How Long Does It Take to Adopt a Child

How long does it take to adopt a child?

Let’s take a look at how long the adoption process takes from start to finish.  The length of the adoption process really varies depending on factors such as whether someone is pursuing domestic or international adoption.

Let’s first take a look at domestic adoptions.  There are a couple of different ways to go about a domestic adoption.  Two types of domestic adoptions are word-of-mouth adoptions and agency adoptions.

Typically the first step in any adoption is a home study. A home study usually takes about three months to complete.  It is intended to give a thorough background check on the potential adoptive parents.  The home study is intended to find out the suitability of the potential adoptive family to adopt a child.  One recommended idea, if you are looking to adopt, is to put together a profile book. The profile book includes things such as pictures of the potential adoptive family and tells things such as why they are looking to adopt a child. The profile book can be a major factor in which family the birth parents choose to place their child.

A word-of-mouth adoption works a little different. The potential adoptive parents in this situation market themselves in order to find a child. They may talk to friends, family, doctors, pregnancy centers or other individuals who may be able to help them find a child to adopt.

International adoptions can take significantly longer than domestic adoptions.  The timeline can vary from country to country.  The home study is still required. Adoptive parents also have a requirement to cooperate with the United States Citizenship & Immigration Service.  Adoptive parents then have a complete packet of information sent to the home country from which they would like to adopt.  A search for a suitable child then begins.   Once a suitable child is located, it can be several more months before the family is ready to travel.  The time frame a family is required to remain in country also varies from country to country.  China typically requires a shorter stay, possibly only a couple of weeks, while other countries may require an adoptive family to stay six weeks or longer.  One great resource to find the differences in each country is a link on the Lifeline Children Services website called “A Quick Look at International Adoption”.

In summary, typically domestic adoptions can be as quick as three to four months or as long as three years.  International adoptions typically range anywhere from as short as two years to as long as five years from start to finish.

From Surviving to Thriving- Marriage Seminar

MitchTemplebyMOodyfromexcerptdsmallerResA strong marriage is the best thing we can give the children God places in our homes.  On Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 6:00 p.m., AGAPE of Central Alabama will be hosting a marriage seminar at Frazier United Methodist Church. Speaker Mitch Temple will share insight into how to take your marriage from surviving to thriving. Temple is an author, speaker, and former Director of Marriage at Focus on the Family. In addition to his marriage work, he serves as the founder and director of The Fatherhood CoMission and has been part of top Christian family movies such as Fireproof, Courageous, October Baby, and many more.

Childcare and snacks will be provided. Also, foster parents will receive 1.5 credit hours for attendance. For registration, please visit eventbrite.com. For more information, e-mail Julie Johnston at jjohnston@agapeforchildren.org or call 272-9466.

Bonding and Attachment Seminar- Part Two

bonding_case_for_permanenceThat’s right! Part 2 of Dr. James Kenny’s Bonding and Attachment seminar is coming to the River Region.  Part 2 of the series will be held in Wetumpka, Alabama at 113 East Bridge Street, Suite A on January 7 at 6:30 p.m.  Part 2 of the series will include training in how to perform a bonding and attachment analysis and how to define and evaluate the bonded relationship.

This training is specifically intended for child welfare professionals, but foster parents and other interested parties are encouraged to come.  Knowledge is power and this seminars are all about equipping the people of Alabama to care for our orphans.

For those who have attended Parts 1 and 2 of the series, Dr. Kenny will provide a certification of attendance (clarifying previous misstatement saying that attending both seminars would result in a certificate of bonding and attachment expert).

For more information, please call Rachel Hines at 334-612-3406, or email her at Rachel@theadoptionfirm.com.

Bonding and Attachment Seminar

bonding_case_for_permanenceThe Adoption Law Firm is proud to host a bonding and attachment seminar on November 18 at Eastmont Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama from 6-8 pm. This seminar will feature special guest and world-renown bonding specialist Dr. James Kenny. Kenny is a retired psychologist with over 50 years of clinical experience.  He is the author of fourteen books on family and child care and has presented over one hundred seminars and workshops for parents, mental health professionals, and attorneys on foster care and adoption issues, parenting, and mental health.

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Kenny will be speaking about how bonding and attachment affects the lives of foster care children tremendously. This event is open to the public for foster parents, social workers, and anyone who has a passion to learn more about the effects of attachment. This seminar will be Part One of a two-part certification process. Part Two is planned to take place when Dr. Kenny returns in January and will cover the nuts-and-bolts of performing a bonding and attachment evaluation. If you attend both seminars, you will receive certification as a bonding specialist.

Please join us on Monday, November 18, at Eastmont Baptist Church in Montgomery from 6-8 and take advantage of this incredible learning opportunity. The fee is $25 for professionals and social workers, however if you are a foster parent you can attend for $10 per person. For this low price, you will receive invaluable knowledge on bonding and attachment and a copy of Dr. Kenney’s book: Bonding in the Case of Permanency. This is an opportunity you do NOT want to miss. Please RSVP to Rachel Hines at 334- 294- 5837 or rachel@theadoptionfirm.com.

AGAPE is Launching Their International Adoption Program!

A recent New York Time’s article, Eager to Adopt: Evangelicals Find Perils Abroad, highlights the difficulties that many well-meaning families encounter throughout the process of international adoption.  Bribery, baby-selling, and the bureaucracy designed to prevent those evils can often bring a good-hearted adoption to a screeching halt.

OrphanageThe reality of these perils is a big reason why I’m thrilled to introduce to you an international adoption program coming out of an agency with nearly 3 decades of experience.  For the last few years, AGAPE of Central Alabama has diligently pursued the development of an international adoption program.  Today at Landmark Church of Christ, AGAPE held an International Adoption Conference which marks the unofficial launching of their International Adoption Program.

The conference began with AGAPE’s International Director, Megan Malinoski, giving an informative overview of the international adoption process.  The next presenter, Kelly Curry, spoke about The UAB International Adoption Clinic and some of the pre and post adoption needs that internationally adopted children often experience.  The conferenced closed with what was probably almost everyone’s favorite time … Q & A with real adoptive families.

For more information on AGAPE’s international adoption program, visit the international adoption page on their website.

Some Common Sense from New York: “Skip Abortion and Promote Adoption”

ThinkingAccording to a recent news article, New York’s Governor proposed legislation that will enable parents to kill their children after 24 weeks of life (keep reading … that’s not the common sense part).

The common sense comes where author, Anne Savarese Brasino, explains why abortion is … not such a good idea after all:

“[A]bortion at any stage is dangerous to the woman’s physical health and harms her mental health.

“Every woman knows it is unnatural to destroy a life at any stage. The lasting memory of the destruction of one’s own unique human creation with its own unique DNA, created once and never to be recreated, is a loss forever to the mother, in some cases to a family, and society. We will never know what great inspiration that person was created to be.

“Destroying this unique person in utero is a crime against humanity and natural law, and there is no consolation for the mother after the fact.

“The appropriate alternative is promoting adoption as an option, whereby the birth does not harm the birth mother and gives another a chance to be a mother to love that special child; special because it was wanted and saved from an unnatural death.”

Thanks, Anne Savarese Brasino, for your article, Skip Abortion and Promote Adoption.  You make us Southerners believe that there is intelligent life above the Mason-Dixon line.  Maybe you should run for Governor!

“Best Interest of the Child” Act – Set for Signing on Wednesday!

Good news Alabamians!

On Wednesday, April 24th, 2013, Gov. Bentley is scheduled to sign into law a bill that could revolutionize foster care and adoption in Alabama.

In a recent post, Improving Foster Care and Adoption, we chronicled the efforts of Speaker Mike HubbardHubbard’s Office to diagnose and treat Alabama’s ailing foster care and adoption system.

We found that in the years between 2006 and 2012, Alabama’s foster care system dropped from 6th in the nation to 33rd.  In addition, we found that 1,770 children a year die from abuse and neglect in America – and if you’re counting, that almost 5 children per day.

Our research led us to conclude that one of the biggest areas for improvement in Alabama was the time that it takes for a judge to make a decision on a petition to terminate the parental rights of biological parents that have been found to be unfit.

The culmination of this collaborative effort is a House Bill 115 / SB 307 known as “Best Interest of the Child” Act. In summary, the “Best Interest of the Child” Act would:

1. Require DHR to file a petition to terminate parental rights of a parent(s) of a child who has been in foster care for 12 of the last 22 months instead of the current 15 out of 22 months in statute.
2. Give judges a maximum of 90 days to hear TPR cases once service of process has been perfected and 30 days after to issue the court’s order. Alabama is one of only 17 states that do not currently have time guidelines in statute that judges must abide by to hear and issue orders in TPR cases. Currently, it takes an average of almost three years to move a child placed into foster care into a permanent adoptive home. Alabama is in the bottom ten states in this statistic.

We believe this legislation will have two main positive impacts: 1) move children out of foster care or other temporary homes sooner, and 2) move children into permanent adoptive homes sooner, thus increasing the adoption rate.

So, Alabamians … an immediate way to have an impact on foster care and adoption in Alabama is to get the word out about this excellent legislation.  This is exactly the kind of laws that we want our elected officials to fight for.  Let’s thank our legislatures for making Alabama a safer place for its children.

Adoption – Know Your Rights – Friday, July 20th

Are you pregnant and considering abortion?  Have you thought about adoption?  Do you know your rights?

Come to a free informational meeting Friday, July 20th at 12:00 noon at First Choice Women’s Medical Center:  380 Mendel Parkway, Montgomery, AL 36117.

Did you know that you can get your qualifying medical and living expenses paid for and continue to see your child after the adoption?

Come to the informational meeting this Friday at 12:00 noon to see what Steve Jobs, Sarah McLachlan, Tommy Davidson, and Jamie Foxx all have in common.

Photos by Lightsurgery, SFU Public Affairs and Media Relations, and Neon Tommy.

Smallest Person Adoption

For decades medical textbooks have presented the consensus view that biological human life begins at conception.[1] For example, textbook authors Moore and Persaud explain that the very first cell resulting from fertilization “mark[s] the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.”[2] In addition, William Larsen’s textbook on embryology explains that the moment of fertilization “initiate[s] the embryonic development of a new individual.”[3] O’Rahilly and Muller also agree in their textbook that, at the moment of fertilization, “a new genetically distinct human organism is formed.”[4].

Currently in the United States, there are over 500,000 frozen embryos, or “snowflake babies,” waiting for their chance to really live.[5] Did you know that you can adopt a child even before they enter the womb?

The following video gives an overview of embryo adoption . . . and see this video for some interesting information on the monetary implications of embryo adoption.

Photo by The ShutterBabe.


[1] See Nathan Schlueter & Robert H. Bork, Constitutional Persons: An Exchange on Abortion 2, 5-6 (2003), available at http://www.firstthings.com/article/ 2007/06/002-constitutional-persons-an-exchange-on-abortion-13..; ROBERT P. GEORGE & CHRISTOPHER TOLLESFEN, EMBRYO: A DEFENSE OF HUMAN LIFE 47 (2008).

[2] George & Tollesfen, at 47 (citing Keith L. Moore & T.V.N. Persaud, The Developing Human 34 (7th ed. 2003)).

[3] Id. (citing William Larsen, Human Embryology 4 (3rd ed. 2001)).

[4] Id. (citing Ronan O’Rahilly and Fabiola Muller, Human Embryology and Teratology 8 (2001)).

[5] http://www.embryoadoption.org/adoption_agencies/index.cfm