What children are available for adoption through America World’s domestic program?
America World accepts custody of children for adoption placement through voluntary relinquishment by birthparents. They are primarily newborns but may occasionally be older infants and toddlers. America World works in counseling with pregnant women from various racial and cultural backgrounds and is continually seeking families who are flexible about the background of the child they hope to adopt.
Can America World help me adopt an older child from the U.S. foster care system?
America World specializes in placement of newborns or young children. The best place to start for adoption of an older child from foster care is to attend an informational meeting at your local county’s Department of Social Services. A good resource for information on how to adopt older waiting children in the U.S. is www.adoptuskids.org. It is best to work with an agency where you can obtain the PRIDE training for adoption from foster care. This training will help prepare you for the unique needs of a child adopted from the foster care system.
How long is the process from application to placement?
Once an adoptive family enters the pool of approved families, it is not possible to predict how long the wait will be for a placement since birthparents select the adoptive family from this pool.
Is there anything we can do to be selected for placement more quickly by a birthparent?
Yes and no. The more flexible you can be in regard to race and medical and social background issues in the child that you hope to adopt, the more placements may be available for which you will be considered. However, you must wait for your unique family profile to touch the heart of a birthmother. The wait for a placement is difficult. Trust in God’s plan for your family!
We are worried about the family profile book! We aren’t creative people and we are afraid that we won’t be able to portray our family in a way that appeals to birthparents.
Don’t worry! America World staff will guide you in creating a family profile that reflects your uniquely wonderful family. You are not going to appeal to all birthparents, and you shouldn’t! You will appeal to that one birthparent who sees something special in your family that connects with her.
If we are in America World’s pool, can we continue to network for a placement elsewhere?
Yes. We understand that you hope to add a child to your family as soon as possible. America World will release your home study to you to network for other domestic placement opportunities. We just ask you to please let us know if you are matched with another birthmother so that we can put you on hold pending the outcome of the placement. If the placement through another source is successful, your post placement services will be covered by the first installment of the program fee that you paid when you entered the pool.
Even with no identifying information exchanged, we are afraid to meet the birthmother! We are so worried we will say the wrong thing and she won’t like us.
From experience, we know that she is as nervous to meet you as you are to meet her! She is just as worried that you won’t like her or may judge her for having a baby that she is unable to parent. However, her desire to do all that she can to make a good plan for her child’s future gives her courage to meet you. This meeting is not an interview. She has chosen you as the adoptive family for her child. This meeting is the beginning of the road for the placement.
Are we required to share updates about our child with the birthmother?
Yes. America World requires that adoptive parents provide non-identifying updates about the child to the birthparents in the form of a letter at least one full page in length with at least 4 photos of the child quarterly for the first year after placement, twice yearly in the second year, and then annually each year until age 18. These are to be sent to America World electronically and forwarded to the birthparent(s). While this requirement is not a legal agreement, it is a promise that is made to the birthmother and, therefore, a moral obligation. At America World, we are concerned with the birthparents and the impact of the adoption decision upon their lives. It provides comfort for the birthparents to be reassured that their child is doing well in your care.
We are interested in a fully open adoption. We would be comfortable sharing updates about our child directly with the birthparents without going through America World. Can we have a fully open adoption with America World?
America World’s openness requirements are minimum requirements for our program. There are birthparents who desire more openness so that is always a possibility. Sometimes once an adoptive family and the birthmother meet, they get along so well that the placement naturally evolves to an open relationship.
What is the length of time that a home study is valid?
The time varies by state, usually 1 to 3 years. However, it is important to remember that home studies need to be updated if there is a significant change in your life, like a move to a different home, or following the adoption of a child for subsequent adoptions.
We are nervous about legal risk. Why can’t the baby just go to cradle care until the parental rights are terminated?
Most birthparents want the baby to go directly from the hospital home with the adoptive parents to minimize the moves for the baby and to give the family the experience of bringing a newborn home.
Can a birthmother change her mind and decide to keep her baby?
Yes, this is always a possibility. The risk of this is higher if the birthmother has not had counseling available to her to help her through her decision and to support her emotionally after the baby is born.
What about the birthfather? Do his rights need to be considered?
Yes. The birthfather’s rights must be addressed as part of the adoption plan. States vary in the legal requirements as to the process for this.
Why is adoption so expensive?
Newborn adoption is a pro-life ministry. The counseling services and medical care needed throughout pregnancy are not always available through government-based social services when a woman chooses to carry her pregnancy to term. This difficult choice is not always supported by her family, friends, or the father of the baby. The cost of adoption is a combination of services for the birthmother and adoptive parents, care for the newborn, legal fees, and administrative fees such as personnel and overhead. There is financial assistance resources available to adoptive families here, including a subsidy for special needs domestic adoption.
If we already have a placing agency or know the birthmother, can America World provide the other services we need, such as a home study and post placement visits? Are there eligibility requirements for those services?
Yes, America World can provide necessary services for any domestic adoption. It will be up to you to find out if you meet eligibility requirements for the adoption that you are pursuing. Please see our Agency Adoption Requirements for general eligibility requirements.