Frequently Asked Questions

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Domestic Adoption Explained

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Probably the question we get asked most often is 'How long does it take to adopt?'

It is difficult to answer this question. Because it is our policy that the birthparents choose the family, the time period you wait is mostly a matter of how long it takes for you to be selected by a birth family. We have had a few 'miracle' placements where a family has been selected within a couple weeks of contracting with us. The term of our full contract is set at two full years, and we feel this is a reasonable time frame. We also limit the number of families that we will work with at a time, in an effort to make sure every family gets a placement within two years. Most of our families have gotten their placements within two year time frame.

Another factor that may affect your wait time is how selective you choose to be regarding the situations you want to be presented to. For example; we do allow our families to specify a gender preference, however that will greatly narrow your path. Many birthmothers do not know if they are carrying a boy or girl. If this is your choice, you will not be presented to any birthmother that does not know the gender of their baby. Many birthmothers do not find out if they are carrying a boy or girl until after they have selected a family.

What are the advantages to using your marketing services versus running my own ads?

The cost of running an ad in multiple newspapers can mount up very quickly, and they only run for short periods of time. Yes, some families have been successful in locating a birthmother this way, but understand that the cost of "doing it yourself" also includes obtaining a toll-free phone number for birthmothers to call, and if you have active ads, you really need to be available to answer that line 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.

Not only is it very time consuming and expensive to place these ads, but you must also screen all of the incoming calls. Unfortunately, these ads attract people that are not always truthful about their situation and intentions. You really have to invest time with every prospective birthmother to determine if she is sincere and legitimate before proceeding with the situation.

The ladies at A Loving Choice have spent many years perfecting the process of screening all incoming calls and situations on your behalf.

A Loving Choice runs professional ads all across the country including Puerto Rico. We have tested many markets and only repeat advertising in the areas that tend to produce the most calls. We are also committed to testing and advertising through many other mechanisms, with the Internet and social networking sites being foremost in our marketing strategies.

Is A Loving Choice Adoption Services a licensed agency?

No. A Loving Choice Adoption Services is not a licensed adoption agency. We are an adoption marketing service, whose sole purpose is to coordinate marketing efforts to connect birth families with prospective adoptive parents. Please be advised, however, that it is within A Loving Choice Adoption Service's sole discretion as to the frequency, location, and content of our marketing strategies, which will aid in the location of the birthmother/birthparents.

How do I know if you are a reputable service?

Since 1997, the staff of ALCAS has worked with many professionals, adoptive families and birth families. We believe our success is evident in the relationships we have built. Our experience allows us to handle the difficult decisions involved in placing a child, and our compassion compels us be available at all times of the day and night for all parties of the adoption process. ALCAS will be happy to share the names of attorneys, agencies, and adoptive families for reference.

At one time, all staff members of A Loving Choice Adoption Services were without children. We understand the emotional ups and downs that it brings, and we are committed to provide you with a professional service as well as emotional support, from one adoptive parent to another.

Will A Loving Choice Adoption Services provide legal, medical, psychological or advisory services in addition to locating an acceptable child for adoption?

No, A Loving Choice Adoption Services is not a private or publicly licensed adoption agency; an attorney or law firm; a psychologist; a doctor or counselor. However, we will help and guide you through your entire adoption process. We will help you locate and acquire the assistance of professionals that are required to legally complete your adoption process. ALCAS will give you guidance and direction, but you still must rely upon the information and advice provided by licensed practitioners of your choosing.

How are we selected or "matched" with a birth family?

When you contract with us, we ask you to provide us with 10-15 copies of your family profile. A family profile is a 'Dear Birthmother' letter and pictures of yourselves, your other children, your home, your animals, whatever you choose to show. These profiles are what the birth families see and what they choose the adoptive family from. So, you want a nicely done profile. Your profile should clearly show yourselves and your lifestyle. Many families have the computer and/or scrap booking skills needed to produce a nicely done family profile themselves. However, if you need assistance, or simply prefer that someone else perform this service for you, please contact our office.

All adoptive families that meet the criteria of what a birth family is looking for (i.e. marital status; whether the adoptive couple will be first-time parents or not; religion; possibly age; location; etc.) will have their profiles presented to the birth family. Be advised that we do not select the adoptive couple for the birthmother. It is up to the birth family of the child to select you.

Once you are selected by a birth family, we will inform you of all the information that we have concerning the situation. Often times a birthmother will also want to have a phone conversation with you. Only after you accept the situation are you considered 'matched'.

What will our birthmother/birthparents be like?

Well, we have to admit, that in this day and age, there are not a whole lot of pregnant women that are opting for adoption over other alternatives. In our opinion, the birthmother/birthparents must be courageous to choose adoption over abortion. Carrying a child for nine months and then giving him/her to another family to be raised is an incredibly painful and difficult action. This is a decision that she/they must live with for the rest of their lives. We have found that in order for a woman to plan this and then to carry through with her commitment, she must have some very motivating factors. Some examples of motivating factors can include, but are not limited to, a strong conviction that this child must have two parents, a traditional family, or perhaps the mother is in school and is so ambitious that she will not sacrifice her education or career for child rearing. Some birthmothers find it impossible to raise a child due to emotional reasons. And, unfortunately, in these economically stressful times, we often hear that finances are the major reason for placing the child for adoption. Whatever their reason may be, we ask that you not be strongly judgmental on the choices and lifestyles of birthmothers/birthparents. While each situation is different, be comforted by the fact that the choice is also yours to make. By no means do we want you to think that you would be parenting a child that you are not capable of parenting because of drug and/or alcohol abuse, psychological disorders, or physical problems.

What about background and medical information on the birthmother/birthparents?

After first initial contact we automatically send out forms to be filled out and returned by the birthmother/birthparents. These forms are mostly about family medical history. We request that the birthmother send or fax us verification of her pregnancy, and also sign a medical release form. This medical release form give us permission to contact her doctor and verify that she is carrying a healthy baby. While most birthmothers/birthparents complete and return these forms there are some that don't. Not receiving the requested information doesn't necessarily mean that they are not committed to the adoption plan. Most attorneys and agencies also have their own forms, which they prefer to use in lieu of our forms. Every state has different social and medical requirements to complete the adoption process. This information must be gathered by the attorney or agency from your birthmother/birthparents. Your legal or agency representation is responsible for checking all facts concerning your situation and informing you of any legal or health risks concerning your birth family or child.

How much will the entire adoption cost us?

The cost of a completed adoption can vary greatly depending on the many factors surrounding an adoption. Current statistics show that the average cost of a private domestic adoption is between $18,000 - $25,000. We believe these statistics are accurate.

The majority of our fee represents the cost of advertising. Our fee also includes the screening process of all birthmothers, phone costs, and the general cost of doing business.

Above and beyond our fee, you will also have to pay all attorney and/or agency fees; the cost of travel to get to where your baby is born and having to stay there until you are legally free to take your baby home; and possibly birth mother expenses if there are any.

Some states allow the adoptive family to help support the birthmother throughout the pregnancy with what are called "maternity related" expenses. These expenses can include rent, food, utilities, medical, counseling, and maternity clothing among other things. During our initial contact with the birthmother we ask if she/they have some type of medical/pregnancy related insurance, and encourage them to seek state aid (i.e. Medicaid) if they have none. Former President Bush actually enacted a law which states that Medicaid cannot refuse a pregnant lady. So medical expenses are rare.

If a birthmother is requesting living expenses, we will call you up before presenting your profile the birthmother to see if you are willing to pay her expenses. It is not our place to make these decisions for you.

A Loving Choice Adoption Services has opted to charge you, the client, a minimal fee in an effort to keep your total adoption cost within the national average or below.

If our adoption fails, do we lose all of our money?

The fee you pay to A Loving Choice Adoption Services is for the service of attempting to find you an acceptable baby for adoption. There is no guarantee that a suitable child will be located or that the adoption court will approve the adoption. If an attempted adoption fails, A Loving Choice Adoption Services will continue to seek a child for you, however, no portion of a paid fee will be refunded.

How long does the birthmother/birthparents have to change her mind after we have the child?

This varies from state and state; however, we have found that in most states, rights can be fully terminated within days of the birth. We recommend that you research both attorneys and agencies in your state before you make a decision on which to use.

What is an "open" adoption?

An open adoption is where adoptive parents and birthparents share full or partial identities and become personally acquainted before the birth of the baby. For the birthparents, this can be very rewarding as they can develop complete confidence in the adoptive parents. This relationship will help secure a placement more than anything else. The birthparents can also take pride in their active role of personally selecting the adoptive parents, rather than relinquishing that role to an agency or attorney.

After placement, most adoptive families will send pictures and updates on the child to the birth family once or twice a year. These updates can come through our office or through the attorney's office.

Whatever the terms of contact are, both the birth family and adoptive family must be in complete agreement. We believe the openness that surrounds the adoptions of today is extremely healthy for all parties involved.

In today's world, totally "closed" adoptions are very rare.

We also encourage the adoptive family and birthparents to share in the delivery experience. This is definitely a once in a lifetime moment!