Tip Sheet Tuesday: How Do I Choose an Adoption Agency to Help Me Make an Adoption Plan?

You’ve made the difficult decision of deciding to make an adoption plan for your baby. But now what? Which agency should you contact to help you through this process? There are many factors for you to consider. Not all adoption agencies are the same.

iStock_000073245993_Small.jpgPersonal Preferences
Ask yourself a few questions about your personal preferences for your child before deciding on an adoption agency or an adoptive family. Consider the openness of the adoption and what type of family you prefer.

  • Do you prefer to have a fully open adoption with the possibility of visiting your child? Or would you prefer to receive only letters and pictures? Or do you want the adoption to be fully closed?
  • Do you wish to live close to the family that you will choose? If you are looking to have an open adoption and visit your child you may want to choose a family who lives closer to make this trip easier.
  • Do you prefer a two-parent family for your child, or are you willing to accept a single-parent family as well?
  • Do you prefer your child have a stay-at-home parent or are you willing to choose a family who works outside of the home?
  • Do you want your child to have siblings?
  • Do you prefer your child to be raised with a particular religion?
  • Does the race of your child’s family have an impact on your decision?

These are just a few questions to ask before going to an agency and choosing your child’s adoptive family.

Agency Checklist
When looking for an adoption agency be sure to ask a few specific questions, such as:

  • Does the agency explain all of your options?
  • Does the agency require or recommend counseling before looking at adoptive parent profiles?
  • What other types of counseling and support does the agency offer and how long does it last? Is it from the time of the contact through delivery and placement?
  • Does the agency have a separate counselor for birth parents and adoptive parents?
  • Continue Reading on our Website

Under the Umbrella: Making an Adoption Plan

iStock_000008027981_Medium.jpgFinding yourself pregnant and at a crossroads of decision-making is often very stressful and confusing, and you may even feel alone and scared. All of your options can seem like they lead to so many unknowns and you may not have anyone in your life who has been in your shoes to offer guidance and support. As you consider adoption, we want to ensure that you have access to accurate information, free of bias and pressure, as well as emotional support along the way.
  • To learn more about adoption, you can start by downloading our information packet for birth parents. This packet contains information on the steps involved in creating an adoption plan for your baby. It highlights important things to consider, such as what to look for in an adoption agency, whether you would like to establish open contact with the adoptive parents or not, parental rights of the birth father, and how to care for yourself during this emotional process. In the packet, a birth mother shares her story of creating an adoption plan for her child.
  • Reach out to an online or in-person support group of other birth parents who understand what you’re going through as you navigate your options. We have support groups listed on our website.
  • Call a Resource Specialist. We’re available Monday through Thursday, from 8am-5pm, and Fridays from 9am-3pm and are just a phone call away. We are here to listen, offer information and support you at any point along the way. 1-800-762-8063
Please remember that you’ve always got someone in your corner here at the Coalition. We’re happy to offer caring and informative support.

World Wide Wednesday, March 25, 2015

iStock_000003621765_LargeIt’s World Wide Wednesday! Here’s what’s news in the world of foster care and adoption around the web:

  • “Faith in Family”When the social worker brought my new daughter to my house, she wasn’t the African-American girl I was expecting. And so we became a transracial family.
    by Tracy Clausell-Alexander

  • “Googling Her Birth Parents”: My daughter wanted to know more about her birth parents. Could the Internet have the answers she was looking for? by Annie Kassof
  • Black or White Movie Review – Guest Post by Lori Holden: Though Black or White earns its adoption stripes through simple kinship adoption (Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer vie for custody of the granddaughter they share, Eloise, played by the luminous Jillian Estell), the bigger message for adoptive families is the devastating split a person can experience when divided in two by color, race, biology and/or biography. And how not dealing with tough emotions such as anger and grief rarely means they resolve on their own.
  • Finding a Niche of their Own: A common rite of passage for youth is finding a niche, whether it’s with peers, co-workers or society. For some, it is a staggering obstacle to overcome.But the thousands who are too old for foster care and too young for complete independence are just as lost in their young adulthood as they were in their youth.

Have news you’d like to share? Please post in our comments!

World Wide Wednesday, August 13, 2014

It’s World Wide Wednesday! Here’s what’s happening the world of foster care and adoption around the web:

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  • Free Book from Iowa Foster & Adoption Parent Association: As a foster parent you have a critical role to play in the life of a child. Not only are you responsible for the child’s day-to-day care, but because you spend so much time caring for and observing them, you are able to provide the Department of Human Services (DHS), and the court with valuable information that is needed to make important decisions regarding the child’s welfare. One of the important needs of a child placed in foster care is the need to receive permanency timely. Juvenile court and DHS have the responsibility to assist the birth family in rectifying the problems that led to the removal of the child, allowing the child to return home safely.

    The Foster Parents and the Courts booklet was written in order to help you understand the court process. It will provide you with valuable
    information about your rights and responsibilities, the role of key participants in the court process, and how you can be most effective in advocating for the best interests of the children in your care.

  • Building Relationships Between Adoptive and Birth Families: This factsheet from the Child Welfare Information Gateway is designed
    to support adoptive families who are considering and/or maintaining open adoption. It describes open adoption and various levels of openness, trends towards increasing openness, and the potential benefits of open adoption. It also offers strategies to build and maintain relationships with their children’s birth families.
  • Visitation Tips for Foster Parents: Healthy Foster Care America shares some tips to help children and teens before and after a visit with the birth family. Read reasons why a child might be in extreme distress before or after a visit and what you can do to help prepare them before a visit and how to transition back from a visit.

Have news you’d like to share? Please post in our comments!

 

World Wide Wednesday – July 23, 2014

It’s World Wide Wednesday! Here’s what’s happening the world of foster care and adoption around the web:

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  • Let’s Talk! Respectful Adoption Language and Behavior: This handout developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics lists respectful ways pediatricians can discuss adoption with families, as well as language and phrases to avoid.
  • “I Feel Good that I Never Gave Up! At National Reunification Month events, parents reflect on the long road home. For June’s National Reunification Month, organizations around the country celebrated the perseverance and resilience of parents reunifying with children from foster care and of the professionals who support them.
  • You’ve got an open heart and an open mind, but are you ready to open your home? 5 Ways to Know You’re Ready to be a Foster Parent.

  • New fostercare.com website provides answers, support, volunteer options: KidsPeace recently launched a brand-new version of www.fostercare.com, an informative website aimed at supporting foster families and answering questions potential foster parents may have as they start their fostering journey. Log on today to hear from current foster parents, access information and support and find out about upcoming special events and other ways to get involved in your area.

Have news you’d like to share? Please post in our comments!

 

World Wide Wednesday – June 4, 2014

It’s World Wide Wednesday! Here’s what’s happening the world of foster care and adoption around the web:

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  • Birth Parent Issues of Grief and Loss: One of the paradoxes of adoption is that, for all its potential benefits, it is nonetheless born of loss – including the losses that relinquishment represents for birthparents and birth families. For counselors working with expectant parents considering adoption and birthparents who have made an adoption decision, it is essential to understand grief and loss, what it looks like, and what can help. (Continue reading.)
  • Selecting and Working with a Therapist Skilled in Adoption: Adoption has a lifelong impact on those it touches, and members of adoptive families may want professional help when concerns arise. Timely intervention by a professional skilled in adoption, attachment, and trauma issues often can prevent concerns from becoming more serious problems. This factsheet offers information on the different types of therapy and providers available to help, and it offers suggestions on how to find an appropriate therapist. Foster parents also may find definitions and descriptions in this factsheet useful.
  • Adoption in Disney Movies: Adoption themes (especially step-parent adoption themes) show up pretty frequently in Disney movies. Separated from their parents – or in conflict with their parents – children and teens have to grow up and face the world alone – maybe with the help of a romantic interest or a few friends. Sometimes, Disney stories are pretty problematic from an adoption perspective; other times, there’s a lot of good to celebrate.

    While this list is far from comprehensive, here are some Disney films with adoption themes. I’ve gone ahead and linked the titles of the films to the respective Adoption Movie Guide.

Have news you’d like to share? Please post in our comments!

 

World Wide Wednesday – May 21, 2014

It’s World Wide Wednesday! Here’s what’s happening the world of foster care and adoption around the web:

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  • Moving to Adulthood: A Handout for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care – This handout from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Foster Care Alumni of America prepares older youth in care with tips for obtaining health records and securing health insurance.
  • Tips on Making Birth Family Interactions More Meaningful: Children enter foster care for many reasons. Frequently a child cannot safely return home for several months. Imagine being the biological parents and missing out on so many things. (Continue reading.)
  • New Department of Education Resource Available for Current and Former Foster Care Youth: Youth aging out of foster care may face many various challenges enrolling in college, including accessing accurate information about scholarships, financial aid, and other grants. The Department of Education has created a website to assist young people when they are thinking about attending college. It includes information and resources on preparing for college, types of financial aid available, eligibility for aid, applying for aid, and managing loans.
    http://studentaid.ed.gov/This one-page resource provides information about the Education and Training Voucher Program for youth currently and formerly in foster care.
  • Friendships, Social Skills, and Adoption: In our practice we see an unfortunate number of children with friendship problems. It can be one of the more painful issues that arise for our clients. But there is also hope – some good resources are available to help children with social skills difficulties, and there is much that parents can do to help. (Continue reading.)

Have news you’d like to share? Please post in our comments!