With infertility rates increasing, more couples are looking to domestic adoptions to satisfy their needs, wants and desires to have a family of their own. Heart to Heart, a Utah adoption agency specializes in helping birthmothers with unplanned pregnancies. They strive to make the domestic adoption process as smooth as possible for birthmothers and adoptive parents. The general domestic adoption process includes:
- Types of Adoption – First, prospective adoptive parents must consider what type of adoption they would prefer. Do they want a private adoption or one that is through a state foster care system? Would they prefer to adopt an older child or a newborn? Do they want contact with the birthparents once the adoption process is complete? Do they want to receive medical history and related information about the birthparents?
- Adoption Professional – The next step for prospective adoptive parents to select a professional adoption agency. While price is a factor to consider, there are several other items that must be taken into consideration, including wait times, disruption rates, hidden fees, financial protection, support, education and guidance.
- Home Study Process – A satisfactory home study completion is necessary – and required – for domestic and private adoptions. This essentially confirms that prospective adoptive parents are able-bodied both mentally and physically to undertake dedication that is required of parenthood. This process also includes collecting medical and financial information, as well as completing a federal criminal background check.
- Adoption Profiles – Adoption agencies require prospective adoptive parents to complete an in-depth profile, which includes photographs and information about the adoptive family. This allows birthmothers to browse through profiles and ultimately choose the best adoptive parents for their babies.
- Waiting Periods – Agencies require home study and adoption profile completion, in addition to an agency-planning questionnaire. The waiting period follows, which can vary from days to years. Adoptive families must prioritize distancing themselves from this process, as patience is a key factor to a successful adoption.
- Match and Contact – Once a birthmother has selected a possible family for her baby’s adoption, Heart to Heart contacts both parties. This can be done in person, via the phone or email. This allows the birth mother to meet the prospective adoptive parents and helps to ensure that they are a good match for her baby’s needs.
- Post-Placement Visits – A social worker will drop in on the adoptive family from time to time. Typically, the family must remain in state with the baby until all required paperwork is approved, which can take from seven to 10 days. These visits are designed to show the court that the baby is adjusting well.
- Finalization – A judge finalizes an adoption. The finalization is often granted after the post-placement visits are complete, all necessary paperwork is in order and both birthparents terminate their parental rights. Once the hearing is concluded, the adoptive parents have official, legal custody of their adoptive child.