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9 things you need when adopting from another state

Posted on 19. Feb, 2015 by .


When adopting a newborn from another state, it is extremely important to be prepared. You will likely have to stay in that state until the ICPC (Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children) paperwork clears and you are allowed to legally bring your baby home.9 things you need when adopting from another state

Every state has their own adoption laws, but you can expect to stay in the state where the baby is born for at least 7 days. For our two adoptions, we stayed 10 days for the first one and 12 days for the second. 

It is hard being away from home for so long – especially having to take care of a newborn in a hotel room. Based on my experience – and hearing from many adoptive parents – there are plenty of things you can (and should) bring with you. It is sometimes easier to bring less and buy what you need when you get there. 

With that in mind, I’ve gathered 9 things you need when adopting from another state.

1. Swaddle wrap or Moby wrap.
We found these baby wraps work beautifully to keep your baby warm and help them sleep.

2. Summer Infant By Your Side Sleeper.
OK – I admit it. This is more of a want than a need – because we had our little ones sleep in their car seats in the hotel room before we went home. I wish we had this sleeper because it is perfect to keep your baby safe in the bed with you.

It has a sturdy metal frame that folds compactly for travel. It has mesh sides for a clear view of baby and helps air circulate to prevent baby from overheating. It includes a mattress pad and soft, comfortable cotton fitted sheet.

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IAG 030: Adoption tax credit update with Becky Wilmoth

Posted on 26. Jan, 2015 by .


The adoption tax credit.

It’s a huge financial tool for hopeful adoptive parents to use. Something that can help offset the large cost of domestic infant adoption.

The credit has changed over the years – and may change again in the future. There are a lot of rules that go with it, which makes it hard to understand.

It’s tax time again – so we wanted to bring in an expert to explain the credit.

Becky Wilmoth is our guest on this episode and she will break down the adoption tax credit so you can understand it and take advantage of it. She is an adoptive mom, an Enrolled Agent, and adoption tax specialist at, so this is a very personal issue for her.

Becky has a passion for helping hopeful adoptive families understand and get the adoption tax credit. Many of us feel like we can’t start the adoption process because we aren’t sure how to find the funds we need.

This episode will explain what you need to know about the tax credit of over $13,000 in 2014.


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5 Things to Consider Before Adopting Transracially

Posted on 15. Jan, 2015 by .


This is a guest post from Rachel Garlinghouse – an author and adoptive mom of three shares from her experience about the 5 things you need to consider before adopting transracially. She writes with lots of wit and humor – and you’ll see her passion for transracial adoption. I know you’ll enjoy this! Take it away, Rachel…5 things to consider before adopting transracially

Six years of transracial, adoptive parenting has taught me a thing or two about the interesting, complex, and joyful situations that can arise along this journey. I shared the many intricacies and possibilities in my book Come Rain or Come Shine: A White Parent’s Guide to Adopting and Parenting Black Children.

One thing is for certain, parenting transracially isn’t for the faint at heart. One needs an incredible amount of patience, empathy, drive, and education.

If you are considering adopting a child whose race is different from yours, here are five things you need to consider:

1: Adapt to your child, not make your child adapt to you.
You are the parent. Your child didn’t choose you or your race, culture, and environment. The parent’s job is to step up the proverbial plate and demonstrate to the child that he or she is wonderful as-is.

Not only is the child wonderful as-is, but the family is adapting and evolving to embrace and incorporate the child’s racial heritage and culture in the home. This might mean making many changes and even big changes. You might need to move neighborhoods or towns or even states. You might need to choose a new place of worship.

You may need to have some serious heart-to-heart conversations with family members who might not been keen on your adoption announcement. Many transracial adult adoptees have shared that the best way a parent can mess up a child is by ignoring racial differences, the child’s individual needs, and refuse to adapt to the realities of the adoption situation.

Too many adoptive parents work to stay personally comfortable rather than make the necessary changes for the benefit of their child’s well-being. […]

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IAG 029: You CAN Adopt Without Debt – an interview with author Julie Gumm (+ 2 signed books to give away!)

Posted on 29. Dec, 2014 by .


Do you think it is possible to adopt without DEBT?IAG 029 You CAN adopt without debt with Julie Gumm

I know you can – and so does Julie Gumm. She is an adoptive mom, a speaker and author.

She has been on the Dave Ramsey Show – which is a nationally syndicated talk radio show (really cool).

She and her husband have adopted twice – and they did it without going into debt. They are debt free because they’ve paid off over $200,000 – including their home

Julie is our special guest on the show today – and the first to be on the show two times!

She was our guest back on episode 10. Here’s why I wanted to bring her back – because she has a new book called You CAN Adopt Without Debt – Creative Ways to Cover the Cost of Adoption.

There are lots of costs and variables that can make it hard to figure out if you can afford to adopt. With domestic infant adoption, there are costs for your adoption agency, your attorney, the home study, possible travel expenses, and so on.

It really hurts to hear from folks that get so discouraged about the cost – even losing hope that they can become parents through adoption – only because of the costs.

This is why I’m so excited about talking with Julie today! She is going to give you HOPE – because that is what her new book is all about. So, have a listen and enjoy this interview with Julie Gumm. 


1. In the comments below (OR on the Domestic Adoption Support Network group on Facebook) tell me how or why Julie’s book will help you adopt.
2. I will pick 2 of the best entries – letting you know the winners in the comments – and on the updated part of this post.
3. You have until January 12th at noon CST to leave your comment.
4. The winners will send me an email with their address so I can send you the signed copy!

UPDATE: Winners of Julie Gumm’s autographed books are: Caitlynn from Oklahoma and Carissa from Iowa! Congratulations!

What you will learn about in this episode:

  • Why Julie wrote her new book – and what is different from her last book.
  • What 3 things YOU can do to adopt without debt.
  • Julie’s favorite adoption fundraising stories and ideas.
  • Get Julies’s TOP TIPS for saving and fundraising for your adoption.
  • Hear what Julie tells people that think they aren’t the type of person who can raise money for their adoption.
  • How you can get a FREE SIGNED COPY of Julie’s new book: You CAN Adopt Without Debt!


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How to make a great adoption profile video (and do it in 5 simple steps)

Posted on 15. Dec, 2014 by .


Have you heard of adoption profile videos?How to make a great adoption profile video in 5 simple steps

In my experience, videos are the secret ingredient for reaching out and connecting with a potential birthmother. Videos are easier than ever to create, edit, share, and especially watch – on the internet from your phone, tablet, or computer.

This means expectant mothers who are considering adoption can learn more about you faster when they watch your profile video.

Most hopeful adoptive families have not created a profile video – but you should. Here’s why.

In both of our infant adoptions, my wife and I made profile videos and each time our kids’ birthparents LOVED them. They said our video is what separated us from the other families because they could see more of who we are and felt a quick connection with us.

When you make a profile video, viewers get to see you in a way completely different than just from photos and text.

With the click of the play button, a prospective birth mother will instantly see what makes your family unique and she’ll want to find out if your family matches her plans for adoption.

While a printed profile (with just text and photos) can describe a family pretty well, the profile video provides sooooo much more detail on important things, such as…

Sense of Humor
Excitement of becoming parents
Love for one another

The benefits of the adoption profile videos can’t fully be described – you have to see them for yourself. Check out these videos of families from Lifetime Adoption.

OK – so hopefully I’ve got your interest up about profile videos – and now you are thinking “great, now how do I make one?”

Here are my 5 simple steps for making a great adoption profile video:

1. Get the equipment you need.
–You need a camera (I’m Captain Obvious, I know). A really nice camera (such as a DSLR) will make the video look great, but it isn’t necessary. You can make the whole video using your iPhone or other smartphone. Most phones have great cameras that take really nice video.
–You’ll need a computer to edit your video.
–You might like to get an inexpensive tripod to hold your camera still.

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4 Ways to organize your adoption journey

Posted on 20. Nov, 2014 by .


Are you a natural organizer?

Do you regularly have to-do lists, checklists and spreadsheets to help you get things done?

If you are a fabulous organizer or not, when navigating the rough waters of your adoption journey, it can get overwhelming if you don’t have some way to keep your “to-do” list on track.

I know what has worked for me through two adoptions, but I wanted to ask my friends on our domestic adoption Facebook groups to see what they’ve done to organize their journey.

So here are 4 ways to organize your adoption journey:

1. Use Evernote or OneNote.

Both of these are free software downloads that automatically sync your notes on your home computer, your phone, and even your tablet so you have access to these notes anytime, anywhere. Personally, I LOVE Evernote and use it ALL the time to organize my lists and notes.

Here are some specific uses:

⇒Create a notebook called “Our Adoption” or something you come up with that makes the notebook easily found among your other notebooks.

⇒Inside your adoption notebook, create a new note for each “to-do” item such as: homestudy to-do’s, profile to-do’s, agency to-do’s, and anything else you need.  

⇒Create a new note for your adoption budget so you can keep track of expenses and the money you have left. You can also take photos of receipts and store them – which can be handy for tax purposes.

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IAG 028 – New York adoption law with attorney Anthony Zurica

Posted on 13. Nov, 2014 by .


“Adopted children have become some of the most notable personalities to ever walk the planet. John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe, Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, and of course Superman himself, were all adopted.” Anthony Zurica

Every hopeful adoptive family needs an adoption attorney. Every state has their own set of adoption laws. It gets confusing to know what is allowed and who to trust when it comes to adoption law.

Anthony Zurica is our guest on the show today and he will answer questions about New York adoption law. He is an adoption attorney based in New York City and he has a passion for helping families hoping to adopt.

I know there are a lot of you that come to the Infant Adoption Guide blog and podcast who are living in New York. So in this episode, I wanted to bring in an adoption attorney that will help you learn all about the legal guidelines for families.

You’ll hear about the ways you can adopt and the differences in adopting with an agency or an attorney. You will get the answers to the most common questions about New York adoptions.

Even if you don’t live in New York, Anthony shares some great info and advice for all hopeful adoptive parents. He definitely has a big heart for helping families with their adoption plans. You will enjoy listening to and learning from him.


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Celebrate National Adoption Month during November!

Posted on 07. Nov, 2014 by .


That’s right! November is National Adoption Month. What does that mean? It is a time to celebrate and create awareness for adoption in the U.S.Celebrate

National Adoption Month started in 1995. Since then, every November a Presidential Proclamation launches activities and celebrations to help build awareness of adoption throughout the nation. Thousands of community organizations arrange and host programs, events, and activities to share positive adoption stories.

So what are we doing here on to celebrate?

During the month of November 2014 only, I’ve teamed up with several adoption authors and advocates to help inspire and encourage you on your adoption journey. The following adoption books have had their price dropped to a mere 99 CENTS during November!

Here they are along with easy links for you to go check them out.

Remember – these are only available at 99 cents during November – National Adoption Month!

Get them now while they are on SALE! Enjoy!

7 Steps To Domestic Infant Adoption99  by Tim Elder. Yep, this is my book filled with parts of my adoption story along with resources, inspiration, and hope for your domestic adoption journey.




The Eye of Adoption by Jody Dyer. In my opinion, EVERY hopeful adoptive parent should read this. It is Jody’s story about how she and her husband adopted a newborn in an open adoption. Click here to listen to the interview I did with Jody about her story and book.


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5 Tips For Making Your Adoption Portfolio/Profile Unique

Posted on 30. Oct, 2014 by .


My wife and I have just finished creating our profile for our 3rd adoption – and it doesn’t seem to get any easier.

I’ve done a lot of research about profiles. I really value Madeleine Melcher’s opinion and expertise about how to create the best and most unique profile. She literally wrote the book on creating adoption profiles (see link below). Plus, she is an adoptive mom and adoptee!

Madeleine has been creating adoption profiles for hopeful parents for many years so her unique perspective in the adoption world has helped lots of parents adopt faster.

She was our guest on episode 19 of the Infant Adoption Guide podcast and now she shares 5 amazing tips that will help your adoption profile stand out. Enjoy!

5 Tips for making your adoption profile uniqueI regularly see posts from hopeful parents who just want to get their profile finished.  They make an “all call” on adoption Facebook pages in hopes of seeing what others have done when creating their profiles. Whatever is fastest.  Whatever can accomplish it as soon as possible. 

I get it.  I am very much a person who wants things done yesterday, but if there was ever something you wanted done right, it should be this.

Doing exactly what everyone else has done will not work- you have to make it, YOU. 

It really does not take much more time to make your profile unique to you, but it may make all the difference in the outcome. So look at the other profiles if you want to.  See what you like and do not like, but whatever you do, take the time to make yours, your own.

1. BE YOU.

The best advice I can give when it comes to your adoption profile is to be you and each of the other tips will fall under that heading. YOU ARE good enough.  YOU ARE unique.

You are not going to be chosen for what you have in common with all of the other families, you will be chosen for something that sets you apart – something an expectant parent can connect with.

In my book How to Create a Successful Adoption Portfolio, I talk about a family that was chosen because they raised rabbits. Who woulda thunk it, right?!?!  Do not try to be a stepford family.  Do not try and be another version of you. Had that family with the rabbits not been themselves and shown themselves they would not have been chosen.


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Adopting a 3rd time – our latest adoption journey

Posted on 25. Oct, 2014 by .


If you’ve followed my story about how I became a dad and how my wife and I adopted our daughter in 2007 and our son in 2012, you know the road to building our family has been an amazing and wild ride.journey to our 3rd adoption

Our experiences have inspired me to help other hopeful adoptive families through and the Infant Adoption Guide Podcast. I’ve recorded a podcast episode about our journey so if you’d like to listen to how we’ve made it through our first two adoptions, check out episode 12.

The big news for our family is that we are adopting again! 

My hope and prayer is that our adoption stories will inspire and help you in your adoption journey.

Excited (and anxious) for adoption #3

Just like any family who are “expecting” to add to their family, my wife and I are super excited to adopt again. We are also a bit nervous and anxious.

It may surprise you that we are nervous after adopting twice, but that’s the thing with domestic infant adoption – every story is unique and there are no guarantees. You just don’t know how the whole thing is going to play out.

What do I mean by this? There could be a failed match (or more than one) with an expectant mother, where we may be invested emotionally and/or financially only to start over with waiting for the right match. 

After two successful adoptions, we know how we would like it to go. We know what it takes to build our family, but we also know it can be a roller coaster ride.

Where we are right now in our journey

We decided to work again with our friends at Lifetime Adoption Center, just as we have on our first two adoptions. They are great and we are comfortable with them. We know what we get and they do what they say they will do so we trust them. We feel that Lifetime will minimize our risk of a failed match or failed placement.

Here’s our TO-DO list: […]

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