Adoption Information--we Don't Know Where to Start!!

Updated on June 12, 2012
C.R. asks from Arlington, TX
8 answers

Hello everyone,

My husband and I have two wonderful sons, but due to health reasons related to pregnancy and birth, I am unable to have any more biological children. We've begun to talk seriously of adopting a daughter to complete our family (we're both from large families and wanted one of our own), but we have NO idea where to even begin. Adoption is overwhelming because there is so much out there. So could you give us some advice on where to even begin our research? Websites? Agencies? Adoption lawyers? Obviously, we want to go with a well respected, credible source for adoptions, and we are open to both domestic and international. Also, does anyone know of financial resources for adoption (grants, loans, etc.) since it's so terribly expensive? Any info you can share would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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answers from Los Angeles on

An adoption in our family went through a church that has an adoption agency. The adoptive parents had their own attorney, and the mother giving up her child had an attorney furnished by the church. All the i"s were dotted and t's crossed. Each prospective adoptive family interviewed with the agency, submitted a written bio of their family and why they wanted to adopt, and enclosed a scrapbook page with pictures of their family, the mother then told the agency which families she was considering and they proceeded to set up meetings between them and the mother made her choice of who would adopt her child.

As far as financial help, you may want to look into Show Hope, a non-profit organization founded by Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth. They offer grants to help reduce the financial barriers to adoption, whether you are adopting in or out of the U.S., and you can apply at the following site:

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Both of our children were adopted at birth here in Texas. We used Hope Cottage in Dallas for our daughter and Inheritance Adoptions in Wichita Falls for our son. Both were great experiences, but different. Hope Cottage was very expensive probably because it was in Dallas. We also waited much longer to be matched. Inheritance Adoptions in Wichita Falls is a Christian agency that I highly recommend. We never considered foreign adoption just because we always thought domestic was how we wanted to proceed. I would definitely do some reading. There are books that list all the agencies-foreign/domestic. If you decide to go domestic definitely read about Open/Closed Adoptions. This deals with the relationship that you have with the birth family. Both of ours are Open. However, with our son, we have never met the birthmother or talked to her. That was her choice, and we are always willing to meet with her. With our daughter we have a VERY open adoption with the birth mother's family and I would not change a thing. It is hard for people to understand at first. It took about a year to get to where we are now, but her birth family is amazing! I love them like it is all biological. My daughter is 7 and my son is 5.
I don't know of any financial resources. For our daughter's adoption through Hope Cottage we took out a 2nd mortgage on our house at the time. For our son's through Inheritance the cost was considerably less and we got most of it back in our taxes. Friends of mine sent a letter to family/friends explaining that they were going through the adoption process and asked if anyone might want to help with the cost. This may seem odd at first, but let me tell you people do want to help and sometimes this is the only thing they can do with adoption.

You definitely want an agency that really works with the birth families. The birthparents truly need to understand what they are doing. That was one of the things I loved about Inheritance. The birthmothers were never forced into anything and their care was the number one priority.

IF I were given the opportunity to do things all over again I would NOT change anything. This was God's plan for us all along--we didn't always know it and we didn't really like the timing while we were waiting, but looking back now, it is so very clear.
Please feel free to message me if you want specifics on anything. Time lines, home studies, costs, etc--feel free to ask me anything. I wish you the best of luck in your process.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

more expensive to adopt initially in the states, more laws, more hassle, less wait.

Other countries, your looking at about the same cost when you figure in travel time to pick up child. Be sure you can take 3 to 5 weeks off for adoption proceeding once approved. You have to travel there as a family and stay as long as it take to complete the process. China and Russia being very long times. Korea, China, and India are the best places to find girls easily as they are what are generally discarded due to cultural pressure to have boys. Your also may get a child with a disability or illness that was previously not disclosed to you. Some countries they assign you a child rather than you pick one.

Its a LOT of work both ways, but usually very rewarding. My ex and I started the procedure for a US adoption. We also looking into foreign adoption as well. Once you pick a legal and well used agency they are very good at getting you information and answering all questions.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

You could start with your state child agency.

When we adopted in Arizona we contacted the state agency and went that way. Interviews were set up for us along with physicals and financial records. A home study was done where they visit where the child would live. There is probably more to it now days than then but it is a start.

Fees were determined by income and if the mother needed help in paying off her medical bills from the birth.

The amount of time needed to fill a request might be determined on the age of the child you are looking for older verses younger, what ethinic or mix, and whether or not you could/would handle a child with a handicap.

These are some things to think about. As far as an attorney that will cost more than a state agency.

Good luck to you. A child does not have to grow inside you in order to become part of you. My child will be 39 in September and we got him when he was five weeks old. His sister keeps telling us that we should have returned him and got our money back. It was love at first site for hubby and we brought him home and he wore size six months at five weeks.

The other S.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Check out Gladney and Buckner. I think it's Gladney that is in Fort Worth and has adoption seminars for domestic and international that gives a good overview of the process. You can register for the seminar at their websites. I didn't use them for my agency, but it was a good overview. Also, research books on-line regarding the process and read multiple books/workbooks to get a good understanding of the process. There's a fabulous adoption attorney in Fort Worth, and I an PM her info to you if you'd like. She has a good overview of the process for potential clients, as well. I also recommend reading "The Pumpkin Patch" to get a good feel for the international adoption process (you'll have to order it on-line...Amazon has it. It's a bit dated now, but it's a good general diary of the process). Also, read the first few chapters of Attaching in Adoption to understand the particular needs and differences of adopted children. For international adoption from eastern europe, check out the site You can also look at, although I sometimes have a difficult time navigating their site. also has a variety of resources. Also, check out the website for "Adoption Learning Partners," which is also a good resource for some of the required courses that you'll have to take as part of the process. If you are adopting overseas, check the U.S. Department of State for info on adopting from particular countries. My only caution is that the amount they claim it will cost and the reality of what it will actually cost are vastly different. It can easily be double what the U.S. government claims.

The best way to start is by researching agencies (do not feel that you have to use one that is local) and talking to an attorney. Once you have signed a contract with an agency and started the process, one of the earliest steps will be to complete a homestudy.

The Dave Thomas Foundation has good info on adoption, particularly adoption of foster children. It also has a database of adoption benefits from employers. You will want to check with your employers to see if either of your employers will reimburse any portion of the expenses and also to see their policy regarding time-off post-adoption. For example, my employer reimbursed a few thousand of the expense, but there was NO paid time off post-adoption. I had to use FMLA (unpaid leave) for time off. There is currently a tax credit that you can claim post-adoption that will help a bit. There are some programs that allow you to borrow against that as you go through the process. Also, if you adopt overseas, you will have to travel there at leasts once and possibly up to three times, and generally you will be expected to travel without your other children. So, it will almost certainly mean time away from them.

If you go through foster programs to adopt in the U.S., there are minimal (or even) no expenses. If you do a private adoption domestic or international, it is very expensive. The good thing is that the money isn't needed all at once, but there will be times when thousands of dollars will be flowing out at a very rapid pace. Bigger than the financial issue is that it is a very invasive and uncertain process. The rules will change on you frequently and seemingly without reason, and you will be asked (and requried to answer) a lot of questions that would normally be extremely rude. It is so worth it in the end, but it is a very frustrating process to go through at the time.



answers from Dallas on

The Gladney Center for Adoption in Fort Worth is a really top notch agency. Good Luck!



answers from Abilene on

My daughter and son-in-law adopted 2 years ago thru an excellent agency in Houston. They opted for an open adoption and it went super well. As far as I know, there are no grants for that. It was very expensive and they ended up spending about $50K. There was an adoption credit on their tax return the next year and they got back some of it, about $8K. I had friends who went thru China, Cost about the same and adopted a 4 year old. The authorities told them she had "slight learning problems". Come to find out, after the adoption was final, she had some major learning disabilities and some major health problems. They also spent close to $50K. My kids got their child at birth, as soon as he was born, and my daughter was in the delivery room and they were in on the pregnancy the entire time so they got sonograms and everything. The agency will also refer you to a good attorney. It is expensive, but sooo very worth it. Good Luck!



answers from Oklahoma City on

If you are willing you might just call your local child welfare office. They place children all the time in foster care and they do have children that are eligible for adoption. If you adopt one of their children you have the opportunity to have that child in your home for a while to make sure the fit is good.

The state will pay for the adoption completely if you decide to take one of their children. They have the options of both open and closed adoptions. Two of my grandchildren were adopted through the state child welfare program and the parents chose to do an open adoption. We see the kids often and get to see them grow up. It is a wonderful option. My daughter even sees the kids. We have had family Christmas' at this families house and birthday parties. They said they have never seen an ex-wife and new wife get along so well. I really like my ex's wife, she grew him up into a good man. Plus she was a good mom to my daughter when she lived with them.

My older grandson went to several adoption parties. The kids knew that a lot of the adults there were prospective parents but some of them were staff. They didn't feel like they were on display of anything since they didn't know who the staff from the other counties were.

He was eventually adopted by my ex and his wife. They have a wonderful life with him. He was 12 when they adopted him. The state has children from birth up to much older waiting for adoption. There will be that one child that needs you. Since they are paying you might find some sisters, or even some siblings, that otherwise can't be afforded....

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