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Our domestic infant adoption program welcomes all children in need of an adoptive family and serves expectant parents in our region seeking adoption services. Most of our adoptions are open and provide the opportunity for birth and adoptive families to remain connected through their child's lives. We facilitate the complete adoption process and our families receive support throughout placement and after with our comprehensive post placement services. Note: as of February 2023, applications for our infant adoption program are currently closed but we are still able to provide services for prospective adoptive parents. Read more below.
Adoptions Together, a program of Paths for Families, has offered domestic infant adoption for over 30 years with innovative, compassionate services at every step. Learn the steps of the adoption process and begin your adoption path.
How much does infant adoption cost? Adoptions Together, a program of Paths for Families, offers a sliding scale and a transparent fee schedule. Read on for typical costs for our infant placement services.
What is the process for an adoption home study? What can you expect from your home study? Read on to learn the most common steps for families doing their home study through Adoptions Together, a program of Paths for Families.
Over the course of 2022, we received an increase in applications to our Domestic Infant Adoption Program. During the past six months, we have seen a notable slowing of placements. There are always busy seasons and slower seasons throughout each year, and this continues to be expected. Despite this, effective February 9, 2023, we are no longer accepting applications to our Domestic Infant Adoption Program.
We hope you will allow us to join you on your adoption journey as your local agency for home study, training, and post-placement services. We invite you to use our Networking services, where you will work with an experienced local social worker to identify agencies in other states who hold similar ethical and financial values as Adoptions Together.
(Last updated February 2023).
Our expectant/birth parent counselors provide counseling and education to women and couples considering adoption. They also guide them in completing a thorough social and medical history. The counselors understand the emotional consequences of placing a child for adoption and counsel birth parents about many aspects of this important decision. Even though an expectant parent may feel confident of her decision, once the baby is born, many have to remake this serious decision.
Once the expectant parents have chosen adoption, they are encouraged to review ParentFinder Profiles to select a family for their child. Sometimes expectant parents desire to meet the adoptive family prior to the birth and other times they may choose to wait until the child is born. Occasionally they choose to have the agency make the selection for them based on their desires for the type of family they want. Contact between the adoptive and birth family is negotiated on an individual basis. Our expectant/birth parent services are not limited to a specified period of time. We try to be available for birth parents who place through our agency as long as we may be needed.
The amount of contact an adoptive family has with expectant/birth parents may vary. You will be guided in completing an Adoptive Parent Profile in which you specify options about the prenatal environment of the birth mother. You will also be able to designate your level of comfort with how much contact and how much information is shared with the expectant/birth parents. While most families meet their child’s birth mother at least one time, some families do not meet their baby’s birth parents. Others develop a relationship with their child’s birth parents and maintain contact through the agency. Many birth and adoptive families choose to get together regularly, usually once or twice a year with the agency’s assistance.
You will be expected to send letters and pictures as your child grows; for this purpose we have a web based system called Child Connect for adoptive and birth parents to exchange updates. Our goal is to provide the opportunity for birth parents and adoptive families to make a plan that meets the mutual needs of all involved for the best interest of the child. Around placement, you will be asked to sign a Post Placement Contact Agreement; at a minimum we ask you upload letters and pictures annually. The majority of today’s birth parents are seeking an open adoption which typically involves contact once or twice a year.
NOTE: In the states of Maryland and Virginia, these agreements are legally enforceable and filed in court; this means that either party can seek redress through the Court and the terms of the agreement may be thus ordered by the Court. While they are not currently enforceable in the state of Virginia, we ask that you regard your agreement with your child’s birth parents as a serious commitment and honor the contract that you make with them.
Paths for Families is proud to serve all members of the LGBTQ+ community. We are recognized by the Human Rights Campaign’s All Children-All Families program, as an Innovator in supporting and serving LGBTQ+ youth and families.
Adoptions Together has a number of dedicated families who have opened their homes to provide love and nurturing to children who are not able to be placed directly with their family for adoption. Interim care is available to provide time for a birth parent to resolve this difficult decision. It is also used while we search for the appropriate family when none is available. Additionally, it may be used if the legal risks for placement are determined to be too great by the adoptive family. The agency social worker will discuss with you the perceived risks, and if the birth mother agrees, you may be asked to take placement; on occasion we make interim care available to you during this time. Interim care may be billed at$75/day.
The legal process for completing an adoption may seem intimidating, but in fact is quite straight forward. Members of the domestic staff are available to answer any questions you may have. We encourage all birth parents with whom we work to meet an independent attorney to fully explore the legal consequences of placing a child for adoption. After the baby is born, and the birth parents are confident of their decision, they complete documentation to relinquish their child to the agency. These documents are submitted to the court and the agency is appointed to be the legal guardian of the infant.
The appointment of the agency as the child’s guardian terminates the parental rights of the birth parents. The agency receives a Guardianship Decree formalizing the legal relationship. Depending upon the level of participation of the birth mother and the birth father, the process of legally terminating parental rights in Maryland will take a minimum of 30 days. We recognize how difficult it can be during the 30 day revocation period and keep in close communication during this time. In Virginia, the legal revocation period is 10 day from the baby’s birth or 7 days from the signature of consent and cases are typically filed at finalization. At placement, your child will be put on your family insurance policy.
Because most of the children placed through Adoptions Together are newborns who go directly home from the hospital with their adoptive parents, most of our placements are considered legally at risk, meaning there is a certain period of time after the child was placed that a birth parent may revoke his or her consent to the placement, and have the child returned to their custody. While such revocations are rare, the emotional trauma of a disrupted placement is very difficult for adoptive families.
If the family is unable to accept the placement of a child before parental rights are terminated, we may be able to arrange interim care. A fee for care, accrued daily, will be assessed. Additionally, the consent of the birth parents will be required for any interim care placement.
Adoptions Together undertakes strenuous efforts to obtain detailed medical and social histories of the birth parents and each child placed through the agency. Before placement, each child is given an evaluation by a pediatrician either at the hospital prior to discharge or while in interim care. All medical information available on a child will be provided to the adoptive family.
Despite our best efforts, all pre-existing medical conditions may not be discovered prior to placement. If a medical condition is discovered after your adoption is finalized, you will have all legal responsibility for your child. While we make every effort to obtain complete medical information, we cannot guarantee the future health of the child.
After a child is placed with you, the agency will schedule a minimum of three post-placement visits to assist and support your transition to parenting. The social worker who completed your initial Home Study will usually do your post placements. These visits occur over a six-month period, and at their favorable conclusion, the agency will give its consent to the legal finalization of your adoption of the child. Adoptive parents may retain independent counsel to complete this process or they may draft the petition themselves with the guidance of the agency. Additional training for adoptive parenting will be offered.
Please feel free to call us with any questions or concerns. We look forward to hearing from you and hope to have the opportunity to help you build your family through adoption.