professional adoption & family services, inc.taxi fareprofessional adoption & family services, inc.
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FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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 birthparents 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 an open line of communication. 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 without contact information or identifying information being 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.

 

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 shown that all parties involved in adoption benefit from open communication and contact. When birthparents and adoptive parents maintain contact, communication, and visits, 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. Having the opportunity to know their own story and connect with their family of origin allows children to build a strong sense of identity and belonging.

How does Professional Adoption & Family Services facilitate successful open adoptions?

 

At Professional Adoption & Family Services, we believe in providing research-based services that are proven to be in the best interest of families in order to ensure each individual can thrive after an adoption is complete. Through education, counseling, and the home study process, PAFS helps adoptive parents prepare to have fully open adoptions where birthparents and adoptive parents have direct and ongoing contact and create the relationship that works best for them. Our families generally 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. Our referral partners facilitate matches that include an open adoption agreement to help everyone establish a strong foundation of trust and communication. We partner with Empowered Life (anempoweredlife.org) to provide clinical counseling support for all members of the adoption constellation; the birthparents, agency, and adoptive parents work together throughout the adoption process to create the best possible placement for the child. 

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 choose 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. Professional Adoption & Family Services provides a la carte services so that 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?

Professional Adoption & Family Services requires a thorough assessment of all prospective families, in compliance with state laws and adoption best practices. Applicants must first meet the minimum requirements for adopting parents set by the State of Georgia. To be compatible to work with PAFS, someone seeking to adopt must have the willingness and desire to become a parent through a fully 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, and an adoptive parent must be prepared to meet and work with birthparents, 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. To facilitate an open adoption, applicants should be comfortable meeting and talking with birthparents and be open to in-person visits with birthparents at a minimum of once per year. PAFS works with single or married adoptive parents, and applicants may own or rent their home. 

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.

What is required in order to complete the home study process?

Among other things, home study applicants will need to complete the following*:

  • Home safety check

  • Interviews with a Social Worker

  • Medical examination

  • Letters of reference from friends and one relative

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

  • 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

*Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and documentation required for the home study can vary based on family circumstances. 

Will PAFS help me find a baby to adopt / match me with a birthparent?

At this time, PAFS offers a la carte services to adoptive parents, focusing on successful completion of the home study process in preparation for adoption. Rather than conducting matching services in-house, we refer our clients to a network of trusted partners for matching services, so that each family can find the best match with the best support based on family needs and priorities. We have found that adopting parents who utilize our network to conduct broad and active outreach to prospective birthparents are often able to match more quickly than in traditional full-service agencies, and this approach allows hopeful parents to have more input and initiative in their search for the right match. Ultimately, birthparents select the family that they feel is the right fit for their baby, and the rights and best interests of birthparents are central to our approach. Based on ethical and research-based practices, PAFS ensures that any families working with us receive appropriate clinical counseling and legal representation prior to adoption finalization.

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