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Adoptive Parents

Prospective adoptive parents often have many questions as they begin the process. On this page are some common questions and answers. We hope you will find them helpful. If, after reading them, you still have questions, feel free to contact A Gift of Hope Adoptions. You may also use the contact form specifically for adoptive parents.

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How do I begin the process of adopting?

First you must decide what kind of adoption you are interested in pursuing. There are several different kinds – public, private, independent, international, domestic, infant, older child, special needs. When you have decided which type of adoption fits your family, research the best way to get that adoption process going, as well as the best service provider for you. A Gift of Hope Adoptions is a private adoption agency, licensed in Missouri, that specializes in domestic infants. We can provide a full service package for adoptive families residing in Missouri, including a homestudy, matching, and post-placement services, all of which are typically required by the law of any state. If you are not located in Missouri you can still sign on with A Gift of Hope Adoptions, we will provide you with a matching service. Matching birth families with adoptive families is often the hardest part of the adoption process, and we consider it our specialty!

If you are located in Missouri but are not interested in domestic infant adoption, we can still help you out with certain parts of the adoption process. We can still provide you with a homestudy done by one of our social workers, and post-placement services as well.

Where is A Gift of Hope Adoptions located?

A Gift of Hope is headquartered in Columbia, Missouri, an ideal location for an agency providing services to the entire state. Columbia is situated half-way between St. Louis and Kansas City. Columbia combines the personality of a small town with the convenience of a large city, and we try to replicate that here at A Gift of Hope Adoptions. You will get the personal service that you expect from a small town, with the ease and convenience of a city. We also have social workers situated in other parts of Missouri to facilitate closer and easier services for those not located in Mid-Missouri.

However, you do not have to reside in Missouri to utilize the services of our agency. We present all of our couples nationwide to ensure the fastest possible match is made. You will still have to utilize local services such as having a homestudy done by a professional in your state, and legal services in the state in which your child is born or resides, if not Missouri. However we will take on the difficult task of ensuring that you are presented as often and as thoroughly as possible to a wide range of prospective birth mothers!

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Why should I choose A Gift of Hope Adoptions?

A Gift of Hope Adoptions offers the highest quality services available in adoption today. We always strive to keep our staff educated on trends and studies related to adoption issues, and work with all of our clients to find the best possible solution to an always difficult decision. A Gift of Hope Adoptions is also a full service adoption agency, providing services that you may not find using alternative methods, such as legal referrals and nationwide advertising for birth parents.

Who are the children?

The children being placed for adoption are born to clients of A Gift of Hope Adoptions who are considering making an adoption plan for their child. They are usually infants, often coming right from the hospital. We will also get requests for families from other adoption agencies, attorneys and facilitators. Occasionally, we will have birth families wishing to place older children, so if you are open to older children (typically over one year old) please let us know.The birth families come from all over the country and from all walks of life. We encourage you to keep your options open when it comes to considering a placement situation. This will help you be matched faster and more easily.

What type of adoption is offered through A Gift of Hope Adoptions?

A Gift of Hope Adoptions offers domestic infant adoptions. This includes minority adoptions and special needs adoptions. We work with birth mothers throughout their pregnancy to help them find the adoptive parents they want for their children. Typically, we match the adoptive parents prior to the birth, although occasionally an after birth match or an older child placement is available. We strive to make the best possible match between the birth and adoptive families.

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What is a ‘match’?

When a birthmother looks at your profile and decides that you would make a good parent for her child, she lets her social worker know that she has chosen you. You are then contacted to be told that a birthmother has chosen you, and if you agree to the situation, then what is called a “match” has been made. Matching services are just one of the many services provided by A Gift of Hope Adoptions, but it is often the hardest. We send out your profile to many different birthparents all over the country to ensure that you find your perfect match as quickly as possible.

When can we expect a match?

Of course everyone is anxious to be matched with a birth mother. This part of the process can either be very quick or it can take some time. The birth parent(s) may choose a family based on many factors. Some common factors may include religion, race, area of the country, other children, a stay at home parent, or hobbies and interests. We will assist you in assembling a profile that will be shown to birth parents around the country. This way, you get the maximum exposure in order to find your birth mother as soon as possible. We have many options for birth parents and will offer them what best suits their situation. For one birth mother, you will be the best possible option!

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What is a homestudy?

A homestudy is a document required by most states before you can adopt. The homestudy is just what it sounds like, a study of your home. A social worker will come to your home and interview you and your family members about your life, your background, how you were raised, and why you want to adopt. It also generally includes additional documents such as criminal background checks, medical references and character references. While homestudy requirements vary state by state, a basic narrative is always required.

Often the prospect of a homestudy is intimidating to adoptive parents. There is no need to be scared! The social worker will not come to your home with a white glove to examine every nook and cranny for dust and dirt! A homestudy is simply an explanation of what makes you a great adoptive family. We will help you obtain a homestudy. If you are in Missouri one of our social workers will be happy to conduct the homestudy. If you are not located in Missouri we will help you find an appropriate person in your state to conduct one, as they have to be done in the state of residence. The homestudy is a crucial piece to the adoption process, and just like the rest of the process we will help you through it!

Do I have to live in Missouri to work with A Gift of Hope Adoptions?

No! We have adoptive families and birth families all over the country. Our wide network allows us to service the entire nation, and keep your costs and wait time down.

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Where do you find the birthparents?

We advertise nationwide to find birthparents. Generally they see an advertisement in a phonebook, online or in a flyer and give us a call, and we work with them from that point. Because we advertise so widely our average wait time is much lower than many other places, about a year.

Do you have foster care?

We do offer foster care in Missouri through families that work with A Gift of Hope Adoptions. This is not the general concept of state foster care. Our families care only for children who are waiting for their adoptive families to be found, such as when we are called with an emergency placement and have not had time to match the birth family with an adoptive family. We only place children in foster care when there is an emergency situation, and our families are screened and trained carefully for such a position. Our families care for the children as they would their own, so be assured that these children are loved while waiting for their forever home.

What is ‘ICPC’?

“ICPC” is an acronym for Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. This refers to a process that must take place when the birth family and adoptive family reside in different states. Before the adoptive family can take the child out of the state where he/she was born both the states must approve of the transfer. This generally involves submitting several documents to both states for approval. Here at A Gift of Hope Adoptions we prepare as many of the documents prior to the birth of the child as possible, so that the wait time is as little as possible. But if you do have a birth mother in a different state, be prepared to remain in that state until both states give their approval. Once we get that approval we will let you know; when we get the call you get the call.

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After my child is born, how long will I wait to go home with him/her?

home with our babyThat depends on the state where the child is born, as well as what time of year the child is born. If the child is born on or around a state or federal holiday you may have to wait longer than usual. However, on average be prepared to stay in the birth state 7 to 10 days. If we can get you home sooner be assured we will do so!

What is ‘open’ adoption?

Open adoption really refers to a range of contact between adoptive families and birth families from semi-open to very open. Most of the adoptions in which we participate at A Gift of Hope Adoptions would fall into the semi-open range, where contact between the birth and adoptive families occurs through telephone conversations prior to the birth, and then usually through pictures and letters after the birth. Most birth parents prefer to have some sort of contact so we encourage you to consider this when you are thinking about what you would be willing to do.

Does A Gift of Hope Adoptions do open adoptions?

A Gift of Hope Adoptions customizes our services to fit your family’s needs and desires. Accordingly, we do adoptions that fall anywhere on the openness scale. We will do a fully closed adoption, a fully open adoption, or anywhere in between. The decision is entirely yours.

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What services are provided through A Gift of Hope Adoptions?

A Gift of Hope Adoptions provides homestudies, post-placement services, matching, nationwide advertising for birth and adoptive families, ICPC compliance, birthparent counseling, legal referrals, and foster care when necessary. Service availability may vary depending on where you are located but we will help you find the services you need to get your adoption completed.

How long will I wait for my child?

Our average wait time is about a year. Of course, the more open you are to things about children like race, gender, special needs, or contact with the birthfamily, the lower the average wait. A Gift of Hope Adoptions encourages everyone to be as open as possible, particularly with contact. Most of our birthmothers want some kind of contact with the adoptive family after the placement.

It is important to remember that wait times are typically given in averages, and that the wait period starts after your homestudy is approved. Your wait may be longer than a year or shorter, but most people wait about a year.

Do birthmothers ever come and want to take back the child?

While this makes for sensational TV movies, very rarely does this ever occur in reality. When it does happen, typically it is because their rights, or the rights of the birthfather, were not properly terminated. A Gift of Hope Adoptions will help you find representation whatever state your birthmother is in to help ensure that the laws of that state are followed properly to terminate both the birthmother and birthfather’s rights. This is one reason why we do not oppose contact with the birthparents after the adoption if you also wish to maintain contact. If the birthparents desire contact after birth they usually just want to know that your family is doing well and to have reassurance they made the right decision.

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