FAQ

What is Open Adoption and why should I consider it?

The majority of adoptions processed today have some degree of “openness”. Open adoption refers to a situation in which the birth parents and adoptive parents work together to create a plan that is in the best interest of the child. In an open adoption, birthparents and adoptive parents have contact with each other, and have an open line of communication between the two. A semi-open adoption (or mediated adoption) is sometimes considered an “open” adoption, but actually refers to a situation in which an agency works as an intermediary to pass information between the birth family and adoptive family so that each gets information about the other, but no contact information or identifying information is exchanged. Many agencies say that they offer “open” adoption, but in each circumstance, all parties involved in an adoption should investigate what that really means.

 

At Professional Adoption, we believe in providing services that are researched and proven to be in the best interest of families in order to ensure the positive adjustment of each individual after an adoption is complete. Research has demonstrated that contact with birthparents helps adopted children to understand their adoption story and normalizes the adoption process for them. Further research has proven that all parties involved in adoption benefit from open communication and contact, thus our agency assists in completing fully open adoptions where birthparents and adoptive parents exchange identifying information and contact information, so as to create the relationship that works best for them. Our birth families and adoptive families complete at least one in-person visit per year throughout the life of the child, although many of our families talk, text, and visit more often. 

At Professional Adoption & Family Services, the birthparents select the family that they feel is the right fit for their baby. They work together with the agency and the adoptive parents throughout the adoption process to create the best possible placement for the child.  After the adoption is completed, birthparents and adoptive parents maintain contact, communication, and visits so that the child grows up in an environment where adoption is embraced and celebrated without the secrecy, mystery or shame that so often overshadows closed adoption proceedings. 

How long does the adoption process take?

Because the adoption path for each family and each child is unique, there is no way to say exactly how long your adoption will take. This depends on a number of variables, including how long it takes to complete your home study, the type of marketing and outreach you chose to utilize, the service provider that you choose for each step of the process, and how long it takes to find the right child for your family.  Since our agency provides a la carte services, you can choose which services are right for you and your family and go at your own pace.

What are the agency’s requirements for home study applicants?

First, someone seeking to adopt must have the willingness and desire to became a parent through open adoption.  In a situation in which a couple or family wishes to adopt a child, each family member must individually wish to expand their family through adoption. The adoption process is an emotional process that requires both physical and emotional preparedness. An adoptive parent must be prepared to meet and work with a birthparent, the agency, lawyers, and state and local agencies in order to complete the steps to adopt a child. Adoptive parents must be able to meet the emotional, physical, and financial needs of rearing a child. 

 

Professional Adoption & Family Services requires a thorough assessment of all prospective families. Adoptive parents can be single or married and may own or rent their home. In addition, they must meet established minimum requirements.

  • If single, at least 25 years of age and at least 10 years older than the child

  • If married, at least 10 years older than the child

  • All applicants must be a resident in the State of Georgia for at least 6 months

  • Must be financially, physically and mentally able to care for and take permanent custody of a child

  • A person applying for adoption must complete a LiveScan background check and meet minimum requirements for adopting a child.

  • All applicants must have a desire to adopt through a fully open adoption, and should be comfortable meeting and talking with birthparents. They should also be open to in person visits with birthparents at a minimum of once per year.

Adoptive parents must complete a home evaluation process in which a social worker conducts a thorough review of their preparedness and ability to care for a child.  Our staff makes every effort to guide clients through the home study process with step-by-step instructions and assistance with gathering the documentation necessary for approval. Among other things, home study applicants will need to complete the following:

  • Home safety check

  • Interviews with a social worker

  • Medical examination

  • Obtain letters of reference from friends and one relative

  • Drug screen (5 or 10 panel, urine screen)

  • Have a valid state ID

  • Completion of a two-hour Information Session

  • Completion of training

  • Criminal History and Background Check

  • Child abuse screening

  • Documentation of income and assets

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