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Loving Labor Support

17 year old Kristy found out she was pregnant. She didn’t tell anyone about the pregnancy until she thought she was about 2 weeks away from having her baby. At that time, she knew she needed help. She lived with her dad and she knew he would be angry that she was pregnant, and she didn’t have a relationship with her mother. She lived in a country town in Kansas and didn’t want the whole town to find out. She finally confided in her best friend, who was shocked about the pregnancy. Kristy and her friend decided to start looking into adoption agencies. Kristy started emailing a supervisor at Act of Love Adoption Agency in Utah. They established a great relationship, and Kristy realized she found the help she was looking for. She also picked a wonderful adoptive family.

At this time, she also started having some cramping and pains. Act of Love encouraged her to get to a doctor or clinic. Kristy went to a clinic outside her area, and they told her she had preeclampsia and was in the beginning stages of labor and needed to be hospitalized. Kristy was scared and didn’t want to be alone. Her friend stayed at her side in the hospital, until the adoption agency staff members and the attorney were able to be with Kristy.

Kristy felt that the adoption agency staff and attorney were like family members. They were her absolute support through a natural labor, which eventually led to a C-section delivery. The adoptive family made it to the hospital just before the C-section, and everyone was surprised by the sweet baby boy that was born.

Kristy felt more support from the staff at Act of Love Adoptions than she had from her family. She felt loved, cared for and secure and knew that adoption would put her baby in a loving home.

Gratitude From a Birth Father

Birth father, Lee, and his girlfriend, Tara, had been together for many months. Tara started to feel strange, and thought she should take a pregnancy test. It came back positive. Lee and Tara were shocked and overwhelmed because they knew they were not ready to be parents.

Lee started doing some research online and emailed A Act of Love Adoption Agency. He corresponded back and forth with the office manager and a supervisor, and felt a connection to this adoption agency. At the same time, Lee and his girlfriend were working on getting into the doctor to confirm the pregnancy. Here is what Lee said, “Hi, we just went to the doctors and I’m happy to say my girlfriend is not pregnant. Thank you for all your help and support. I’ll save your email and if anyone I know gets in the same trouble I did, I’ll recommend you.”

A Act of Love responded wishing them the best.

Unexpectedly, Lee contacted A Act of Love Adoption Agency again. “Hello, it’s been a while since we’ve spoken but I told u I would pass on your information and I did. I just gave a 15 year old girl your email and she might be contacting you sometime soon. Please help her as much as you helped me. She’s a nice girl and she could use some support. Thank you so much for your time.”

A Act of Love staff let Lee know that they would take great care of this teenage girl!

Lee responded, “She will ask for you and say that I gave her your email. She doesn’t want to abort because she feels every child deserves to be born, but she also is unsure of whether she wants to keep it or give it up. I could never forget you, Jaime, and Jill. You helped me in a time when I was lost and scared; you helped me feel safe and reassured me that everything would be ok. I appreciate all of what you have done for me.”

A Act of Love Adoption Agency offers great services, including providing adoption information and counseling to help birth parents in the adoption process. The counseling helps birth parents have a positive, life-changing experience that allows them to reach their goals and dreams. Adoption is such a positive alternative to unplanned pregnancies, and Act of Love Adoptions is ready and willing to help!

My Perfect Family!

Birth mother Wendy was in a relationship for several months with a man. She found out she was pregnant at the same time she found out he was having federal charges brought against him. Already having a 1 year old, Wendy knew she was not ready to provide for another child. She started doing some research online, and came across Act of Love Adoption Agency. After she read the website, she then called into the 24 hour phone line and she started receiving the help she was so desperately looking for. She had people who were caring and understanding that wanted to help her through the adoption process.

Wendy found an adoptive family from the on-line profiles that she was interested in. However, she found out that as she was looking at their profile, they had a baby placed in their home. Wendy decided she wanted to see more adoptive family profiles. As she looked through families, there was one that stuck out to her. She knew that was the family for her baby boy. She started by doing a conference call to interview the family, and was immediately at ease with her decision to choose them for her baby’s adoptive family. The most important part of Wendy’s adoption plan was for the adoptive family to be in the delivery room. She asked the family about this, and they were so excited to be able to experience the birth of their child.

Wendy had the support of her sister and the adoptive family. Wendy and her adoptive family spent some wonderful time together getting know each other and just a couple days later, contractions started. At one lunch meeting Wendy started having consistent contractions and felt like it was time to go to the hospital. Sure enough, it was true labor! Wendy went through the labor and delivery process with the adoptive family, and wonderful adoption agency staff at her side. It was a beautiful experience for everyone involved, and went exactly as Wendy had planned.

Wendy went through the relinquishment process, and placed her baby with the adoptive family she felt so connected to. She was so grateful to Act of Love Adoption Agency for helping her find the perfect family for her situation!

The Same Name – Not a Coincidence!

Mark and Andrea wanted more than anything to adopt a baby and have the joy of loving and raising a child. They had waited for some time with another adoption agency when they found A Act of Love Adoption Agency. They spoke with their agency and it was agreed that working with A Act of Love was a good idea because the other adoption agency was placing just a few babies each year. Upon completing all the necessary paperwork with A Act of Love, Mark and Andrea were ready to have their profile shown to birthparents. Immediately, they were selected by birthparents that were young — 16 and 18. All were thrilled and arrangements were made for the four of them to meet one weekend. Mark and Andrea flew to the city where the birthparents lived and they spent a wonderful day together. It was exciting for all of them and they were all so happy they had the opportunity to meet before the birth. About a month later, the baby was born and Mark and Andrea caught the first flight out to be with the birthparents and their new baby. They all spent many loving hours together in the hospital. The morning that the birthparents were to be released, they called the agency case workers and explained that their family had made provisions for them to be able to parent the baby. They felt that at this time parenting is what they needed to do. Upon hearing the news, Mark and Andrea were heartbroken but at the same time understanding of the circumstances and feelings of the birthparents. They parted ways amicably and returned home with heavy hearts and broken dreams. Again, their profile was shown to more birthparents, but they were not selected.

Saddened but optimistic, Andrea and Mark continued with their adoption journey. About one month later, they received a call that a birthmother and father had selected them! They were overjoyed as so were the birthparents! The next day they spoke by phone on a conference call through A Act of Love. It was a wonderful call and a great connection was made. Andrea and Mark were eagerly awaiting the arrival of this sweet baby girl. Well the big day came three weeks earlier than planned! A phone call in the middle of the night awakened them and they quickly made arrangements to be on the first flight out! When they arrived and traveled to the hospital, they were warmly greeted and got to meet their new bundle of joy! She was beautiful and everything they had dreamed of! Immediately, they knew the name they had chosen fit her — Sarah! The birthparents had checked out of the hospital and planned to sign relinquishment papers the next morning and then travel to the hospital to meet with Mark and Andrea. During their meeting with the staff from A Act of Love, they kept calling the baby Sarah. Unbeknownst to anyone, the birthparents had named the baby Sarah.

The meeting at the hospital was a beautiful experience for everybody. Hugs, tears, laughter and peace filled the room. Tons of pictures were taken and Andrea and Mark gave a beautiful keepsake to the birthmother. During their conversation they began to talk about the name and couldn’t believe they both had selected the same name! It was felt by all that this adoption was certainly meant to be! All were thrilled and touched by the experience.

Workshop for Adoptive Family Preparation

Act of Love Adoption Agency will be providing a workshop for adoptive families that live along the Wasatch Front. This workshop is provided for adoptive families to receive training and preparation for their adoption. This opportunity allows adoptive families to meet birth parents and adoptive families that have been through the adoption process. Birth parents share their adoption experience – the decisions, trials, peace, joys and grief that they experienced in placing their children for adoption. Adoptive families have expressed the gratitude they have for the birth parents and their willingness to share their adoption experience. These brave women share their personal stories, as well as the successes in their lives today. A question an answer time after the birth parent panel allows adoptive families an opportunity to visit with woman that have placed their babies for adoption. Discuss openness and how an open adoption is healthy for the birth parent and child. Adoptive families will also discuss the topics:

Adoption Policies and Procedures
Fostering Positive Self-Esteem in Your Adoptive Child
Teaching Your Child to Advocate for Themselves
Transracial Adoption Education
Discipline Strategies
Parenting the Adopted Child
We welcome adoptive families to attend the interactive training and preparation that provides an opportunity for adoptive families to familiarize and educate themselves on important adoption matters. The workshop helps prepare families to have a positive, successful adoption and the tools to foster an environment where their adoptive child will thrive.

Workshop Schedule:

• To be held at Act of Love Adoptions – Saturday, January 26, 2012 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
• Infant Care for adoptive families that have not parented a child 5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

The training will be facilitated by Isaac Thomas, LCSW and Cindy Bylund. For questions regarding the adoption process and preparation, please contact A Act of Love Adoption Agency at 801-572-1696.

It Was Well Worth It!

To All My Friends at Act of Love,

How are you doing? I’m doing great and feel wonderful. Although I still have twenty pounds to lose and I’m covered in stretch marks, I want you to know it is well worth it! I am so grateful to the agency for all your help. You really made
this a wonderful experience for me and my whole family. We will never forget you and hope that we can come see you all soon! I love the adoptive parents and know my little guy will have such a great life! I’m looking forward to them coming out for our visit next year! PM

Make the Call!

A Act of Love Adoption Agency in Utah is known for the exceptional way its staff treats its birthparents. Whether a birthmom calls A Act of Love at the beginning, middle or end of her pregnancy, she is treated with love and respect as the staff works diligently to meet both her needs and that of the birthfather. In many cases the adoptive family is selected months ahead of delivery but in some instances, a birthmother may find herself at the hospital delivering a baby and wondering what to do. Birthmothers have shared their feelings as they have found themselves in this situation, without a real plan for the child. Most talk about knowing that they cannot afford to raise the baby, do not have a good support system of family or friends, have other children they are struggling to feed and are not in a very good emotional state to be the best parent they can be. Some have found A Act of Love Adoptions on line, others have found the agency in a phone book and still others have received a list from the hospital of adoption agencies. One thing they all have in common is, “they were so glad they called A Act of Love.”

Calling A Act of Love Adoptions for the first time from the hospital can be very comforting to a birthmother with a brand new baby. A Act of Love’s toll free line is answered 24 hours each day of the year! Yes, there will be an answer on Christmas Day or in the middle of the night, because A Act of Love knows that babies hardly ever arrive during working hours! The staff of Act of Love hold adoption dear to their hearts since most staff members have been personally touched by adoption. Birthmothers recognize this from the moment they call. They are treated with warmth and understanding from a real person who understands what they are feeling. A Act of Love can work quickly to help the birthmom (and father) create an adoption plan in a short amount of time. They will work around the clock to help the birthparents make their decision happen quickly. A birthparent should never worry about calling at the last minute–even if they have left the hospital and have taken the baby home. It is not too late to consider adoption! Many birthparents have taken babies home and made a valiant effort to care for the child as they work, attend school and/or care for other children. Some become so overwhelmed with the added responsibility and increase in expenses that they feel turning to adoption is the best option for everyone involved. These parents are also welcomed by A Act of Love and are also given special love and attention. In every case, birthparents have all the options that those who called early in their pregnancy have. They are offered counseling during the process and after placement. They have the opportunity to have an open adoption and select the adoptive couple. They have the option to meet the adoptive couple and spend time with them. All services are open to these birthparents even though the child has already been born.

A Act of Love has helped many birthparents during its 20 years in business. The agency is comprised of professionals that know adoption inside out. They work long past regular work hours including weekends and holidays to help their birthparents and adoptive couples have a beautiful adoption experience. Hundreds have expressed their appreciation to A Act of Love through kind letters and reviews and donations helping others have the joy of adoption. If you are a birthparent finding yourself in a situation where you feel adoption is right for you and your baby, don’t hesitate to call A Act of Love Adoptions. Their toll free number is 1 800 835-6360. Your call will be answered and your questions will be as well! Remember, it is never too late to make that call!

Learning About Open Adoption

A Act of Love Adoption Agency was one of the first adoption agencies to offer open adoptions. More than twenty years ago, Act of Love’s founder, Kathy Kunkel, had become close with many birthmothers and learned of the need for openness in their adoption plans. The problem was that not many adoption agencies were offering an open adoption. Kathy decided to create an agency that would allow birthparents to have what they needed. That agency became A Act of Love Adoptions.

The beauty of open adoption through Act of Love is that no two open adoptions are the same. There are so many options for birthparents that they can make a plan that is best for them emotionally. They have the opportunity to talk with a counselor about their plan and come up with openness that feels right for them. As part of their adoption paperwork, the openness is put in writing and then presented to perspective adoptive couples. Adoptive couples have the option to agree to the openness specified in writing or forego having their profile shown to that birthmother. Adoptive parents will know in their hearts when an openness plan is right for them. If the openness plan being presented feels uncomfortable to them, they should pass and wait for an opportunity that is comfortable. This helps ensure the openness agreement will be followed.

Open adoption can consist of adoptive parents mailing birthparents some pictures of the child with a letter talking about what they have been doing over the past year. This happens once a year until the child turns 18. Another open adoption could entail emails being sent back and forth at the discretion of either party. For others, it could mean getting together in person at appropriate times to celebrate holidays or events. And further, another open adoption could be that the birthparents select the adoptive family, they meet before placement, spend time together at the hospital and then go their separate ways. It would be safe to say that not very many open adoptions are the same. Each open adoption usually begins with the birthparents deciding what they want and need from their adoption plan. Then finding a family that will meet those needs. A Act of Love works very hard to ensure that the open adoptions are successful and that both parties are getting their needs met. In Utah, the openness form is not legally binding. But A Act of Love Adoptive couples do make an ethical commitment that they will follow through on their agreement. This makes for happy, successful adoptions for all involved but most of all for the child.

With international adoptions becoming increasingly difficult, and countries banning U.S. citizens from adopting, adoptive parents should educate themselves on open adoption. Act of Love staff members would be happy to talk with adoptive couples about open adoptions. Act of Love is very involved in all its open adoptions unless both birthparents and adoptive couples agree in writing they want it handled directly. All correspondence is sent to A Act of Love and then forwarded. A Act of Love makes copies for the file (in case it gets lost in the mail) of all correspondence then puts it in an agency envelope and sends it to the birthparent. This way, privacy remains intact for both birthparents and adoptive parents. The same method is used for exchanges of gifts. If a phone call is included in the openness, A Act of Love will set up a conference call. This is where an agency staff worker will connect both parties from a work line, allowing them to talk while an agency staff member is on the line. Of course if both parties want to exchange their phone numbers, each can sign a document stating they are making that choice and hold the adoption agency harmless.

Many adoptive parents are so thrilled they took the time to research and learn more about adoption openness. As they hold their newborn in their arms, Act of Love staff often hear words of love and praise for their birthmom. Adoptive couples feel the bond with their birthparents that they can one day share with their child. They often say they are so happy they chose to go with an open adoption because the experience would not have been as wonderful. Open adoptions are a very healthy option for everyone involved. The birthparents have the opportunity to see the child growing happily and enjoying some of the experiences they were unable to provide. The child feels secure in knowing who he/she came from and that he/she has both birthparents and adoptive parents that love him/her. It is a very comforting feeling for a child to know some of his/her biological background. The adoptive parents have the opportunity to tell the child about his/her birth, the first meeting with his/her birthmother, the story of his/her birth and other events that took place surrounding the adoption. In nearly every adoption that is open, a picture of the birthparents, the baby and the adoptive family is taken. What a treasure for all involved! Through adoption, a big happy family has been created!

Courage to Call

Several years ago, a birthmother placed her baby boy with a sweet family through A Act of Love Adoption Agency. Since that time, she had two more children which she chose to parent. Then, she fell on some hard times again and learned she was pregnant. She was in the middle of what she called “a financial, emotional and physical crisis”. She pondered on what to do and which direction to turn. She was nervous to call Act of Love Adoptions because she thought her past adoptive family might think ill of her. But, she mustered up the courage and made the call. She was greeted with love and compassion. She discussed her situation with the adoption agency staff member and asked if it might be possible if her past adoptive couple could be contacted to see if they would be interested in adopting this baby. The agency had recently helped this couple with another adoption but wanted to inform them and let them make the decision.

After spending a couple of days thinking about it, the adoptive family called back and said that they didn’t think they could do another adoption so quickly. The adoptive family matching team began searching for an adoptive family that would be wonderful for this birthmother. Part of the search was looking for an adoptive family that would be willing to connect with the first adoptive family through correspondence (pictures & letters). It was important for the birthmother to provide an opportunity for the two children to know each other. The matching team was successful in finding adoptive families that would love to connect with the first adoptive family. The profiles were presented to the birthmother. She immediately selected a family and was thrilled that her two boys would grow up knowing each other. Because she had an open adoption the first time, she wanted the same type of openness this second time and was looking forward to seeing the boys grow-up through the wonderful pictures she would receive. When the time came for the birth, the baby was born healthy and beautiful! He looked just like his older, adopted brother. Everyone was thrilled on all sides and the birthmother expressed her relief and she felt she had made the right decision.

Birthmothers should never feel embarrassed or nervous to call A Act of Love Adoptions back after having worked with them before. In many cases, the adoptive families are more than excited to get the call saying their birthmother is expecting again and considering placing for adoption. When adoptive families receive this type of call, they are so grateful that the birthmother again chose to give this baby life and would call the adoption agency again to give them the opportunity. In some cases, the family is not in a position to adopt at that time. In those cases, A Act of Love will then work with the birthparent and make sure that they receive profiles of couples that are ready, waiting and wanting to be shown to her and they will continue to help her find the perfect couple for her baby.

Adoption Bonds

Two young women were in different parts of the country when they made the call. Both were scared but not alone. Each had a supportive family behind them as they wrestled with their unplanned pregnancy and what to do. Both women called A Act of Love Adoptions after finding the agency on-line and in the phone book. Both women decided that adoption was the right choice for them and both decided that A Act of Love Adoptions, was the right adoption agency. Because each of their circumstances with the communities they lived in and wanting to keep their privacy, each young woman decided to come to Utah to receive the services of counseling, excellent medical care and the opportunity to bond with an adoptive couple they had selected.

While in Utah, both women requested to meet other birthparents that were also willing to meet. Because of confidentiality, most birthparents choose to keep to themselves while making their adoption plan. In the case of these two birthmothers, both were feeling a little lonely for family so each of them requested that if anyone else was willing, they were as well. As you can imagine, these two immediately became fast friends and enjoyed spending time together, taking walks, renting movies, and window shopping. They became a physical and emotional support for one another. Each of these women chose adoptive couples whom they adored. They thought it would be fun for the couples to meet, so with permission, all four parties got together and had a great time!

When it came time for the first labor and delivery, the other asked if she could be there and of course it was agreed upon. Within the week, the other one went into labor and the first one was there for support and help for her friend. The greatest moment of all was when the two birthmothers asked if they could have a photo with them, the babies and their adoptive couples all together!!!! It was amazing and made everybody smile! Over the next few days as the birthmothers recovered, they made plans to return to their separate homes in different parts of the country. They vowed they would remain friends forever and would be there for the other one whenever needed. It is a beautiful friendship that developed in a time of need for both. They will be forever grateful for each other! The adoptive parents also formed a bond of friendship and enjoyed being together so much, they decided it would be fun to stay in touch! These two birthparents were so excited to think that their baby boys could grow up being friends!

Adoption
is An Act of Love

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