Archive for April, 2019

The Ins and Outs of Infant Adoption

Parenthood is one of the most joyous experiences in life, and adoption is a very positive path towards parenthood. Many people interested in adoption desire a baby to love and raise from the beginning, for the rest of their lives. Perhaps that is why you are here. Perhaps becoming a parent is one of your biggest dreams in life, and adopting an infant is how you hope to officially become ‘mom’ or ‘dad.’

Right now, you may have many questions about infant adoption – what it is, what you should expect, how you can prepare for the process. As a non-profit, domestic adoption agency, Adoptions With Love is here to guide you. Below, we explore the ins and outs of infant adoption, so you can feel prepared for this incredible lifelong journey.

What is Infant Adoption?

Infant adoption is the legal process by which a baby, who cannot be raised by his or her birth parents, is placed with another loving, forever family. Adoptive parents voluntarily commit to providing security, permanency, and love for this baby for the rest of his or her life. The most common way to adopt an infant in the United States is through a licensed, private adoption agency.

In most states, a family can adopt a baby as young as 24-hours to 3-days-old. Typically, the infant is discharged directly from the hospital to the adoptive family. However, this is not always the case. Some birth mothers may take longer to make a decision. Some states require “temporary cradle care” before placing the baby with his or her adoptive family.  Cradle Care refers to licensed caregivers who provide interim care between birth and adoption. Once you have been matched with a birth mother, it is easy to learn about the placement requirements in her state. The supportive staff at Adoptions With Love will educate you regarding these details with you as you move forward in the process.

Infant adoption is a wonderful choice for many families because they are matched right from the start of the child’s life. Adoptive parents get to enjoy all of those precious newborn snuggles (and struggles!). It is also a positive decision for many as events like skin-to-skin contact and feedings can help promote attachment and build trust between parents and the baby.

What to Expect When You Are Adopting an Infant

Just as birth parents need to prepare for the arrival of baby, adoptive parents must carefully plan and prepare for their bundle of joy. It is an exciting time that can – at times – feel very long. There are many steps prospective families must take in the infant adoption process. Use this time to prepare your home and loved ones for all the adventure ahead. Take time for yourself to prepare emotionally, mentally, and physically, too. You deserve as much personal time as you can get prior to your baby’s arrival.

If you are a prospective adoptive parent, do your research, carefully select a reputable adoption agency, get ready for the home study process, and wait to be matched with a birth mother. Once you have been matched and the terms of adoption have been agreed upon, you may choose to share the news with family and friends. This is an exciting part of the wait. You may choose to register for baby items, host a baby shower, and prepare the baby’s nursery. It is also important to attend parenting classes ahead of baby’s big arrival and select a pediatrician. Here are some more ideas for what to do while waiting!

How to Adopt an Infant in Massachusetts

When you are ready to take the first steps toward adopting your baby, feel free to contact Adoptions With Love. We are a fully licensed, private, non-profit domestic adoption agency who, for more than 32 years, has been placing children with families in Massachusetts. We work with birth mothers across every state, as to broaden the search and help find children forever families faster. It is our mission to help you grow your family through the wonderful journey  that is adoption.

Our staff has all of the resources you need for completing the infant adoption process. After meeting with one of our social workers in a free, private consultation, completing the application and filing proper documents, we will help you prepare for the home study process. This part of the process is mandatory in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and important for us to get to know you. It also can help expectant mothers get to know you better, as they carefully research and select the right family for their baby. Our staff will help you reach these expectant mothers by working with you to create vibrant, family albums and personal ‘dear expectant / birth mother’ letters, in which you can share your story and background.

As part of the infant adoption process, you will also join other prospective adoptive parents in two group sessions. These meetings offer support and information about:

  • The infant adoption process
  • Meeting with expectant/birth parents
  • Traveling to pick up your baby
  • Sharing your joyous adoption news
  • How to talk to friends and family about adoption
  • How to tell your child about his/her adoption story

Once you have adopted your baby, Adoptions With Love will coordinate and send the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) if the baby is born out of state, continue all post-placement meetings, and finalize your adoption with our attorneys – enabling you to officially become legal parents. For more information about the adoption process in Massachusetts, or Adoptions With Love’s services, be sure to check out our free “Guide to the Massachusetts Adoption Process.”

Infant adoption is an incredible way to grow a family. Let us help you in fulfilling your dreams of becoming a parent. Contact us anytime at 617-964-4357 or contact us here.


“Giving a Baby Up for Adoption”: What Expectant/Birth Mothers Should Know

If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, you may be considering adoption for your baby. You may be looking to learn more about the adoption process, or trying to decide whether it is the right decision for you. It is important to know what adoption is and what you can expect as an expectant mother. It is also important to know that you are not “giving your baby up for adoption.” Adoption is not giving up.

Adoption is a positive choice that a mother makes for her baby. It is a thoughtful decision that takes great strength, compassion, and love. When a mother chooses adoption, she chooses to give her baby a life beyond what she can provide at the time – a life full of love, stability, safety, and opportunity. The phrase “give baby up for adoption” does not embody all this, yet has become a common way to talk about adoption. “Giving up a baby for adoption” is not an accurate description of what happens in the adoption process. When an expectant/birth mother decides to place her child with an adoptive family, she is choosing to give her baby a better life. She is putting her child’s needs above her own. She is planning for the rest of her child’s life, and therefore making a profoundly selfless and loving choice.

If you are considering adoption, you are most likely thinking of your child’s best interests. You want to give your baby the best possible life you can, even if it cannot be with you. You may want your child to have a stable and loving home, a great education, and many opportunities for his or her future. To choose to carry a child to term, give birth, and make an adoption is a brave and honorable decision. You are doing everything BUT giving up, in every sense of the term. You are giving it your all.

Rather than saying, “give my baby up for adoption,” try saying, “make an adoption plan.”

Making an adoption plan means planning ahead for your baby’s life. Should you choose to make an adoption plan, know that you can choose the family for your baby. You can make a plan that will make you feel comfortable. You can even choose an open adoption, which means you will have some form of contact or relationship with the adoptive family as your child grows.

At Adoptions With Love, every adoptive family agrees to an open adoption or semi-open adoption plan. You can choose how your adoption plan will go. It may involve email updates, texting or phone conversations, or letters and pictures – our caring social workers will help you go over each option. After listening to your wishes and researching hopeful parents, our staff will contact the adoptive family to help you move forward along in the adoption process.

Open adoption has been found to be a positive choice for both children AND birth parents. In fact, most children involved in an open adoption are very happy. Open adoption also gives birth mothers great peace of mind, knowing that they are still a part of their child’s life. While open adoption is a great decision for many expectant/birth mothers, it is certainly not the only option. You can also choose a closed adoption, if you wish to keep your personal information private, or if you think open adoption will be too difficult right now. Some women start with a closed adoption plan, but then open it up down the road. This is okay, too. Adoptions With Love keeps photos and letter-updates on file for every adopted child for this very reason. Whatever you decide, we will support you and your decision.

Adoption is a selfless, courageous choice for anyone who is not in the position to raise a baby. Do not let society or anyone in your life tell you that you are “giving your baby up for adoption.” Instead, tell them what you are actually doing: Giving an opportunity to your child for the rest of his or her life. You should feel proud and brave for considering this path for your child.

Making an adoption plan is a decision that is yours and yours alone. It is not something anyone else can push you to do, and it is not something you should feel pressured into by any means. Adoptions With Love understands that this is a life changing decision, and our loving staff will support and guide you along, without any bias or judgment.

If you would like to learn more about making an adoption plan for your baby, feel free to contact us anytime – day or night – at 1-800-722-7731. You may also text us confidentially at 617-777-0072.


American Idol Contestants Touched by Adoption

Singing hopefuls are back at it with the new season of “American Idol” underway. As viewers tune in to watch whether contestants can stay in tune, they are also learning many personal stories about these singers and their backgrounds. Several American Idol contestants, for example, were adopted or have been touched by adoption in some way. In light of the 16th season of American Idol premiering last month, Adoptions With Love will explore some of their adoption stories and connections here.

  • Brandon Elder – Was Adopted

Brandon Elder is a construction worker from Alabama who won over the hearts of the “Idol” judges when he shared his adoption story. As he explained on the show, his birth mother was a teenager when he was born, and she “traded him” for a car to a couple who was also not ready to care for a child. Not long after, he was adopted as an infant by his mother, Patricia Elder. Patricia was a single yet determined mom who worked multiple jobs to help support her family. When Brandon was just 14 years old, Patricia was diagnosed with breast cancer. She passed away in 2016. Brandon sang an original song on American Idol, that he wrote about his mom. The judges were moved by his heartfelt adoption story and beautiful song.

american idol adoption stories
  • Marcio Donaldson – Adoptive Parent

Marcio Donaldson won over the judges as soon as he showed up to audition with his baby boy in tow. The 28-year-old Compton native shared his story about his troubled upbringing, including the fact that he ended up in the state foster care system. His sister, also in foster care, eventually faced many substance abuse problems. When she had a baby, a police officer and social worker brought him to Marcio’s home. Marcio’s choice was to adopt his baby nephew, or let him go to the state system. Marcio adopted Rashaad and has been inspired to sing and try to provide him with a better life. “I didn’t want him to go through what I went through,” Marcio said through tears on the show.

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  • MK Nobilette – Was Adopted

Being the first openly gay contestant in the show’s history, MK Nobilette wowed the audience – and judges – in the show’s original run during season 13. She was not the typical “American Idol,” according to the judges, but they saw a ton of talent in the young singer. Nobilette finished in the 10th spot during her season. She was born in San Francisco and adopted by her two moms when she was a baby. While her mothers separated when she was four years old, they both now have girlfriends—resulting in a large and loving extended family, which Nobilette describes as “very San Francisco.”

After her run on “American Idol”, Nobilette signed a record deal with San-Francisco based Velvet Rhythm Entertainment, and her debut single “Make Believe” dropped in 2015.

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  • Aaron Kelly – Was Adopted

Fans of season 9 may remember an upbeat, talented 16-year-old who impressed the judges and hooked fans while his mother stayed in the wings to support the minor singer. Aaron and his two older brothers were adopted by their-then aunt and uncle, Kelly and Greg, when Aaron was just a toddler. The boys’ biological parents were struggling financially, and so their aunt and uncle stepped in to avoid social services placing them in foster care. Aaron finished in the fifth spot on “Idol,” becoming the youngest contestant to make it so far in the singing competition. He went on to appear on many daytime and late night shows, and has been recording music ever since.

Image result for aaron kelly american idol
  • Johnny White – Was Adopted

Before 19-year-old Johnny White impressed Lionel Richie on the most recent season of American Idol, he opened up about his tough upbringing. As he explained, his mother was addicted to drugs and his father was in prison for nine years. When Johnny was seven years old, he and his sister were placed in foster care. He was eventually adopted by a loving family, but says that the adjustment was not easy for him, and that he felt alone during this time. Music became Johnny’s outlet, and once he met a teacher and vocal coach who believed in him, he decided to make his passion his life. Johnny floored the judges during the audition phase, but did not make it past Hollywood Week of Season 16. White has since returned to his day job of putting auto parts on an assembly line, but says he has not given up on his dream and will continue to sing and audition for “American Idol in the future.”

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As evidenced by this list, it is clear that adoption touches all kinds of people, even singing hopefuls of “American Idol.” Check out our lists of famous men and famous women who have been touched by adoption.

If you would like to grow your family through adoption, please visit adoptionswithlove.org/adoptive-parents. If you know or love someone who is pregnant and would like to learn more about this choice, please do not hesitate to reach out by calling Adoptions With Love toll-free at 1-800-722-7731. We are here for you.


Adoption FAQ: When is My Adoption Decision Final?

Are you facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering adoption for your baby? Adoption is a positive choice that, for many, comes after much thought and consideration. If you are exploring this option or looking to learn more about the process, you may be wondering: When do I need to make a final decision? What is the timeframe for making an adoption plan? Can I ever change my mind?

As a private, non-profit adoption agency working with expectant/birth mothers all over the United States, Adoptions With Love wants you to be prepared for the road ahead. In this article, we will help you understand your timeline for making an adoption plan – and a final decision – for your baby.

To understand the timeline of an adoption, it is important to first understand the legal considerations involved. During the adoption process, the birth parents – you and the biological father, if known – will need to relinquish their parental rights. A birth mother can only do this after her baby is born. The last legal step is the finalization of adoption in court. Before an adoption can be finalized, some state qualifications must be met.

No adoption is final until an adoption surrender is signed. A surrender is a legal document in which the birth parent agrees and consents to the adoption of the child. The laws vary by state on when exactly this can happen, but all states require birth mothers to wait until after birth to finalize their decision and sign legal paperwork. This gives the birth mother time to rest, meet her baby, and think about her decision again before terminating her parental rights. No decisions made before the birth of her baby are binding in any way.

Some states allow birth mothers to sign surrender forms for adoption immediately following the baby’s birth. Other states, however, require a certain number of hours or days to pass before the birth mother can sign anything official. In some states, official papers must be signed before a judge. In other states, however, this is not necessary. In Massachusetts, a birth mother must wait four days to sign a consent to the adoption.

Once the adoption papers have been signed, if there is a “revocation period” during which you – the birth mother – can change your mind. This is part of your birth mother rights. Should you change your mind, your child would be returned to you. Of course, this varies state to state. Only some states allow you to revoke your consent to the adoption, days after the papers have been signed.

Once the adoption consent forms are signed and the revocation period has passed, the birth parent no longer has any rights to the child and cannot change her or his mind. Adoption is a lifelong decision. This is why it is important to speak with an attorney and social worker about the legal procedure in your state, as well as your rights as an expectant/birth mom. Adoptions With Love provides all birth mothers with free access to attorneys who specialize in adoption.

To learn about the laws specific to your state now, you can visit the website of the Child Welfare Information Gateway. You may also contact a reputable adoption agency that works nationwide, like Adoptions With Love. Adoptions With Love has close relationships with expert and compassionate adoption attorneys all over the U.S. If you need legal guidance at any point in your journey, we can meet you wherever you are, to discuss your legal rights and your adoption decision.

Adoptions With Love wants to be sure that you feel comfortable and confident in your adoption decision. We place no pressure to make an immediate plan. No matter where you live, there is plenty of time to finalize your decision about adoption. You could make your decision from the hospital bed, or you may choose to wait a bit longer. There is no right or wrong here. This is your plan.

Adoption is a lifelong choice; however, it does not have to mean saying “goodbye” to your child. Through open adoption, you can keep in touch with your child’s family over the years. Part of the adoption process involves creating an adoption agreement, often called an “open adoption agreement,” that outlines the level of contact a birth parent will have with their child and adoptive family over the years. You can choose to receive emails with photos throughout the years. You and the adoptive family can choose to keep in touch with in-person visits occasionally. Adoptions With Love can serve as a liaison for these updates, or you may choose to work with the family directly. Each birth mother may choose something different. Your open adoption plan may be drawn up in the form of a legal contract long before birth. It can also be tweaked over the years, to accommodate the needs of a growing child.

Should you decide that adoption is the best path for you and your child, Adoptions With Love will support you and guide you through this journey. We will offer help without pressure, judgment or bias, and work with you on finalizing your decision, respecting any choice that you make. Contact us to learn more about making an adoption plan by calling us at 800-722-7731 or texting 617-777-0072. You may also download our free eBook below, “Adoption FAQ for Birth Mothers,” for more information.