Adopted Children

How to Adopt a Child From the Philippines

Select an international adoption agency. Ask other adoptive parents which agencies they used, and call to ask questions about the process, the cost and post-placement services before making your final decision.

Complete all required paperwork. You will have piles of forms to fill out, including financial history and background check forms, medical forms and insurance forms. You will need to assemble birth certificates for the members of your household, mortgage statements, photographs and letters of reference. Your social worker will help you if you have any questions.

Allow the agency to perform a home study. You will need to have your home checked for safety and an acceptable level of cleanliness, and the social worker will interview you and your spouse about your family dynamics, views on parenting and the child that you hope to adopt. This is also the time that your social worker will collect all of the forms that you have gathered and completed.

Complete your dossier. This is a packet of notarised documents, many of which you will have already assembled for your home study. Your adoption agency will be submitting this paperwork to the Inter-Country Adoption Board, which is the government agency that handles applications to adopt a baby from the Philippines.

Wait to hear if you are approved to adopt a baby. This may take up to four months. After approval, wait until you are chosen to adopt one baby in particular, a process that may take over a year.

Assemble more paperwork if you accept the placement. After this is sent to the Philippines, you will need to wait several more months while your paperwork is reviewed and your baby undergoes medical tests and is assigned a visa.

Travel to the Philippines to meet your child. If you are married, only one of you will have to go to pick up your child. During your stay, you will meet with the baby's previous caregivers and they will help you get to know your child.

Participate in post-placement services after you arrive home. The Inter-Country Adoption Board will retain legal guardianship of your child for six months after the placement, as required by the government of the Philippines. During this time, your social worker will visit you a minimum of three times and will submit reports on how the arrangement is working out. After this time period, you will be free to finalise the adoption.

Gifts for Adoption Day

Commemorative Gifts

A plaque with the date of the adoption and a photograph of the family will become wall art that will remind your child of this special day for years to come. A medallion with the child's initials and the date of the adoption finalization would be an item that he could wear on an attractive chain throughout his adulthood. A charm bracelet with the same type of small dated charm attached would also be an option for a female. A scrapbook filled with pictures, statements, quotes and journal entries of all the events leading up to the big day would remind the child of his journey to his new home and how loved he is.

Books

A custom-made story book with all of the dates, times, names and details of the adoption journey would provide a lasting commemoration of the child's entrance into his new life. It would be an item that he could keep on his bookshelves forever and provide personal story-time reading at bedtime for many nights to come. Another option would be to purchase adoption-themed books such as "Over the Moon: An Adoption Tale" by Karen Katz, written with four-to-eight year old children in mind. Older children might enjoy accounts of teens in similar circumstances such as "The Returnable Girl" by Pamela Lowell. .

Interactive Activities

Items that encourage interaction among family members would be especially welcomed. A playground set or trampoline for the backyard, a game system with a variety of games for the family room, or, if you have a smaller budget, simple puzzles, board games and playing cards would help provide the opportunity and environment for all family members to bond.

Fun Gifts

Adopted children will enjoy just ordinary gifts that make them feel like part of the family. A coveted pair of name-brand sneakers, backpacks for their new schools, or gift cards to their favorite stores will all make them feel that they are now welcome and vital additions to their new home. New additions to their rooms such as bedding, furniture, wall art or rugs will help make them comfortable and relaxed in their surroundings.

How Long Does an Adoption Dissolution Take?

Considerations

Dissolving an adoption requires much deliberation. Ultimately, the child's wellbeing and interests are paramount to making an informed decision. Of course, it is best for all parties involved to disclose all applicable information so as to minimize the possibility of dissolution. Doing so gives the parents an opportunity to learn more about the child and the risks that may be involved in adopting.

Statistics

A minority of finalized adoptions actually dissolve. It's been estimated that only between 1% and 10% of completed adoptions reach the stage of dissolution. The statistics vary from state to state and may lack some accuracy because once a child has been legally adopted, his file is officially closed. This practice makes it difficult to track any changes after the adoption process. In the state of New York, roughly 3.3% of adopted children landed in foster care after four years of being adopted. In Kansas City, an estimated 3% of adopted children were living outside of their adoptive parents' homes within two years after adoption. In Iowa, 8% of adopted children were, after four years, placed out of the adoptive parents' homes.

Explanation

Research indicates that the rate of dissolution is proportionate to the child's age at the time of adoption and ethnicity. According to studies, dissolution of adoption is more common for male or non-Hispanic children. Additionally, people who adopt special needs children are confronted with increased struggles and challenges that make the adoption difficult to maintain. Two common barriers to adoption success are a lack of resource information and the cost of services.

Timeframe

While there is no specific timeframe for when an adoption dissolution is finalized, it is recommended that you speak with an attorney or your adoption agency to get a more accurate timeframe. The timeframe depends heavily on the type of adoption that took place, the age of the adopted child, the reason why the adoption is being disrupted, as well as state laws. The dissolution process may take anywhere from one month to one year, again depending on your independent situation.

If the adoption has not been finalized, the disruption process is quite simple. It requires primarily signing a paper declaring that you wish the adoption to be reversed, releasing you from responsibility.

However, if the adoption has been finalized, the court's involvement is required. In some cases, the court may order you to continue to provide child support payments until the child has been adopted by another individual or turns 18 years of age, whichever comes first. Ultimately, it is up to the judge whether the relationship is dissolvable. If the adoption lawyer is able to make a case that it is unsafe for the child to continue living in the home, the judge may choose to dissolve the adoption.

Adopting a Grandchild That You Have Guardianship Over in Michigan

Weigh the options of continuing guardianship versus adoption. Guardianship allows grandparents to make legal decisions for grandchildren and does not require permanent termination of parental rights. In Michigan, subsidies made to guardians may make raising grandchildren financially easier, but guardianship ends at age 18. Temporary guardianship lasts only six months in Michigan, and it can be revoked by the natural parents, in some cases. Adoption makes the relationship permanent and removes the courts from any decision-making or overseeing of your family.

Hire a lawyer to represent your interests in court. An attorney specializing in family law can best navigate the sometimes treacherous waters of adoption. Since termination of parental rights is necessary for adoption, the parents must agree to give up all rights or the courts will need to prove due cause to terminate rights. Having legal guardianship does not guarantee that you will be able to adopt your grandchild.

File a petition for adoption in the court of the county where you live. You will also need a consent stating the child is free for adoption from the parents, the court or the Michigan Department of Human Services.

Meet with the social worker for an investigation of your home, called a home study. Several visits to your home are generally required before the adoption petition is approved. A six-month period of supervision may be waived or extended by the court before the adoption becomes finalized.

Complete the final paperwork to adopt your grandchild. The court will file the final order for adoption. A new birth certificate with your name as parent can be created at this time. Adoption is a final process; your grandchild becomes as much your legal child and heir as your other children once the adoption is finalized.

Tip

Your age and general health may be factors the court considers when deciding whether you're allowed to adopt your grandchild.

Warning

The rights of both parents must be permanently terminated before legal adoption can take place.

Adopting a grandchild can create complications in your relationship with the natural parents.

Adult adoption laws

History

Adult adoption was more common in the past than it is today. It served the function of allowing a childless ruler to cement a dynasty. A family with no heir might adopt an adult to keep the family name alive or allow a family business to continue. Other historically common reasons for adults adopting adults included ensuring that a parent is cared for or to direct how property would be inherited.

Benefits

Nowadays adults may adopt adults to establish a legal parent-child relationship, to make it easier for property to be inherited or to legalise a stepparent or foster parent-child relationship. When the adult being adopted needs perpetual care, a formal adoption enables access to family insurance, family membership or inheritance to ensure lifetime care.

When States Frown on Adult Adoption

In recent history same-sex couples, who were unable to legally marry or form civil partnerships, have tried to adopt one another in order to form a legal relationship. This was done for purposes of inheriting property and establishing other family rights. This strategy has been thwarted in some states because the parent-child relationship is built into the laws governing adoption. Even in cases of adults who are mentally and physically incapacitated, some state laws discourage adult adoption and direct caregivers to establish a conservatorship for perpetual care.

Restrictions

Each state has different adult adoption laws. A new birth certificate will be issued, and the surname of the adopted person may be changed. Usually in adult adoptions, the relationship with biological parents will be severed and a new parent-child relationship created just as it is when a child is adopted.

Sealed records

In most states the records for adult adoptions are sealed just as they are in child adoptions, even though there is no secrecy as to the identity of the parties involved. Adoption experts recommend keeping copies of all documents related to the adoption in a safe place. This serves as a safeguard against the difficulties encountered in getting replacement copies once the records are sealed.

How to Adopt a Child in Poland

Decide if you would rather use the Polish Depart of International Adoptions or if you would rather work privately with the mother. Women who are wishing to place their child for private adoption generally advertise in newspapers and on the Internet. All arrangements are made privately between the adopting family and the mother and begin with contacting the mother via her e-mail. If you are under the age of 40, have your finances in order and have your heart set on a newborn, this is probably the best choice for you. If you would like an older baby or would consider siblings, adoptions services are preformed by government sponsored adoption agencies.

Ensure you meet the basic requirements for adopting a child. Couples must adopt the child jointly and must have been married for at least 5 years. The older spouse cannot exceed the child's age by more than 40 years.

Download, complete, and submit a formal application to a licensed Polish adoption agency or a local agency that is capable of handling international adoptions and have all qualifying documents translated into Polish. If you chose a private adoption, these documents will be given to a local attorney who will finalise the arrangments with the mother's family. The remaining instructions are for government sponsored adoptions.

Prepare for your home study and background investigations by the adoption agency. This process takes approximately three months, but when complete, you are preapproved for adoption. If you'd like to adopt more than one child, this is the time to bring it up.

Receive information cards containing basic information on children who are available for international adoption: physical description, health information, family information and information pertaining to the child's psychological development.

Go through the matching process where the adoption agency tries to find the best family for each available child.

Accept the Qualifying Commission offer and wait for approval for contact with the child.

Travel to Poland to meet the child in his current residence and make the final decision.

Make a formal declaration of willingness to become the parents of the child and submit the adoption application to the court in Poland.

Wait for court designated amount of "personal contact time," generally between two to three weeks. This time allows new parents and their child to begin bonding as a family.

Receive the court's final decision and, by Polish law, become the child's parents.

Wait three weeks to receive a new passport and birth certificate for the child.

Return to your home country as parents.

Tip

The entire procedure lasts between two and three months and costs between £9,750 and £19,500, depending on accommodations while in Poland and whether or not you have agreed to pay for the birth mother's hospital bills.

Warning

Preference is given to married heterosexual couples and Catholic families, though others are welcome to apply.

Sites to Find Children Given Up for Adoption

Adoption.com

Adoption.com is a website that can assist you with any angle of the adoption process. If you are hoping to find an individual that you put up for adoption, it would be wise to visit the forum on this website. You will be able to communicate with others who are going through a similar experience and possibly gain some helpful hints on how to locate a loved one. There are also options to set up your own profile along with an entire section dedicated to helping the reunion process.

Adopting.org

Adopting.org is another website that deals with all aspects of adoption. This site also includes a special section that is dedicated to kids looking for their birth parents. The site also includes a forum that is dedicated to speeding up the reunion process through a network of people who are going through the same experience.

International Soundex Reunion Registry

This non-profit humanitarian organization is dedicated to helping you get in touch with your birth child. This is a mutual consent registry, so both parties must be made aware of the attempt before you are allowed to come in contact with your child. The ISRR is located in Las Vegas, Nevada, but works worldwide at helping people reunite.

ISRR P.O. Box 371179 Las Vegas, NV 89137 775-882-7755 isrr.net

Social Networks

The professionals at Livestrong.com recommend creating a profile on social networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace, or Twitter. These sites are all free to join and have millions of users. There is a very good chance that your loved one may have an account with one or more of these sites. These sites are only helpful however if you have a location or name as it can be a grueling search by chance otherwise because of the large population of users.

How to Adopt Newborn Twins

Choose an agency. Some agencies specialise in specific kinds of adoptions, while others place all types of babies. Because twins are so much rarer than single births, look for an agency that specialises in multiple birth adoption. Check with the adoption agency for the fees involved in adopting the twins. Some agencies may have a flat fee per adoption. Other agencies may double the fee.

Complete the adoption application. Every agency asks the potential parents to fill out an application. The form collects health information, personal history, and even financial information.

Participate with your local Child Welfare agency on a pre-placement survey. Commonly called the in home study, this process involves a social worker or child welfare worker checking the physical home environment. It also involves a series of personal interviews with every member of the family. The worker discusses marital and family relationships, questions plans for child care and education and even physical exams and blood tests are required in some states. According to Federal Department of Health and Human Services, federal law requires a criminal background check on all adoptive parents. Two states, Idaho and Montana, require a criminal check on every member of the prospective family regardless of their age. The worker also prepares you for the reality of adopting twins. He may offer classes or connect you with twin parent organisations in your area.

Create a contract with the birth mother. It may take years to find a birth mother willing to place twins. Some states require not only the mother, but the birth father to sign an adoption contract. The contract covers the birth and adoptive parent's rights. It outlines the type of adopting, as open or closed. In an open adoption, the birth parents have some form of access or information to the growing child. A closed adoption denies the birth parents access. The contract also covers what information the child is allowed to retrieve in the future.

Finalise the legal process. The legal adoption process varies from state to state. Some require the entire family to appear before a judge who signs the legal papers binding them together. Other states allow parents to handle the entire process through the mail. But all states have a legal process that recognises the adopted babies as part of their new family.

Tip

Searching international adoption agencies in addition to state and local agencies also multiplies the number of available newborns. Some states allow prospective parents to advertise for a child. Other states prohibit any type of advertising. Check with your state. Participate in twin parent support groups before adopting. This prepares you for the reality of raising twins.

Warning

Be prepared to wait. According to the North Dakota Department of Human Services it can take two to five years to adopt a single infant. Twins may take longer.

How to find an adopted sibling

Interview family members and anyone else who was around at the time of the adoption for information on your sibling's adoption. Take notes. Ask for the names of the adoptive parents, when the adoption occurred and where the adoption occurred.

Establish when and where your sibling was adopted. Find out any dates and ages.

File a request for information in the state where your sibling was adopted. The Child Welfare Information Gateway provides a publication that features a summary of state laws pertinent to adoption searches. It includes a list of agencies to contact for every state (see Resources).

Find out whether an adoption agency was involved. The state might supply this information, or you might obtain it from a family member.

Contact the adoption agency and ask for any available information on your sibling's adoption.

Register with organisations that help to reunite adopted children with birth relatives. Both birth relatives and adoptees can register with these organisations to express interest in reuniting. Adoption.com contains a list of over 400 reunion registries you may find helpful (see Resources).

Identify where your adopted sibling might live. Check court documents in surrounding counties and search online for any mention of a relative in a marriage announcement or obituary.

Search for your adopted sibling by checking online white pages listings. Check Facebook. Millions of people are registered at the site under their own names.

Make a list of contact information for each person who shares your sibling's adopted name.

Contact all of the individuals on your list. Explain who you are and what you are attempting to do. If your adopted sibling has a unique last name, you might be able to gain information by contacting other individuals with the same last name. They might be the adoptive parents, or they might be somehow related to the adoptive parents.

When all else fails, hire a private investigator. Some specialise in finding birth relatives. Ask about his experience in the field.

Tip

Married women often register on Facebook and on class reunion sites under their maiden names. Check wedding announcements in newspapers and online when searching for a sibling whose last name might have changed after marriage. Check the Social Security Death Index for siblings who are deceased.

Warning

Some adopted siblings might not want to establish contact with their birth relatives. Be prepared for disappointment. Some siblings do not meet your expectations, and some are never located.

Florida Procedures for Stepparent Adoption

Legal Counsel

According to the Florida Bar, it would be wise for a stepparent to retain legal services when seeking to adopt his stepchild, because the adoption process can be lengthy and complex. Florida law also assumes the principal rights belong to the birth parent, unless the birth parent willingly forfeits his rights or has deserted the child.

Legal Proof

In Florida, a court overseeing a stepparent adoption must receive proof that there is a legal reason to sever the birth parent’s relationship with the child. The Florida Bar states this includes permission from the birth parent for the adoption to take place or legal proof that the birth parent has deserted the child. Permission is not required of an unmarried biological father who has not registered his paternity with Florida’s Putative Father Registry prior to the filing of a petition to terminate his rights. The court also must interview the stepchild if the child is twelve or older, and obtain her permission before the adoption is approved.

Finalization

In Florida, a stepparent adoption can be finalized immediately after the birth parent’s rights are terminated. Stepparent adoptions can also be executed so that finalization of the adoption and severing of the birth parent’s rights occur concurrently. The adoption process will be completed at a final hearing, after which the stepparent assumes the same rights and responsibilities that a birth parent would. Usually, the child’s last name is changed to match that of the family. The new information is registered with the vital statistics office in the child’s birth state, and a new birth certificate will be created, listing the stepparent as the child’s birth parent. The child’s original birth certificate will not be made available to anyone in the future. After the creation of a new birth certificate, a new Social Security number can be issued and passports obtained in the child’s new name.

How to Adopt a Baby From Abroad

Research adoption trends and procedures abroad, as each foreign country has its own adoption laws. Understand the differences between adopting from a country that is a member of The Hague Adoption Convention and from a country that is not a member. Narrow your search by identifying countries that allow infant adoption and have babies available for adoption more frequently. Alternatively, focus on one region or country if you have already decided that you would like to adopt a baby from a certain ethnic or cultural background.

Focus on learning more regarding adoption from the countries or geographic regions identified during your initial research. Use the U.S. Department of State's intercountry adoption website to find country-specific information regarding each country's adoption laws. Consider whether you are willing to follow the required procedures to adopt a baby from each country.

Start your U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services paperwork to determine whether you qualify to adopt from abroad and bring the baby back to the United States. Follow the instructions to complete USCIS Form I-800A or I-600A, depending on whether you plan to adopt from a country that signed The Hague Adoption Convention or from a country that has not signed the convention. Gather supporting documents requested by the USCIS application instructions, such as information about your citizenship.

Participate in an adoption home study conducted by a provider licensed to operate in your state and acceptable under USCIS standards. For baby adoptions from Hague Adoption Convention countries, you must have already chosen the country in which you will adopt. Comply with home visits and interviews, medical evaluations, a review of your finances, a criminal background check and other steps of the home study process as required. Submit the completed home study information, along with your USCIS Form I-800A and application fees, or submit the home study report separately from Form I-600A, within one year of your application date.

Select an adoption agency that handles adoptions from the country or region of the world that you have chosen. Ask about the frequency of adoptions of babies versus adoptions of older children. Review the agency's requirements for adoptive parents and determine whether you qualify. Sign an adoption service contract with the selected agency.

Work with your adoption agency to identify babies available for adoption. Follow through with procedures to meet the foreign country's adoption laws, which may include required international travel and court proceedings. With the agency's assistance, complete legal steps abroad to formalise your adoption and to finish USCIS immigration proceedings to return with your baby to the United States.

Tip

Depending on the country from which you plan to adopt, you may need to choose an adoption agency prior to submitting your USCIS application or completing your home study.

Warning

Carefully research the adoption policies of each country abroad, as well as the reputations of available adoption agencies, to ensure that your adoption follows international and national laws and does not perpetrate adoption fraud.

Texas Grants for Adoption

Boatner Family Foundation

The Boatner Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization that offers grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. The foundation requires an application, a financial statement and adoption agency approval.

The Boatner Family Foundation P.O. Box 132272 The Woodlands, TX 77393-2272

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services offers reimbursements of up to $1,500 for one-time fees related to the processing or completion of a legal adoption. These fees can include adoption costs, attorney fees, court costs and child-placement agency fees.

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services 701 W. 51st Street Austin, TX 78751 512-919-7965 dfps.state.tx.us

Gift of Adoption Fund

The Gift of Adoption Fund awards grants ranging from $1,000 to $7,500. Applicants should be U.S. citizens with an up-to-date and approved home study from an accredited adoption agency. Awards are granted based primarily on financial need and immediacy of adoption. As of 2010, the application fee is $40.

Gift of Adoption Fund P.O. Box 567 2001 Waukegan Road, 5th Floor Techny, IL 60082 877-905-2367 giftofadoption.org

A Child Waits

The grant program for A Child Waits Foundation is designed to offer assistance to a person or family interested in adopting older or special-needs children placed in an international orphanage. Awards vary but will not exceed $5,000.

A Child Waits Foundation 1136 Barker Rd Pittsfield, MA 01201 866 999-2445 achildwaits.org

Show Hope

Show Hope considers grant applications for those interested in adopting children in international orphanages or in the U.S. foster system. Grant disbursements vary, and the application can be completed online. Grants are awarded based on the needs of the adopting parent as well as the child's.

Show Hope P.O. Box 647 Franklin, TN 37065 615-550-5600 showhope.org

National Adoption Foundation

Providing needs-based assistance, the National Adoption Foundation grants up to $2,500 for both domestic and international adoption costs. An application with donation is required, and the National Adoption Foundation boards meets quarterly to award grants.

National Adoption Foundation 36 Mill Plain Road Danbury, CT 06811 nafadopt.org

Help Us Adopt

The Help Us Adopt group provides grants ranging from $500 to $15,000 for qualifying individuals or families adopting through legal channels. Grants are awarded in June and December to adopting parents who can prove they can provide a strong home environment and who have a financial need.

Help Us Adopt.org P.O. Box 20435 New York, NY 10021 917-684-5484 Helpusadopt.org

Child Adoption Success Factors

Do Your Homework

Learn everything you can about adoption. Contact local adoption agencies, join an adoptive parent support group and search for information online. Familiarize yourself with the different ways to adopt. There are many options to consider -- Will you adopt through a public or private agency? Will you explore an international or in-state adoption? Knowing what to expect will help you keep your expectations reasonable and ensure that you are following through on the many steps involved. A part of a successful adoption experience is simply keeping up with all the paperwork.

Money Matters

In the course of your research, you will discover that the adoption process can be costly, unless you choose to adopt a child from the foster care system. If you don't have the money on hand, you'll need to save up, get a loan or fundraise to get the process rolling. There are ways to offset these costs, including tax credits, employee benefits that cover some adoption-related expenses and payment plans. Be prepared to cover some unexpected costs as well.

Home Study

Whichever type of adoption you choose to pursue, you'll need to complete a home study. During a home study, a social worker comes to your home to meet with you and your spouse and assess your readiness to become adoptive parents. In addition to discussing your hopes and dreams of raising a child, the social worker will need several documents from you, such as your marriage license and birth certificates, personal references and child abuse clearances. While you are not expected to have an immaculate house, a tidy and inviting environment will help you ace your home study.

Adoption Profile

If you are adopting domestically, through a private agency or independently, you will need to create an adoption profile that prospective birth mothers will use to get to know you. Since she will likely be given a stack of profiles, your words and photos need to stand out to increase your odds of being chosen. Take the time to find photos that capture the essence of your family. Candid shots give a birth mother a better sense of your lifestyle and personalities than a posed picture. In the text, include lively anecdotes rather than dry statements. Most importantly, be yourself. A birth mother who loves your profile will soon meet you, so make sure you're highlighting the real you.

How to Put a Child Up for Adoption

Contact a licensed adoption agency - your physician or public health agency can refer you. They will choose the adoptive parents and take care of legal matters.

Contact an attorney, doctor, or other third party to arrange an independent adoption. No agency is involved, and the adoptive parents pay medical and legal costs, as well as any other costs mandated by the state.

Arrange an open adoption, in which you will have contact with both the child and the adoptive parents after the birth.

Tip

For help, look in the Yellow Pages under "Adoption Services," or ask your physician or religious leader for referrals. You can also try your state or county Health Care or Human Services agency.

Warning

As a birth mother, you have certain rights. Deal with an experienced agency or individuals, and/or involve an experienced adoption attorney to advise you of your rights and state laws regarding adoption.

Single-parent Adoption Support Groups

National Council for Single Adoptive Parents

The National Council for Single Adoptive Parents is designed for singles interested in adopting or people who have once adopted a child while single. Based out of Washington, D.C., this group provides information and assistance to parents who have already adopted, and it gathers and passes along information about legislation and research on single-parent adoption. The membership averages 350 people yearly, according to the organisation's website. Members receive information such as current agencies that are placing children with single applicants, waiting times for adoption procedures and the current costs involved in the entire process.

Single Mothers By Choice

Single Mothers by Choice supports a woman's decision to become an adoptive parent on her own, understanding she takes on a large responsibility becoming the child's sole parent. The groups meet all over the United States and Canada as well as correspond via e-mail and newsletters. This group considers women who have adopted as a single mother "thinkers" and provide information, advice and support through the ups and downs of single parenting. Groups meet in most metropolitan areas such as Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Chicago. Once members sign up, they are given a list of chapters and members within their area.

National Adoption Center

The National Adoption Center encourages people to adopt children regardless of their marital status. This organisation believes each person should be considered in the adoption process regardless of marital status, sexual orientation, disability, lifestyle, gender, race, physical appearance, religion and size of their family. This organisation provides those interested in single-parent adoption with resources, information and programs designed to answer any questions you may have during the adoption process, including concerns and fears that may arise along the way.

Eastern European Adoption Coalition

The Eastern European Adoption Coalition provides support to single parents wishing to adopt or those who have already gone through the adoption process. Through newsletters, the organisation provides information on the joys of parenting, explanation of the adoption process, rules and regulations through the government within the adoption process, medical care, behaviour issues, challenges of adopting an older child, special needs adoptions, and tips on how to socialise, school and maintain the native culture and heritage of an adopted child. By adding your name to the mailing list, you'll receive newsletters based on your particular situation.

How to Give Your Baby Up for Adoption

Determine if adoption is really the right choice for you. While it can be a selfless and noble thing to do for your child, it also means that you are legally and permanently giving up custody of your baby to the adoptive parent or parents. If you have considerable doubts or aren't sure, take more time to think the matter through.

Choose the type of adoption that you feel is the most appropriate. In the past, most adoptions were "closed," meaning that after the baby was born, the adoption agency chose where the child would be placed and offered the birth mother limited, if any, say in the matter. However, today many adoptions are "open," which means that the birth mother can choose which adoptive parent or parents she wants to raise her child. In some cases, an open adoption also means that the birth mother is permitted to keep in touch with the adoptive parents and be included in her child's life as the baby grows up.

Make an appointment with an accredited adoption agency in your area to discuss the process of placing your baby up for adoption. A counsellor at the agency will explain the process, provide you with legal information about adoption and discuss the various types of adoption with you.

Conclude that you do want to place your baby up for adoption and advise the adoption agency. They will guide you through the process from start to finish, and their attorneys will handle all of the necessary paperwork needed to relinquish parental rights. When the time comes, you will be asked to sign the legal documents finalising the adoption and to give the baby to the adoptive family.

Get the support that you need before and after the adoption has been finalised. Deciding to place your baby up for adoption may be the best choice for your child but a heart-wrenching and emotionally charged decision for you. Spend time with family and friends who are there to listen. Counselling and support groups are other good options to consider when you want to work through your feelings in a supportive atmosphere with people who can relate to what you're going through.