Adoptive Parent FAQ

 


Are there really healthy babies and young children available for adoption?

Yes.  A Chosen Child, Inc. successfully places over fifty healthy infants and small children every year , making us one of the busiest agencies in the state of Florida.  In addition to these placements, A Chosen Child also handles the placement of special needs and hard to place children.


How do I qualify to adopt?

The qualification process for adoption is called the Home Study.  This evaluation is conducted by our social worker and will normally take four to six weeks to complete. It will involve criminal background checks, child abuse clearances and an assessment of your ability to meet the needs of an adopted child.  The home study process will also provide you with answers to many of your questions and will educate you about the adoption process and the needs of adoptive children.


How long will I have to wait?

The length of your wait will, to a significant extent, be determined by the type of placement you are seeking.  For instance, if you are seeking to adopt only a boy, or only a girl, this may lengthen your wait since your profile would not be shown to birth mother’s carrying a child of the opposite gender, nor would it be shown to birth mothers carrying a child whose gender is unknown.  Having said that, the average waiting time for a healthy newborn placement is typically nine to eighteen months.


How much does it cost to adopt?

Although costs are often reduced for special needs and hard to place children, total adoption costs for healthy newborns and young children typically ranges from $22K to $24K. These costs would include almost all of the expenses involved in the adoption, such as the home study fees, placement fees, legal fees, and court costs through the finalization.  This figure does not however, include birth parent living and medical expenses which vary from placement to placement.


Can I negotiate the amount of living expense assistance to the birth parent?

Not directly, but you can advise A Chosen Child, Inc. relative to the amount of funds you have available, or consider reasonable, to provide assistance to a birth parent.  In this way, A Chosen Child can locate a match for you where the expenses required by the birth mother are within a range that is comfortable for you.


Will we have a Coordinator specifically assigned to work with us?

Yes, A Chosen Child, Inc. has a full-time Adoptive Parent Coordinator who works exclusively with waiting and matched adoptive families.  Additionally the agency’s Social Workers are available to adoptive parents to address any emotional needs that adoptive families may have during the adoption process.  Our Coordinators are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


What if we already have a matched situation with a birth mother we located on our own, can we still work with A Chosen Child for the placement?

Absolutely.  A Chosen Child, Inc. will be able to provide important support services to you, and to your birth mother.


Does your A Chosen Child handle international adoptions?

Patricia L. Strowbridge, Esq. BCS is authorized by law to assist families in inter-country adoption, however A Chosen Child does not actively handle international placements at this time.  The agency staff can assist you with referrals to reputable agencies that can help you with an international adoption plan.


I have heard about Safe Haven Babies, does your agency participate in the placement of these babies?

Yes, A Chosen Child, Inc. is a designated receiving agency for Safe Haven Babies (babies who are abandoned at hospitals, fire stations, or emergency medical services stations prior to seven days of age).  A Chosen Child, Inc. will arrange for the adoption of all Safe Haven babies referred to the agency.  Typically A Chosen Child receives 1-3 Safe Haven babies per year.


Will we get to meet the birth parents?

In many situations a meeting can be arranged between the birth parent(s) and the adoptive parent(s) prior to the birth of the baby.  Adoptive parents may also get an opportunity to visit with the birth mother at the hospital when the baby is born. 


How much information will be given to us about the birth mother?

You will be provided with a detailed social and medical history, the typed birth parent interview, the results of the birth mother’s drug testing and the birth mother’s pre-natal and delivery records with  her identifying information redacted to protect her privacy.


How much information about our family will be provided to the birth parents?

Adoption is a confidential process under Florida law. Ordinarily, limited non-identifying information is provided to the birth parent(s).  If you elect to participate in a more open adoption, additional identifying information will be provided to the birth parent(s) in order to facilitate that type of arrangement.


Does A Chosen Child require Birth Mother’s to submit to Drug and Alcohol Testing?

Yes, all birth mothers who decide to work with A Chosen Child, Inc. prior to the birth of the baby will be asked to participate in drug and alcohol testing. It is important, however, for you to understand that the results of drug and alcohol testing provide a limited picture of the birth mother’s choices relative to the use of substances during the pregnancy, and do not guarantee that the baby has not been exposed to drugs or alcohol during the pregnancy.


What if the birth mother changes her mind, will we lose money?

If the birth mother elects to parent her child, there is a possibility that monies will be lost as a result of that decision.  Living expenses that have been provided to the birth mother during the pregnancy and some court costs, social work fees and other expenses incurred in preparation for the placement, may be at risk.


Will we need to hire a lawyer?

While you are certainly free to retain legal counsel if you feel that it would be beneficial to you, the Executive Director of A Chosen Child, Inc. Patricia L. Strowbridge, Esq., BCS is a Board Certified attorney who is a Fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, and a past President and currently a Director of the Florida Adoption Council.  Her representation of A Chosen Child, Inc. to ensure successful placements will typically serve to fully protect your interest in the placement as well.


How long after we receive our child will the adoption be finalized?

Under Florida law adoptions may not be finalized any sooner than 90 days after the placement of the child into the prospective adoptive home.  Under normal circumstances, your adoption will finalize shortly after the 90th day.


How does A Chosen Child handle letters and pictures between us and our birth parents after we receive our placement?

We have just begun the process of maintaining contact between birth and adoptive families through ChildConnect.com. This encrypted website will allow birth and adoptive families to post pictures, videos and send letters using A Chosen Child as an intermediary for privacy and protection. This program will be a part of your placement package and you will have access to the site for 18 years.  For more information on how Child Connect works please contact Linda.

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