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Alabama adoption agency for newborn?


My husband and I are wanting to start the adoption process but not sure where to start. We met with an attorney and he suggested we pick an agency but not sure where we should begin bc there are so many! Any advise on AL agencies or agencies near us?

Replies

Have you ever considered that you could sign up with multiple agencies at once with low up front fees and across the country? I’m an adoption consultant and also used one myself. This is the strategy we help our clients with for a quicker adoption process.  If you are interested in learning more about it, PM me and we can set that up. I recently worked with a family in AL.

-Rebecca G.

Posted by RGAdopt on Oct 25, 2017 at 11:24pm

You need not use an adoption agency in your state. Open Adoption & Family Services has an excellent reputation for ethics, and they work with people all over the country.

You should also be aware that Alabama allows a very unethical practice: Expectant mothers can sign a termination of rights before the baby is even born. There are only two states that allow this. Most states rightfully realize that a woman needs to have and see her baby before she can make such a permanent, life altering decision.

Posted by rredhead on Oct 26, 2017 at 1:21am

Wait what?? I guess I am so uneducated on this subject and in for many hours of research. I thought an agency was the only way we could adopt and if we don’t use an agency in AL will we not have to travel to whatever state the agency we choose is in? My mind is spinning and it is overwhelming. I appreciate your comments and help, I will look at agencies outside of AL.

Posted by StephaniS on Oct 26, 2017 at 3:48pm

We used A Angel Adoptions out of Helena, AL and I cannot say enough wonderful things about them. Susan Pedan (spelling?) is wonderful for all parties involved. Ethical and professional; she really cares for everyone. Our son’s Birthmother was very happy with her as well. She did a great job for us and really cares for everyone involved in the adoption. Please feel free to ask me any specific questions you have. We are from WI.

Posted by tls on Oct 29, 2017 at 2:39am

Research the laws in Alabama.  I am assuming you are asking about private domestic adoption, which is almost exclusively newborn babies, although occasionally older infants or children are adopted this way.  In most states you can do private adoption through an agency or through an attorney.  In some states, attorneys can advertise for expectant moms (EM) like agencies do.  In some states, prospective adoptive parents (PAP) can advertise, also, and in some states, the attorney only gets involved after the PAP and EM have made a connection. 

You absolutely can use an agency from another state, and you can adopt from another state, which adds another level of bureaucracy called the Interstate Compact (ICPC).  If you adopt from another state, you will have to stay in the state where baby was born until the sending state and receiving state agree, which can take several days to a couple of weeks or more.  Often the finalization hearing can be done by phone. 

Regardless of the type of adoption you choose, the initial process for the PAP is similar.  You will need to have a home study done.  While the basic elements of the home study are the same, some differences in requirements exist for foster-adopt, international, or private.  You will have to show that you are stable financially (not rich, just stable), that you have room for a child, and you will have to be finger-printed and agree to a background check.  You will have to get references (3-5), and answer a lot of questions about yourselves, your upbringing, and how you would raise a child. 

After you bring your child home, most states require post-placement visits by a social worker who reports to the court, and then a finalization hearing when the adoption is signed off by the court and becomes final.  Once the adoption is final, it is final unless there is proof that something was done illegally.

If you do private domestic adoption, you will have to decide on the degree of open-ness you are interested in.  Open adoption refers to some contact between adoptive family and birth family.  This can mean anything from semi-open, where the PAP and EM meet beforehand, and then only keep in touch through letters, pictures, email, etc, to fully open, where there are on-going visits and frequent contact.  This is an extremely personal decision, and I always tell PAP’s to research the issues for themselves.  There are very few closed adoptions anymore, where there is no contact between adoptive family and bio family before or after placement of child, but you will occasionally hear of bio families wanting no contact.  Those who adopt internationally or from foster care often have no choice about contact with birth family. 

Sorry for the long post, I hope it is helpful.  We began in adoption in Jan 2008, and have three beautiful children through domestic adoption, 8, 6, and 5.  We had our share of heartache along the way.  Our youngest was a surprise, the bio half-sibling of our middle child, and we were asked to parent again.  So surprise pregnancies happen even in adoption!!

Good luck on your journey!

Posted by jszmom on Nov 01, 2017 at 3:20pm

No, you don’t have to travel to the state the agency is in. Agencies are usually licensed in many states. We used facilitators, which I don’t recommend as they tend to be very unethical and offer no support. Even though we and the facilitators were in CA, our kids were born in MO and LA, so we traveled there. We never met in person with anyone from the facilitators’ offices.

Posted by rredhead on Nov 09, 2017 at 2:23am

We used Family Adoption Services out of Birmingham/Homewood.  They were wonderful. They’re small and work a little different than a lot of agencies.

An attorney and his wife run the agency.  They’re also adoptive parents, so they understand from that standpoint as well.  Our daughter’s birthmom also has great things to say about them.


Edited to add: Even though birthmom’s can sign in advance, they still have 5 days post-birth to change their mind.  Our agency didn’t tell us we were even chosen until after TPR was complete.  DD was in the NICU during that time, but that’s their normal practice anyway (the couple that run the agency takes care of the baby kind of like cradle care while waiting).  This helps prevent HAP’s from getting hurt and it also prevents the birthmom from feeling guilty if they change their mind after HAP’s have formed a bond.

Posted by bamabelle1982 on Nov 09, 2017 at 10:00pm

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