Working with an agency provides benefits and security that other adoption avenues do not. Adoption agencies are licensed by the state and are required to meet specific criteria and follow certain rules. A private adoption agency offers counseling and legal services with support ongoing through finalization. Set fee agencies like Adoption Advocates also absorb costs if the expectant mother decides to parent, meaning you have more protection financially.
At AAI, we accept applicants between the ages of 25-48. If the applicants are heterosexual, there is a two-year minimum marriage requirement. Applicants must be emotionally and financially stable. We also encourage applicants to be flexible about such issues as ethnicity and health history, and to be comfortable with open adoption.
A free service AAI provides to ALL prospective clients is our AAI Training Seminars, generally offered four times a year. Attending a seminar answers a lot of questions about the adoption process and also allows you to get to know us better. These meetings include a panel of birth mothers and adoptive parents in order to broaden your understanding of the various lifelong issues of the different types of adoption. There is no cost for attending. AAI requires 10 hours of adoptive parent training in Austin prior to placement. Learn more about what Training Sessions offer and see upcoming dates.
Yes, we do. We believe in building families of all types. We believe a loving home for a child is not defined by the ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation of the parents and welcome prospective parents from all backgrounds.
Our philosophy is that the expectant mother is making an adoption plan during the pregnancy but the decision is not made until the child is born. In Texas, a mother has full rights to change her mind about an adoption plan up until the time that the relinquishment documents are signed. Texas state law requires that a birth parent cannot sign relinquishment documents any sooner than 48 hours after birth. Once a birth parent signs the relinquishment, it is considered irrevocable. At AAI, we put great emphasis on our expectant parent counseling program, so that they may explore all of their options before making an adoption plan. We hope that through counseling, expectant parents will be emotionally prepared for the feelings they will have at the hospital. We assist them in identifying coping mechanisms to aid in their grief process and lifelong adoption issues.
Open adoption is in the best interest of the child. Adopted children grow up thinking about both sets of parents—their mommy and daddy who raise them and their birth parents. The more you know, the more you can share with your child. Your child can grow up knowing that their adoption was an act of love and an unselfish desire that he or she have a better life. Your child will know that his or her birth parents carefully chose you to be the parents with love and great hope for the future. Your child will learn that the connection to their birth parents is lifelong and always honored. It is much easier for your child’s self-esteem to remain intact if their origin is honored.
As part of the process, AAI obtains as much information as possible about the expectant parents’ medical history, ethnicity and social background. We also send expectant parent medical information to a genetic counselor for an evaluation based on potential risk factors. We will share all information obtained with the prospective adoptive parents as well as information received from the hospital regarding delivery and newborn medical care.
Adoption Advocates, Inc. (AAI) is committed to placing a child in your home within 18 months of full acceptance. To be fully accepted in our program, your inquiry, application, and home study must be fully approved. Although we cannot guarantee placement in about 18 months, we accept only the number of prospective adoptive parents with whom we can reasonably expect to place children within about an 18-month period. Your placement might happen much more quickly, or take a little longer. Every adoption plan happens differently, but remember that your child is out there!
Because the expectant parents generally choose the adoptive parents, you should be prepared to be picked at any time after you are approved by AAI. The more flexible you are about ethnicity and background considerations, the faster your placement will likely be.
Adoption Advocates offers a comprehensive fee of $39,500 for the placement of a child in your home. Our comprehensive fee covers administrative costs, professional staff time, adoption educational programs for prospective adoptive parents and birth parents, preparation of interstate compact documents, and post adoption support services. Also covered is our extensive outreach program to educate expectant parents about their choices available in an adoption plan. Learn more about adoption fees.
There is currently a Federal Tax Credit available for most domestic adoptions. You can learn more about the federal tax credit eligibility and benefits through the IRS website. There are also a growing number of companies which offer adoption reimbursement, which will help cover the cost of your adoption. Check with your employer to find out if your company offers such benefits.
Just as expectant parents don’t get to choose the sex of the baby, neither do adoptive parents. Generally, in an open adoption, the expectant parents select the adoptive parents before the child is born. We find that placements happen much more quickly when adoptive parents are willing to be flexible about issues like sex, ethnicity and background considerations. Although we specialize in infant adoptions, we have placed children up to six years old.
Before beginning the adoption process, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is either of us prejudiced against (whatever child you are considering)?
- Are our extended families prejudiced?
- How would they accept a grandchild (niece, nephew, etc.) who is a minority?
- Do we have friends, neighbors and other role models of the child’s ethnicity for the child to grow up knowing?