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Posted on 04. Apr, 2014 by Tim.
Are you feeling stuck or overwhelmed on your domestic infant adoption journey? Have you considered working with an adoption consultant?
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that 100% of hopeful adoptive families have either felt stuck or overwhelmed (or both) at some point during the process of adopting. My wife and I have adopted twice and I know we’ve been there.
In this episode of the Infant Adoption Guide podcast, we’re going to get you some help. Nicole Witt, the Executive Director of The Adoption Consultancy is here to help us understand what adoption consultants do and how they can keep hopeful adoptive families from getting overwhelmed or stuck.
Nicole and her husband went through infertility before having their two children. She is a frequent speaker on adoption and is recognized as an adoption information source. She’s been interviewed by all sorts of media including Fox News, World News Tonight, CBSNews.com and many others. She is also a professional member of Resolve – which is the National Infertility Association.
The Adoption Consultancy is all about helping you build a family through domestic infant adoption. Nicole and her team are the self proclaimed “wedding planners” of the adoption world (love that analogy). They are your support team who will help you avoid and overcome the obstacles, disappointments and difficulties along your way to becoming parents through adoption.
What you will learn about in this episode:
- Why Nicole started The Adoption Consultancy.
- What adoption consultants can do to help build your family through adoption.
- The difference between an adoption consultant and a facilitator. [...]
Posted on 29. Mar, 2014 by Tim.
The first thing you need to know about an adoption home study – they are to help you adopt, not to try and keep you from adopting.
All families must complete the home study process before a baby can be placed with you. The home study helps ensure a good match is made between children and families. It’s also to make sure the homes of hopeful adoptive families are safe and comply with state adoption laws.
Not all home studies are created equal. Every state has its own adoption laws and different requirements. Here’s where you can check the home study requirements in your state.
Most states require that either an adoption agency or social worker must complete your home study. It’s helpful to know that agencies and social workers want you to adopt and become parents. They want to filter out the obvious weirdos or child abusers. They are not looking for the perfect parents – because we all know there are no perfect parents :).
My wife and I are going through our third adoption home study right now, so this is a perfect time to share tips from our research and experience.
5 tips for getting through your adoption home study:
1. Read about and understand home studies.
It helps to know what you are getting into, right? Here are some helpful places to read about home studies:
- What is an adoption home study?
- The adoption home study process
- Homestudy anxiety
- It’s homestudy day…
- Surviving the dreaded adoption home study
Once you begin your home study, your social worker will tell you what information they need. To give you some understanding of what they will require, here’s a typical home study checklist to review.
The checklist outlines many of the common items required in a home study, but should be used as an example only. Always contact your social worker or agency to get exactly what you need for your home study so you comply with your state’s adoption laws. [...]
Posted on 21. Mar, 2014 by Tim.
When hopeful adoptive families start the process of domestic infant adoption, we can easily get overwhelmed as there are so many ways to adopt in the U.S. Working with an attorney may not be the first thing we think about when starting our journey. We may have no idea we even need an attorney.
The truth is every domestic infant adoption needs an attorney to legally complete an adoption. Laws about adoption vary from state to state – and they are extremely important to know for a successful adoption.
Case in point – when there are two states involved in an adoption, the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) is in effect. The ICPC applies whenever a child is brought from one state (sending state) to another state (receiving state). The ICPC process requires lots of documentation and involves adoption laws from the sending state and the receiving state.
When my wife and I went through our first two newborn adoptions, we worked with adoption attorneys in our state and the state where our children were born. Making sure you are doing everything according to state law can be tricky and risky.
It isn’t something that should be left to just any attorney who may be “familiar” with adoption. You need an adoption attorney – someone who specializes in adoption – someone who practices adoption law everyday.
In this episode of the Infant Adoption Guide Podcast we chat with Mark McDermott, an adoption attorney who practices in the Washington DC area.
- an Adoptive Parent
- the Past President of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys
- a Board Member of Families for Private Adoption
- the Past President of DC Metro RESOLVE
No matter where you are in your adoption journey, eventually you will need an adoption attorney. Mark will help you understand what adoption attorneys can do for you and where to find them.
What you will learn about in this episode: [...]
Posted on 13. Mar, 2014 by Tim.
Trying to find the right adoption agency to help build your family can be a daunting task. Most hopeful adoptive families get overwhelmed with how to choose – and for good reason. There are over 2000 agencies and attorneys in the U.S. – so where do you start? Thankfully, there are some resources to help – such as these:
As you know, not all agencies or attorneys are the perfect fit for everyone. It can be risky if you choose an agency or attorney without talking to anyone who has successfully adopted with them. The flip side is also true – it can be risky to choose an agency only because you know one family had a good experience with them. There is no guarantee you will have that same experience.
In episode 15 of the Infant Adoption Guide podcast, we went through:
Steering clear of these mistakes will definitely help in your research to choose the right agency. In that episode I talked about the mistake of not getting enough (or any) references from adoption agencies. It is super important to ask agencies and/or attorneys for references that you can contact – either by phone (which is preferable) or by email.
These references are people who have worked with that agency and have successfully adopted. What better way can you find out what an agency is like – than to ask people who have already adopted with them? [...]
Posted on 05. Mar, 2014 by Tim.' data-link='http://www.infantadoptionguide.com/7-common-mistakes-to-avoid-when-selecting-adoption-agency' data-summary=''>
When you have a BIG life decision coming up – would you LOVE to know what common mistakes people have made when making that same decision? I say YES – absolutely!
Think about this: when you decide to move – sell your house and buy another. It’s a big decision – you need to think about where to move – when to move – if you have kids, are there good schools? Who can tell us what it’s like? You definitely want to do lots of research and then make your decision.
So, why should it be any different when selecting an adoption agency or attorney to help you build your family?
Today we are talking about the 7 common mistakes to avoid when selecting an adoption agency:
1. Not doing your homework.
2. Not getting enough references.
3. Choosing only based on what’s closest to you.
4. Choosing only based on cost (aka the cheapest).
5. Choosing only based on your home study agency.
6. Choosing based on advertised extremely short wait times.
7. Analysis Paralysis.
There is no one right way to choose an adoption agency or attorney – but there are many wrong ways. Most hopeful adoptive families get overwhelmed with how to choose – and for good reason. There are over 2000 agencies and attorneys in the U.S. – so where do you start? [...]
Posted on 20. Feb, 2014 by Tim.
Here on the Infant Adoption Guide blog, you’ve read about the 12 reasons why you need a local adoption support group and How to find a local adoption support group.
What if there are no local groups near you? Or maybe you’ve found a group, but what if it doesn’t fit what you need? Well, there’s hope. You can start your own local adoption support group. Now – before your anxiety level gets too high, it isn’t as hard as it may seem.
You can do this. You just need the tips and tools to get started. Here is what I’ve found to be the most helpful stuff for starting your own local adoption support group.
The beauty of starting your own group
1. You get to choose how the group is structured (type, where to meet, frequency of meetings, content, etc.).
2. You can choose the type of group members (example: only those who are and/or have already gone through domestic infant adoption.) [...]
Posted on 15. Feb, 2014 by Tim.
A little while back I got an email from Gayle. She asked me if I would consider looking at her book about adoption. After checking it out on Amazon, I told her I’d love to review it. Shortly after that, my copy of ABC, Adoption & ME arrived. I have to say that I am truly impressed.
I had never seen an adoption book for kids like this before. It is so unique because is uses every letter in the alphabet to talk about lots of adoption topics. I especially like the letter F – it is for Family. Birth families, adoptive families – forever families.
Written by Gayle Swift and her adult daughter Casey Swift – ABC, Adoption and ME is a great book to sit down and read together because it gives adoptive parents the ability to discuss adoption with their children. Each letter’s topic is coupled with descriptive illustrations that creatively covers different aspects of adoption.
You can start reading it when your child is at an early age and it will be a book they can enjoy for many years.
My 7 year old daughter (whom we adopted as a newborn) read the book almost immediately after it arrived. She had a big smile on her face as she read it – and commented several times about how she thought it was an awesome book! She loved the pictures and I could tell how each page captured her attention. [...]
Posted on 06. Feb, 2014 by Tim.
Local adoption support groups can be a lifeline for those who have adopted and those still on the journey. It is so helpful to talk to someone who “gets” what we are experiencing through adoption.
I’ve written about the 12 reasons why you need a local adoption support group. Now that you know why these groups are so important – let’s show you how to find one.
How to find a local adoption support group:
The North American Council on Adoptive Children (NACAC) has a searchable list of hundreds of groups so you can find one in your community.
Adoptive Families magazine has a searchable list of support groups. Just enter your state to find one near you.
Childwelfare.gov is government site that has a searchable database of adoption support groups.
AdoptionServices.org has local support groups listed from every state.
Meetup.com allows you to search for adoption to see if there are support groups in your city.
Here are sites that list groups in a particular city and/or state: [...]
Posted on 30. Jan, 2014 by Tim.
It’s coming up on tax time again here in the U.S. so it’s time to talk about the Adoption Tax Credit. Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the credit for 2013. As always, please consult your tax adviser. I personally use a CPA to do my taxes because I’ve tried doing them on my own and have messed it up because it can get complicated. Here’s how you can find a good CPA.
What is the adoption tax credit?
The adoption tax credit offsets qualified adoption expenses, making adoption possible for some families who could not otherwise afford it.
How much is the adoption tax credit for 2013?
The adoption tax credit for tax year 2013 is $12,970 per adopted child.
Is the adoption tax credit refundable or nonrefundable – and what does that mean?
The credit was made a permanent part of the tax law in 2012 as a nonrefundable tax credit. A refundable tax credit is one you get back regardless of what you owe or paid in taxes for the year. Since the adoption tax credit is nonrefundable, you receive only what you have in federal income tax liability. The credit can be “carried over” for up to 5 additional years until you get back the entire credit amount for that adoption. [...]
Posted on 26. Jan, 2014 by Tim.
In this episode of the Infant Adoption Guide Podcast, we chat with adoptive mom Lisa Hamilton. She shares her domestic infant adoption story.
This episode is all about how she started her family through domestic infant adoption. Lisa shares her heart, her love for her son, and a lot of detail about her story.
What you will learn about in this episode:
- Why Lisa decided on domestic infant adoption.
- How long she waited to be matched with her son’s birthmom.
- How she researched and chose an adoption agency. [...]