What is adoption?
Adoption is the permanent, legal transfer of parental rights and responsibilities from a child’s birth parents to adoptive parents.
How many adopted children are in the United States?
Yes. It is estimated that approximately 1 million children in the United States live with adoptive parents, and that between 2% to 4% of American families include an adopted child.
Who can adopt a child?
CFC places children with families who can best meet the child’s needs and this includes singles and couples who have been married at least two years, with and without children. Adoptive parents don’t have to be of the same race or have the same ethnic background as the child they adopt. They don’t have to own their own home or have a minimum income level. They do need to be willing to make a life-long commitment to nurture and care for the child.
Are there any age restrictions when adopting a child?
The legal guidelines are that parents should not be over 65 when the child is 20. In some cases, exceptions can be made. In an infant adoption, age may be a factor for birthparents in selecting an adoptive family.
How long does it usually take to adopt a child?
Adoption timeframes vary, but the following are some general guidelines: It takes approximately four to six months to complete the home study and certification process.
The average wait prior to infant placement is 13 months.
The wait for placement of an older child through the state varies widely and depends greatly on the age and characteristics of the child families are open to considering. Christian Family Care is committed to making the wait times for both parents and children as short as possible and will work with you to complete all steps in the adoption process quickly. In general, the more situations you are open to (older child, sibling group, medical challenges, etc.) the more likely it is that you will receive placement in a shorter time.
What is the role of birth parents in infant adoption?
In most infant adoptions, birth parents choose the adoptive parents for their baby, meet with the prospective adoptive family in person and desire to develop an ongoing open adoption relationship with them.
What kinds of children are waiting for families?
All kinds. For state adoption, ages range from toddlers to teenagers. Virtually every race, ethnic group and socioeconomic category is represented. Older children, sibling groups and children with physical and emotional disabilities often wait longer to find a permanent home. CFC’s infant adoption program also places children of different ethnic backgrounds, and some infants are considered to have special needs such as substance exposure or a family history of physical or mental health concerns.
How does adopting an infant through a private agency differ from adopting through an attorney?
Full-service adoption agencies, like Christian Family Care, provide services to both the adoptive parents and the birth parents. Birth parents receive decision-making counseling, help with medical care, housing, pregnancy related expenses, and post-adoption support and counseling. This helps them make sure that adoption is the best plan for the baby and themselves.
We also provide support services to the adoptive parents that many attorneys do not provide. The home study process prepares families to be adoptive parents and we continue to provide educational and support services for families and children after the adoption has been completed.
Additionally, as a full-service Christian adoption agency working with both birth and adoptive parents, Christian Family Care is always careful to share all its information about individual children with adopting parents.
Do experts think open adoption is a good idea?
Yes. Most adoption social workers acknowledge that some type of openness in adoption is healthy and desirable. Among those raised in closed adoptions, the reports are mixed; many report that they are perfectly happy not knowing their birthparents, while others state that they would really like some type of contact with them. Some even report being angry that vital information is being withheld from them. Among those who do have contact, however, the results are much more uniform: overwhelmingly those children and teens raised with an open adoption cannot imagine it any other way.
If the adoption is open won’t the birth mother change her mind and want the baby back?
There is no more likelihood of that happening in an open adoption than there is in a closed adoption. Once consents are signed, the birth mother is not able to legally interfere with the adoption plan. In fact, a birthmother who can watch her child grow up in their adoptive family, and be assured the child is happy and healthy, is more likely to reach acceptance in her grieving process.
Won’t an open adoption make me just a babysitter or at best a co-parent?
Open adoption is still adoption, and that means you are the parent. The birth parents does not retain any parental rights. They cannot interfere with your parenting in any way. All decisions, including any decisions about visits with the birth family, are yours to make.
What if I want to move to another state?
CFC does not generally work with out of state families. It is expected that during the adoption process, and a year after placement, families will remain Arizona residents.
Won’t the child be confused about who his real parents are?
Children are very adept at sorting out complex relationships when they are told the truth. Children are much more likely to be confused and frustrated by secrecy and mysteries.
Aren’t there some adoptions that just shouldn’t be open?
Yes. There are some times when contact with a birth family is inappropriate. Fortunately, this is the rare exception.
Are there ways to help with infant adoption costs?
Adoption, as with any child, requires a financial commitment by the adopting family. Visit our page, Adoption Funding, to learn about making adoption from Christian Family Care more affordable through federal adoption tax credits, employee benefits programs, state subsidies and loans.
Why does CFC charge a fee for adoption when so many children need homes?
Christian Family Care is a non-profit agency dedicated to providing high quality services to children, birth parents and adoptive parents. The actual cost of providing services far exceeds revenue from fees. Therefore, we rely on donations to keep the cost of adoption affordable for our clients.
Christian Family Care rates are well below the national and state averages.