Domestic Adoption Overview
Currently Available in South Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma, and Virginia!
The choices involved in domestic adoption can be overwhelming for adoptive parents. You may feel called to grow your family through adoption but not know where to start. Our experienced staff can help you determine the best route to adoption for your family.
We offer home study, post-placement supervisory services, and other legally mandated services for domestic adoption through agencies in other states or through private adoption. Though we don’t make placements of infants, we can connect you with other resources for placement. The staff at America World is here to partner with you on your journey to God’s gift of a child by adoption.
- Provide home study that can be used to adopt from any state in the US.
- Assist you in creating an adoption profile, that is, a non-identifying book about your family to help you match with an expectant mother.
- Connect you with financial sources to help fund your adoption
- Provide adoption training to make you as prepared as possible for adoptive parenting.
- Refer you to an adoption agency or facilitator who can place you with a newborn baby.
- File paperwork with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) if your baby is born in another state.
- Complete post-placement supervisor reports in compliance with your state regulations.
- Our Adoption Counseling and Training (ACT) program offers ongoing, lifelong support.
- Help you connect with an attorney in your state to legally finalize your adoption.
Openness in Adoption: What is an Open Adoption?
An important aspect of domestic adoption today centers around the issue of birth parent requests for greater openness in adoption. Understandably, this concept is often intimidating to adoptive parents and may seem on the surface to serve birth parent interests over those of adoptive parents and the child. As you learn more about the spirit of open adoption and the benefits to the adopted child, you will hopefully grow in your comfort level.
Many adoptive parents grew up at a time when adoptions were confidential, with no contact between birth parents and adoptive parents. Little or no counseling was offered to birth parents, nor was there much education provided for the adoptive parents about the unique issues involved in raising a child through adoption. There was not much understanding about the benefit to the child for extensive medical and social history from the birth parents. Adoptive parents and birth parents alike were advised to move on with their lives as if the adoption never occurred, denying the importance of the birth family connection in the life of the adopted child.
Since the early ’80s, there has been a gradual change in adoption practice. With greater acceptance in society of single parenting and greater availability of birth control and abortion services, fewer women chose adoption as a plan for their child. At the same time, a greater understanding evolved of the impact of the adoption decision on the lives of the child, birth parents, and adoptive parents. The inclusion of the birth parents in the adoption process has been a positive change – the selection of an adoptive family, meeting the family, and having the option of ongoing contact with the adoptive family to receive updates about the child’s growth and development. It is respectful of the birth parents’ choice to give birth to their child and make the decision they feel is in the child’s best interest. The child and adoptive parents benefit by having the ability to gain important medical and social background history, including important updates to the information, and validating the child’s connection to his or her birth family.
Our experience has shown that birth parents who select the adoptive families and meet with them before the baby’s birth are more at peace with their decision and less anxious as the delivery date approaches. They can visualize their child being cared for by an adoptive family that they enjoy and trust. Some birth mothers have talked about how much comfort they derive from reading the profile book of the adoptive parents they have chosen before they go to sleep at night, envisioning their child in the family photos, and enjoying the activities with the family.
Decisions about an open adoption fall upon a continuum of choices that include any combination of choosing the family through non-identifying profiles, one or more meetings of the birth parents and adoptive parents, phone calls, involvement by the adoptive family in prenatal care, visits at the hospital, visits after placement, exchange of letters and pictures through the years with or without the agency as an intermediary, and full sharing of identifying information. Most agencies and facilitators have some minimum requirements of adoptive parents for openness that are believed to best minister to the needs of birthparents, children, and adoptive parents.