Application & Fee Info
Welcome Adoptive Parents!
We welcome you to domestic adoption! We make a concerted effort to communicate with birth and adoptive parents with candor throughout the process. Most adoptions involve several months – from waiting for a match to finalizing your adoption. That time is well spent preparing for a newborn to join your family.
Happily, most of our matches between birth and adoptive parents become adoptions. But, not every adoption plan comes to fruition; occasionally expectant birthparents change their minds. Please review the agency adoption services agreement and consider the emotional and financial risks of adoption carefully.
The agency provides counseling and support for expectant Arizona birthmothers without charge. We honor semi-open, open and closed adoptions.
Contact us with any questions! We are happy to share more info about the adoption process, legal and ethical responsibilities, fees and expenses, medical, emotional and financial risks, pre-adoption education resources, post-adoption services and obligations, and the adoption finalization process.
Overview & Steps in the Process
The ABC Infant Adoption program started in 2008, in response to calls from birthparents and adoptive families. Since then, the program has grown dramatically and become an important adoption option for many families. We attribute this to our caring locally-based services for expectant birth parents. Many of our new birth mothers are referred by women we've helped in the past.
The Program Involves Four Steps:
The pre-matching application phase, whereupon the agency and families choose to work together on an adoption plan.
The matching phase when family profiles are presented to expectant parents.
The placement phase, when the family arrives for delivery and placement of the baby (presuming birthparents do not change their minds about placement).
The finalization phase, when the family adjusts to having their new infant in their home, meets with their social worker and finalizes the adoption in court.
Children and Birthparents Involved in Adoption
Typically children placed in this program are newborn, although we have placed children over six months old. Expectant birthparents come from various circumstances, are most often between employment, are sometimes living alone or with the birthfather or with relatives, and may have a history of drug use or traumatic life events. Sometimes expectant parents are living in hotels or shelters and have other children.
Family Eligibility to Adopt
An adopting family should be married for at least one year and have given adoption much thought and discussion to adoption, as well as at least ten hours of adoption education. Our agency is non-sectarian and non-discriminatory. We welcome couples and single parents of every faith.
Considerations that Affect Matching for Families
Adoption time frames vary, mostly due to constraints an adoptive family may put on potential matches with expectant parents. Constraints may include a child’s sex, race, birth mother mental health issues, a birth mother's drug or alcohol abuse issues, an expectant parent preference for open or closed adoption, the stage of pregnancy, general risks or risks associated with absent or unknown birthfathers, or potential ICPC, ICWA, or other legal issues. ICPC refers to the Interstate Compact governing placement of a child born in one state in another state. ICWA refers to the Indian Child Welfare Act, which is interpreted differently state to state. An average timeframe for matching is about six months.
Birthmother Options and Services are Free
We will explain and discuss potential options for unplanned pregnancy and adoption planning. Counselors explore what kinds of adoption are possible – open, closed or semi-open adoption – and what assistance is available under Arizona law, as well as information about waiting families. We provide emotional support, respect for birthparent preferences, information, financial assistance with birthmother living expenses; medical and life planning resources and after-delivery counseling and support.
Let’s talk! If you have questions about your suitability for adoption, such as your age, length of marriage, medical or other background concerns, give us a call. Our application process is free! We have orientation and adoption seminars occasionally in Phoenix and Tucson for families in the adoption process. For families who live away from Tucson or Phoenix, we can arrange for a conference call with our program staff.
For Adoptive Parents: Preparing your Adoption Profile
We recommend the course on developing your profile at Adoption Learning Partners. It is an online course, so you can take it at your convenience. Your adoption profile is the bridge to a match; it is a very important part of the adoption. Your profile should be about 50% words and 50% photos. The mood of the profile should be upbeat and cheerful. Here are some tips:
Put yourself in the shoes of the expectant parent and imagine what they want for their child.
- Write in short paragraphs — nothing long or essay-like — and keep the tone upbeat
- Use large-ish photos — 4x6 or 5x8; don’t try to crowd a lot of little photos on to a page
- Use images that convey a warm, homey feeling about your lifestyle — photos of baking, gardening, etc.
- Avoid any staged photos or glamorous wedding photos, etc; the birthparents want to know you as you really are, every day
- Be sure to include photos of being involved in activities, such as biking or hiking or fishing, raking the yard, boating or camping
- Be sure to include photos of pets
- Include photos of your house during the holidays or family parties, when it is looking pretty and inviting
- Use plenty of bright color or patterns in the background
- Keep it to 5-8 pages, max — stapled is fine; it does not need to be bound like a book
- Send us 5 copies, minimum.
If you would like professional services to create your profile, we recommend using Our Chosen Child, Adoption Profile Design services.
Waiting Adoptive Families
Families waiting to be matched with children are fully screened, loving, prepared and eager to adopt. Some families have specific preferences (such as they would like to adopt a girl rather than a boy), some have children already (through adoption or biologically), and some are childless or infertile. Some are married couples and others are unmarried.
We do not rule out families because the matching decision belongs to the expectant birthparents. We do not discriminate against prospective adoptive families on the basis of race, sex, marital status, religion, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability – in so far as the disability does not incapacitate a person from parenting.
We regard “pro-choice” as helping expectant parents consider their options and make their own decision, without judgment or pressure. It is their choice. Obviously, we help expectant parents make adoption plans and believe that adoption can be a great and fulfilling arrangement for expectant parents, adoptive families and, most importantly, babies. But there is no pressure for expectant parents to choose adoption.
Both married couples and single people are excellent adoptive parents. What is most important is knowing the baby will be loved and cherished. And, that the adoptive family honors the adoption plan.
Many adoptive families have family members who have adopted or may have been adopted, themselves. They know every child deserves love and support and, to belong.
Families who adopt cross-racially or cross-ethnically have extra challenges and must be committed to providing a variety of role models for the child to identify with. So, too, it is important for single mothers to have close male family members or friends who will be male role models; and that single fathers have close female family or friends who can serve as female role models. Children need many adults in their lives to look up to, who will help them imagine their own potential.
Expectant parents are sometimes surprised by their own decision. It is not unusual for an expectant birthmother who requests a family without children to end up preferring a family with children; or, for one who prefers a married couple to choose a single mother with a stay-at-home grandmother. We encourage expectant parents to follow their heart.
We are committed to adoption education for parents and professionals about current issues in adoption. We provide:
- Educational Conferences or In-Service Training for adoption social workers and hospital staff. Contact for more information and to schedule a presentation.
- Adoption Education Seminars for all families. Our courses include:
- Adoption 101: Adoption Overview
- Adoption 201: Adoptive Parent Expectations & Adopted Child Needs
- Adoption 301: Medical & Psychological Risks in Adoption
- Adoption 401: Legal & Cross-Cultural Issues in Adoption
- Adoption 501: Older Child Adoption
Our Chosen Child provides professional services for creating an adoptive parent profile, which is needed for domestic adoption and helpful with international dossiers.
Resources 4 Adoption is an online resource for adoptive families seeking comprehensive and up-to-date information on adoption grants and loans and how to qualify for them with lots of additional tips to assist families in removing the financial barriers associated with adoption.
Adoption Learning Partners offers web-based e-learning courses on adoption topics that satisfy pre-adoption training requirements and serve as a continuing resource to families after adoption. Courses are offered free of charge. Certificates of Completion are available for a $25 fee. The ICF agency code, for ICF families, so that the agency receives copies of your certificates of completion, is F262ICF. A few of the course offerings are:
- Conspicuous Families: Race, Culture and Adoption
(1.5 credit hours)
- The Journey of Attachment (2 hours)
- Let’s Talk Adoption: A Lifetime of Family Conversations
- Finding the Missing Pieces: Helping Adopted Children Cope with Grief and Loss (2 hours)
- Understanding the Adoption Tax Credit (2 hours)
- With Eyes Wide Open: A Preparation Guide to International Adoption (10-20 hours)
Because They Waited: an Adoptive Parent Education System available for $119 from Heart of the Matter Seminars. This is an interactive DVD presentation that fulfills Hague education requirements
Adoption Education, LLC offers on-line courses designed to promote successful intercountry and domestic adoptions.
Adoption Literature and Recommended Reading
- Adoption Resource Book by Lois Gilman. A guide to what you need to know to create an adoptive family.
- Raising Adopted Children by Lois Melina. Looks at the special circumstances of adoptive parenting including adjustment of the family, bonding & attachment, talking to your child about adoption and behavior problems.
- Making Sense of Adoption by Lois Melina. Help for parents on how to talk with their children about adoption.
- Adoptive Families of America Magazine a bi-monthly magazine. Call to subscribe.
- Adopting: Sound Choices, Strong Families by Patricia Irwin Johnston. Geared to a broad audience of all who are family challenged.
International Adoption Books and Recommended Reading
- Are These Kids Yours? by Cheri Register. Affirms the normality of families formed through inter-country adoption & explores the special challenges these families face. Ethical issues are also addressed.
- With Eyes Wide Open Workbook for families adopting children over age one.
- Our Own, Adopting and Parenting the Older Child by Trish Maskew.
- Toddler Adoption: The Weaver’s Craft by Mary Hopkins Best. All aspects of adopting and parenting toddler children.
Older Child and Special Needs Adoptions
- Adopting the Older Child by Claudia Jewett. Introduces people to the adoption of older children, follows the history of several children & their adoptive families, starting before the adoption & continuing through to the post-placement period.
- Holding Time by Martha Welch. Central message is that regular sessions of mother-child holding decreases anger, conflict, temper tantrums, sibling rivalry & increases self-esteem, self-confidence, & contentment in infants through preteens.
- Adopting the Hurt Child: Hope for Families with Special Needs Kids by Gregory Keck & Regina Kupecky. Case studies on toll of impermanence on children and common symptoms of attachment disorder.
- Helping Children Cope with Separation and Loss by Claudia Jewett. Explains the grieving process children go through, whether from adoption, separation from family or foster family, death, or divorce. Practical advice.
- Attaching in Adoption by Deborah Gray. Explains issues in relation to emotional development and provides practical tools to enhance attachment.