Frequently asked questions
For Hopeful Adoptive Parents
- Adoptive Parents
- 1. Do you complete International Home Studies?
No. Our focus is on Domestic home studies.
- 2. What counties do you service?We are currently offering our services to all of Pennsylvania. Please speak with a staff person to discuss your location.
- 3. How long does the Home Study take?Our staff generally takes 4 weeks to prepare the first draft of your document following your Home Study visit, barring any complications. We then ask that you review the document. Once you approve, we submit the final document within days.If you are in a situation that requires an expedited Home Study, we may be able to assist you.
- 4. How long is a home study good for?
A full home study is valid for three years. During that time, however, we must conduct annual visits and complete a home study update. This ensures that any changes to family situation or dynamic are discussed and do not affect the ability to place a child in your home or family.
- 5. Can we specify gender of child?
Absolute Love Adoptions does not believe that specifying gender is ethical. We do not permit requests for the gender of the child desired.
- 6. What type of payments do you accept?
The agency accepts personal checks, cashier's checks and we offer a pay online feature. Please speak with your Specialist to retrieve the code to pay online should you wish to use this service.
- 7. Is there financial assistance for adopting?
- 8. How do I get my clearances?As a Pennsylvania resident, you are required to obtain Criminal, FBI and Child Abuse Clearances.If you have lived outside of PA in the most recent 5 years, you must also obtain clearances from each of those states. The agency can assist you with identifying how to obtain those, if necessary.
- 9. How often do we renew our clearances?
While each county may have different requirements, it is ALA policy that pre-adoptive families renew their clearances annually.
For Expectant Mothers
- Expectant Mothers
- 1. What services are available to me?The plan for you as an expectant parents is highly individualized and looks differently for each person. We like to meet with you initially to get to know you and your story. We then meet every few weeks, or even weekly depending on how close you are to delivery and how much support you'd like from our Adoption Specialists.At some point we have you complete an expectant parent background form and releases so that we may retrieve your medical records pertaining to the pregnancy. We will connect you to community resources that may benefit you.During the third trimester we connect you with the adoptive parents of your choosing and help you build that relationship. We can arrange for you to have a delivery doula at the hospital should you desire. We then support you until you can sign your consents and the baby is discharged.Once you leave the hospital, we continue meeting with you regularly until you are comfortable and wish to discontinue visits. We provide and/or pay for counseling for you for a lifetime. We can assist you with job finding, building a resume, finding a school program, daycare or whatever other self-improvement goals you may have for yourself after placement.
- 2. What are my choices in a family for my child?
An expectant parent talks with the Adoption Specialist about the things that are important to them regarding the family they'd like for their child. Some expectant parents request the agency to pick a family, and want very little involvement. Others identify the race, family composition, religion, hobbies, or other characteristics of their desired family. We will work together to meet your needs regarding the things you feel are important. If the family of your reams is not available through Absolute Love, we use a large network of connections throughout the country to find the right fit for you.
- 3. What does the post placement agreement look like?The written and signed agreement details how often you should expect to hear from the family and in what way-- a phone call, email, letter or in person visit. The agreement is made before placement happens and is mutually agreeable to you and the adoptive parents. In Pennsylvania you have the option to file this in court and make it legally enforceable. This means that if some part of the agreement is not upheld, the offended party has the opportunity to take it to court to solve if it cannot be satisfactorily settled with agency supporting as a mediary.View this PDF for more information about Post Adoption Contact Agreements.http://www.dhs.pa.gov/cs/groups/webcontent/documents/bulletin_admin/d_006113.pdf
- 4. How do I communicate with the family/my child?
This also depends on what is decided in the Post Adoption Contact Agreement and is individualized based on the comfort levels of both families. You can communicate directly to one another and exchange personal information, you can go through the agency who will facilitate this arrangement for you, or you can go through an outside party to communicate. This will be discussed at length and included in your agreement.
- 5. Financial Support?
Legally in Pennsylvania, hopeful adoptive families are not permitted to pay for any expenses for the expectant parents related to the pregnancy or the adoption with the exception of legal or medical. We will assist you with getting Medicaid if you do not already have it and qualify. If you have private insurance and services rendered throughout pregnancy are not covered, the adoptive family covers those expenses.Unfortunately we cannot provide financial support in the form of rent, groceries, bills, etc.
- 6. What about legal representation?
You are not required to have your own attorney, but you are encouraged to. The agency covers the cost of any expenses related to your legal counsel. Best practice is that you at least consult with an attorney to know your rights and options, and it should be an attorney separate from the attorney the family is using.