Agency Adoption is one of our main adoption programs. In this program we provide all services required to complete an adoption for both adoptive parent(s) and birthparent(s).
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90% or more of the children that we facilitate the matching and adoption of children in this program have yet to be born.
All of the Waiting Families you find on our website are currently working in our Agency Adoption program.
As an agency we have certain requirements for our perspective adoptive parents
Although they are not always mandated by the state, they are based on years of experience and adhere to our agency's mission and ethical standards.
Our clients and their families are important to us and that is why we take the time to carefully consider each perspective adoptive family.
We do our best to individualize each experience and decision we make; above all, we always reserve the right to make exceptions to any or all of our requirements.
$15,000 to $40,000 in Program Costs
$22,000 to $27,000 in Agency Fees
Do you work with a lot of birthmothers?
Prior to COVID-19 on average, we worked with 10-15 birthmothers, at each of our locations, per year. COVID-19 had a huge impact on the number of birthmothers we worked with between 2020 and 2021. Nationally there was a decrease in birthrate of 9.5% which greatly affected the adoption community. Since the start of 2022 we have started to see an increase in the number of birthmothers reaching out to us and we are hopeful to return to our pre-COVID averages by 2023. Birthmothers vary in age and the circumstances that lead them to choose adoption for their child.
How does a birthmother know what we are like?
We provide you with guidance in creating a profile book and an online profile (examples on our waiting families page). These profiles are intended to relay what type of parent and family you would be for a child. They contain information, photos, and videos about yourself, your family, your desire to adopt, your commitment to being a parent, etc.
During your home study process we will provide you with a detailed profile guide filled with instructions and tips. All of our online and social media services are handled in-house. Our marketing department located in our Appleton office has everything you need to create your online profile. You provide the information and they bring it to life. Your profile books are really a reflection of you. We try to let you be the master creator with it; however, our birthparent counselors will review your book before you print it. They work directly with birthmothers and can provide you with valuable insight into what birthmothers respond to and look for.
How long does it take to get chosen?
Birthmom chooses the family. When a birthmother decided to make an adoption plan they have the opportunity to browse profiles and meet with any waiting adoptive parents in our agency's “pool” they are interested in selecting.
At any given time we have no more than 50 waiting families between our two locations. You will provide a profile book for each location so that birthmothers at either office are able to view them. Taking this and the number of birthmothers we typically have each year into consideration, we would estimate it could take anywhere from one to two years to be matched with a perspective birthmother.
It is impossible to give any more of a specific timeline. Adoption is all about people and it is impossible to determine what factors will produce a perfect match.
Waiting to be selected can be the hardest phase of the adoption process. Waiting families have very little control and we understand how scary and frustrating it can be. Our staff is available to answer your questions, give you updates, and hopefully make you feel a little bit more in control of your adoption journey.
What do birthmothers generally look for in an adoptive family?
Women typically choose adoption because they are unable to offer their child something that they wish them to have.
Factors they often consider in an adoptive family are:
Often there is a stigma or stereotype cast onto birthmothers. As adoption advocates and allies in the fight to break the stigma we can tell you that the women who come to us are from every age, race, creed, family background, and education level. Their reasons are just as unique as they are and often their choices and decisions have a lot to do with their own life experiences.
We offer a Parenting Plan aid to our birthmothers. If you are curios the questions we ask them during their decision process it is available Here on our site.
What if we are working with a birthmother and she changes her mind after the baby is born?
In the State of Wisconsin, a mother has to legally terminate her parental rights (TPR) in front of a judge. After a baby is born the court is petitioned and will have a termination of parental rights hearing within 30 days.
Even if a birthmother has created an adoption plan she will retain all legal rights to her child until the TPR has been granted by the court. Up until the TPR is granted a birthmother can change her mind and decide to parent.
Adoptive families need to remember that during that first month after birth there is a great deal of physio and emotional trauma to a birthmother physical and emotional wellbeing. Even if we feel it is the right decision, fact that she is giving up her rights to her baby and placing them with an adoptive family adds immensely to her fear, stress and heartache. Whether it be panic she made the wrong decision, feels capable of providing for her child, or any number of other factors the truth is birthmothers change their minds and it is their right to do so.
It is not uncommon for a birthmother to have a bad day after giving birth and question every decision she has made. At those times the birthparent counselors are there to help them revisit their adoption plan, their reasons behind their decisions, and examine what has changed since they made their plan. When birthparents are well served and treated with the utmost respect and gratitude everyone in the adoption triad benefits not matter the decision made.
Sometimes it is hard and sometimes it is easy to determine whether or not something like this is going to happen. However, there are signs that a mother may be changing her mind about an adoption plan and your social worker will not beat around the bush or hide their observations from you. Our staff is very good at what they do and have valuable knowledge and insight into this. They recognize the signs and will gently advise you to prepare for the possibility that your birthmother may decide to parent. In parallel to that the birthparent counselor is always available to you. If you notice something is off with your birthparent you most certainly can talk to the counselor assisting the mother about any concerns you have.
You can be assured that at Adoption Services we will inform you if we are experiencing any ambivalence from your perspective birthmother. Even with that said, it is important to remember that the mother does have the right to change her mind, and it could happen to anyone. This is a risk for all domestic adoptions.
Do we need an attorney?
In Wisconsin, an agency approved, attorney must be retained by the adoptive parent(s) to facilitate and petition the court to complete the Termination of Parental Rights. We will recommend several to you when the time comes.