How long is the process from application to placement?
Once an adoptive family enters the Waiting Families Album of approved families, it is not possible to predict how long the wait will be for a placement since birthparents select the adoptive family from this pool. In general we can say within one year but cannot guarantee.
Is there anything we can do to be selected for placement more quickly by a birth parent?
Yes and no. The more flexible you can be in regard to race and medical and social background issues in the child that you hope to adopt, the more placements may be available for which you will be considered. We will also work with you to develop your Family Connection Plan which is a way to get you seen by birth parents who are looking for you! However, you must wait for your unique family profile to touch the heart of a birthmother. The wait for a placement is difficult.
We are worried about the family profile! We aren’t creative people and we are afraid that we won’t be able to portray our family in a way that appeals to birthparents.
Don’t worry! HATW will guide you in creating a family profile that reflects your uniquely wonderful family. We will tell you what we need and review the information and photos you give us. You are not going to appeal to all birthparents, and you shouldn’t! You will appeal to that one birthparent who sees something special in your family that connects with her.
If we are in HATW’s Waiting Families Album, can we continue to network for a placement elsewhere?
Yes of course. We understand that you hope to add a child to your family as soon as possible. You will get a copy of your home study and family profile to network for other domestic placement opportunities. We just ask you to please let us know if you are matched with another birthmother so that we can put you on hold pending the outcome of the placement. If you happen to connect with a birth parent on your own you can bring her to our agency to provide counseling and legal services.
Even with no identifying information exchanged, we are afraid to meet the birthmother! We are so worried we will say the wrong thing and she won’t like us.
From experience, we know that she is as nervous to meet you as you are to meet her! She is just as worried that you won’t like her or may judge her for having a baby that she is unable to parent. However, her desire to do all that she can to make a good plan for her child’s future gives her courage to meet you. This meeting is not an interview. She has chosen you as the adoptive family for her child. This meeting is the beginning of the road for the placement. During your home study process and prior to being matched, you will learn about the importance of having a relationship with the birth parents and she will as well.
Can a birthmother change her mind and decide to keep her baby?
Yes, this is always a possibility. The risk of this is higher if the birthmother has not had counseling available to her to help her through her decision and to support her emotionally after the baby is born. HATW provides this counseling and preparation.
What about the birthfather? Do his rights need to be considered?
Yes. The birthfather’s rights must be addressed as part of the adoption plan. States vary in the legal requirements as to the process for this.
If we already have a placing agency or know the birthmother, can HATW provide the other services we need, such as a home study and post placement visits?
Yes, HATW can provide necessary services for any domestic adoption. Please contact us to discuss your situation.
Will we have ongoing contact with the expectant parents?
HATW works with both the expectant and adoptive parents to initiate a mutually agreed upon relationship. This relationship includes the type of adoption and the degree of openness desired in your relationship. In today’s adoptions, HATW infant adoptions are open to some degree. Often the birthparents’ and adoptive parents’ relationship evolves over time in similar ways to extended family relationships, seeking what is in the child’s best interest.
When will the adoption be finalized?
Finalization of an infant adoption occurs after a specified period of time. This varies from state to state but is usually at least several months. In Michigan the adoption is finalized 6 months after the Order Placing Child is received.