costs
  • Are single
  • Are older
  • Have many biological children
  • Live in a state that has laws that are difficult to work with

We have even had families get matched and have a placement within days of becoming active. The important thing to remember is that the baby that is right for your family will come in his or her own time.

The Adoptive Pre-Placement Evaluation generally called a “Home Study,” is to help prepare you for adoption and ensure that you meet agency and state requirements.

If you already have a current home study, we will assure you that it is in compliance with Heart to Heart standards.

The Home Study consists of one or more interviews, as well as written information provided by you and others. You may ask your social worker questions at any time during the Home Study process. The written material includes medical background, information about your marriage and family, parenting styles, and finances. Reference letters will also be requested from 3 individuals, including 1 related family member and 2 non-family member references.

We accept completed adoptive home studies from other sources that adhere to similar professional adoption standards as Heart to Heart Adoptions. In addition, if we complete an adoptive home study for you, we are happy to forward it to other adoption agencies with which you may be working.

Yes, we do place with single parents.  However, most of our birth families are looking for a two-parent family. This creates a much longer wait time for single parents hoping to adopt.

Open adoption means the openness of communication and contact between birth parents and adoptive families following placement. Heart to Heart helps to facilitate and maintain a healthy relationship between the birth parents and the adoptive family for the best long-term interest of the child. We take into consideration both parties' desires and seek adoptive families who are willing to have as much contact and communication as the birth parents desire over time. That may mean becoming more open with communication and contact as time goes by.

Closed adoption means the birth family and adoptive family do not have any direct contact. There is a myth that closed adoptions are safer. In actuality, closed adoptions are based on fear and control. Heart to Heart does not advocate for adoptive families who prefer closed adoptions.
 

Most adoptions fall somewhere in between open and closed. This is called a semi-open adoption. In this situation, neither the adoptive family or the birth parent has the other’s direct contact information.  In these situations, Heart to Heart acts as a facilitator, by receiving information from one party, and forwarding it on to the other. Common ways to stay in touch include pictures, letters, e-mails, blogs, or conference calls with a third party, or using the social media portal, HeartsConnect.

As with all relationships, they evolve and change. Some adoptions that start off one way, may turn out totally differently. The child you love will have questions, characteristics, and a history that they will want to know about. The more open the relationship is, the better for all parties.

Although we will do all we can to place a child with your family, we cannot guarantee placement. Many factors influence the selection process that includes, but are not limited to, the number of approved applicants, the number of children available for adoption, the birth parents, and your preferences.  However, we will present your profile as often as we can to birth parents that match your criteria. Obviously the broader your criteria, the more often you will be presented.

We will ask permission and let you know each time we present your profile. Once your profile is selected by a birth mother, we generally arrange for a conference call between you and the birth parents. If you both are pleased with each other, we consider you matched.

When you are matched, you begin to share the financial responsibility for the birth mother with the agency. At that time, you will work with our financial department to fully understand all financial obligations associated with that situation. We generally charge half the overall fee at the match, and the other half at the time of placement.

We primarily advertise our adoption services to potential birth mothers on the internet. We also have many expectant mothers that are referred to us from previous clients.

We work with a very a variety of women. They range in age from 14 to 44 years old. We work with women of all different races and backgrounds. Each woman has a unique personality. One thing they have in common is the love they have for their child and the courage to try to give their baby the best future possible.

The average age of our expectant mothers is about 26-28 years old. Many of them have other children that they parent. Some have had their children removed from their homes. A good portion of the expectant mothers is coming to us in a crisis. Many are homeless, abused, have unsupportive families, are using drugs, or have some mental health problems.

Many prospective adoptive families want to know what the mother is going to do and when. We don’t know because our expectant mothers don’t know. Most have never done this before. They don’t know how they will feel or how they will react to those feelings. It is key for everyone to remember that we need to be flexible and accept things as they happen.

The hospital time is a time of great stress for the birth mother and she needs great flexibility. We talk with each birth mother beforehand about her desires for the hospital. This includes:

  • Who does she want in the room during labor?
  • Who does she want in the room during delivery?
  • Does she want to hold the baby right after birth?
  • Who will get the second hospital band? (The band that allows admittance into the nursery. The birth mother will get the first.)
  • How much time does she want to spend with the baby in the hospital?
  • How much does she want to visit with the adoptive family in the hospital?

We will tell you the birth mother's wishes before you go to the hospital.  However, it is very important to remember that the birth mother's wishes will probably change once she enters the hospital.  It is important to be flexible. Remember, most birth mothers have never done this before.  It is impossible for your birth mother to predict how she will feel or react to any given situation. Your case manager will be in contact with you and guide you throughout this process.

It is good to hear from the staff member that has been working with your birth mother to find out what topics might be good or bad to discuss.

It is good to start with questions about their pregnancy and how they are feeling. Asking about their interests, their future plans, and friends and family are generally safe topics.

It is important for the birth mother to know that you care about her, not just the baby.

Topics such as other children or the birth father may be tougher topics. It is good to share your interests with her as well. Try to find common ground.

Prior to placement, only very small tokens of appreciation or greeting should be given. After placement, a more sentimental gift and card can be given. It is never appropriate to give a large or expensive gift that may appear as coercion.

This is an exciting time and can take place after a successful supervisory period. The supervisory period is generally 6 months, but it can vary from state to state, depending on state laws.  Some states vary. After finalization, the adoption agency will no longer be the legal guardian of your child.

You are responsible for any legal fees associated with finalization. You are free to select independent counsel for all necessary adoption proceedings.  We encourage you to find the attorney or agency within 30 days of your placement that will handle your finalization. In some areas, we can make recommendations.

 

Adoption is a lifelong process. After finalization, you are done with the legal aspects of adoption. You will still need to maintain your relationship with the birth family and address the many issues that come up as your child grows and develops.

It is our philosophy that adoption should never be kept from the child. We encourage families to talk about the adoption and the child's birth family from infancy on. As the child gets older it will be a topic that is natural to discuss.

Each child and each family are different. We encourage you to be open and honest but speak at a level the child understands. There are adoptive family social media groups where families share their experiences. There are several books available on that topic. If you have any specific concerns or questions, please feel free to contact us.

A good portion of the families that come to us to adopt have some type of fertility issue. Couples who have tried to have a biological child unsuccessfully, or know they will be unable to have children, go through a major loss in their lives. As with all loss, it should be addressed. Infertility is a loss that is often not discussed or recognized which can make it that much harder.

An adoption is a great option for those who cannot have children biologically. However, it should not be pursued until the loss of biological children has been addressed. Adoption is available to build a family not to replace the desired child. Adoption is also an emotional and stressful process. We encourage families not to continue fertility treatment or pregnancy while pursuing adoption.

As you move from infertility to adoption you will probably experience some or all of the stages of grief and loss. They are listed here. As a couple, you should address each of these and see where you feel you are in the process.

  • Stage 1 – Denial
  • Stage 2 – Anger
  • Stage 3 – Bargaining
  • Stage 4 – Sadness
  • Stage 5 – Acceptance

It is important to have both partners discuss this openly with each other. It is also important to realize that each person moves through grief and loss at different stages. Both parents must be ready to move forward. No one should ever adopt because it will make their spouse happy. If you are unsure about your feelings you can join an infertility group, talk to other couples, talk to a counselor, or read books on the topic.

OUR AMAZING ADOPTIVE FAMILY TEAM

Luci

Lisa

Darla