Help Support Adoption at Act of Love
“Here Comes Santa Claus” to Act of Love Adoptions!
December 5th from 6pm – 9pm
For early shopping, please come at 5 pm
Act of Love offices
9561 S. 700 E. Ste. 101
Sandy, UT 84070
Celebrate the Holidays, 20 years of Act of Love Adoptions, Kathy’s a 61st Birthday, visit with Santa and have a chance to get some Christmas shopping done! Act of Love is hosting a Santa’s Workshop Fundraiser to help raise funds for adoptions. All of the proceeds from the event will go directly towards adoptions at Act of Love. Bring your family and friends! Share with your friends!
By sharing some love through an “Act of Kindness”, the funds raised through your purchases will allow Act of Love to support birthparents and create beautiful families for children. Be a part of a true miracle!
Pregnant and Confused? Resources to Help You
An unexpected pregnancy may come as a surprise, one that will cause huge changes in your life. If you have an unexpected pregnancy and feel that you are unprepared to become a parent because of your particular situation, one option you can turn to is adoption. The momentous decision to choose adoption may be an overwhelming one. And it is something that, ultimately, will be a decision that only the birthmother can make.
However, you don’t have to do it all on your own. There are plenty of people and organizations that stand ready to help you through your pregnancy and guide you in deciding on whether adoption is the right step for you to take.
Here are some people and organizations that can assist you during this trying time:
Public Health Centers. Your city or town will have a public health service or contraception clinic that guides women in exploring the options she has for her unplanned pregnancy. The center can also provide basic counseling and can refer you to other entities or organizations should you decide on a particular path with regards to your pregnancy (i.e. parenting, adoption or abortion).
Crisis Pregnancy Centers. These centers provide services such as pregnancy testing, medical exams and counseling on the choices available to you. However, it is important to note that some centers are tied with pro-life or pro-choice groups and this will reflect in the way they counsel you about your choices.
Adoption Agencies. Should you decide to make an adoption plan; agencies such as A Act of Love Adoption can provide you with guidance as well as pregnancy related financial assistance. Adoption agencies counsel you of your rights as a birthmother, give you advice on your birth plan and provide you with profiles of prospective adoptive families. Adoption agencies that specialize in domestic adoptions of infants also helps ensure that your rights and privacy as a birthmother are protected. Depending on the type of adoption you choose (i.e. confidential, open or semi-open adoptions), you have the option of choosing and getting to know the prospective family or maintaining contact with the family (such as getting regular updates and photos). Adoption agencies also provide you with the ability to choose the parents based on your own personal criteria. There are some agencies that also provide pregnancy related financial, medical and legal assistance, including living accommodations and transportation costs.
Birthmothers. If you decide to continue the pregnancy and place the baby for adoption, one important resource will be the birthmothers themselves. They have firsthand experience about how it is to choose adoption. Since they have gone through what you will be going through, they understand how you feel and what you should expect with regards to your pregnancy and the process of adoption.
About A Act of Love Adoptions
Are you pregnant but are undecided about what to do? You can contact A Act of Love Adoptions to explore the possibility of making an adoption plan. The agency specializes in facilitating infant adoptions and already has a listing of approved prospective parents you can choose from. A Act of Love also offers birthmothers with help to see them through the pregnancy and to have post-pregnancy plan after they deliver the baby. The assistance comes in the form of counseling, support towards pregnancy related financial, medical and legal needs, accommodations, transportation or relocation.
Wanting to Adopt? Here’s Help in Choosing an Adoption Agency
Adoption can be one of the most beautiful events in a couple’s life. Having a beautiful baby placed in your arms after years of waiting is life changing. The road leading up to this moment can be rough and wonderful! If you ask couples that have been placed with a child, there is usually a story mixed with heartache and euphoria.
Choosing the right adoption agency for you is very important. There are many adoption agencies to choose from, so learning what to ask and how to “screen” them is important. A reputable adoption agency does not only provide the match between you and the birthparent. It also guides prospective families through the home study process and ensures that the adoption meets all legal requirements for your state.
Here are some steps you can take to help you choose which adoption agency to work with:
• Get a list of adoption agencies in your area. Contact the state’s adoption unit for a list of licensed adoption agencies. A license is an important validation that the adoption agency meets and complies with all legal and procedural requirements involved in the adoption.
• Determine the kind of adoption you want. Would you like to have a domestic adoption or an international one? Would you like to be connected to a birthmother and adopt an infant or do you seek to adopt a grown child who may already be in the foster care system? Are you seeking a closed adoption, an open adoption or a semi-open adoption?
• Get referrals. If you know someone who has successfully adopted or made an adoption plan, ask them for referrals. Be sure to solicit their feedback about the agency. Inquire about the adoption agency’s standing from government agencies such as the Better Business Bureau and the local child services department.
• Understand the costs involved. Adopting and working with an adoption agency will involve several fees for processing and services, home studies, pregnancy related assistance provided to the birth mother, legal services, operational costs, overhead and other related costs, documentation, travel and transportation expenses and communications expenses.
• Contact the prospective adoption agency and ask questions regarding:
o The legal requirements to become qualified to adopt
o Average time involved in the adoption
o Type of adoption they facilitate (whether they specialize in closed, open or semi-open adoptions)
o Availability of counseling or other adoption-related support
o Special issues that the agency works with: special needs children, ethnic backgrounds
o Licenses and accreditation
o The agency’s length of operation, as well as policies (especially in regard to the fees) and compliance records
o The training and support provided to both the prospective adoptive families and birthparents prior to, during and after the adoption
• Examine the contract. Once you have decided on an adoption agency, carefully read (and re-read!) the contract and note down any questions you have. You should also have a lawyer review the contract prior to signing it.
Making the right choice in an adoption agency can make a big difference in your adoption journey. Choose carefully. After all, this will be the agency that helps you build your family.
About A Act of Love Adoptions
A Act of Love Adoptions is an agency that specializes in infant adoptions. Act of Love assists birthparents and adoptive parents with open or semi-open or closed adoptions. Act of Love offers full support to each of its clients and is available through every step of the process. A Act of Love Adoption Agency offers the following services:
• home studies
• Training and guidance prior to, during and after the adoption process
• Legal services
• Direct services
• Counseling services
• Services covering the Interstate Compact
• Post Placement Visits
Knowing Your Child’s Medical History
An addition to your family via adoption can be an exciting prospect. You can just imagine the joy of holding your adopted child in your arms and being able to call him your very own. However, in the thrill of bringing your child home, it’s easy to overlook important details that relate to your child’s health.
To know how best to care for your child, you need to be armed with the right information – about your child’s medical history, including the health backgrounds of the birth mother and birth father. This is especially true if your child has grown in a less than optimal situation. Having the information will help you address the medical problems your child might have in the present and even in the future.
Medical Histories for Infant Adoptions
If you are looking to adopt an infant, the most common way is to work with an adoption agency, submit a profile and wait for a birthmother to choose you to be the parents of her child. The advantage is that you can have access to the child’s medical histories, especially with an open adoption. Recent discoveries show that the early years of a child’s development sets an important foundation for the later years of his learning. Thus, it becomes very important to identify any adverse risk factors a child may have so that with the help of qualified medical advice, you can already act towards preventing these risks or minimizing their effects.
Getting Your Child’s Medical History
Getting the medical information you need may prove to be a challenge. It is vital to remember that there are some documents or information that may not be available to you. In some instances, there may even be no documentation altogether.
So, what are the things you need to know? If you can, try to obtain the following:
– Health and basic details of the birth parents and any children they may have. This includes the parents’ overall health condition (weight, height, age, existing medical conditions and recorded genetic conditions).
– Medical history of the birthparents, including their own parents’ medical history and existence of any genetic conditions (i.e. heart disease).
– For infants or toddlers, doctor’s records on the pregnancy and birth (i.e. when prenatal care and prenatal vitamins began, any difficulties with the pregnancy, details on the level of prenatal care provided, any significant information about the pregnancy).
– The pediatrician’s records on the newborn/toddler (i.e. Apgar score, initial evaluation, weight, length and gestational age). It is also important to inquire if the baby has undergone newborn screening and if there are positive findings. The newborn screening tests if there are any rare, serious but wholly avoidable conditions that are not immediately visible. The conditions may come in the form of rare allergies to certain substances that can result in serious health impairments. Positive findings alert you to ingredients and substances you need to avoid. Some screenings include a hearing test, screening for heart problems and blood tests.
– Immunization records. This guides you as you have a list of all immunizations that have already been given so that these shots are not repeated.
– The lifestyle of the birth mother during the pregnancy. This includes any habits that may be potentially harmful to the baby such as use and abuse of drugs, alcohol, nicotine or any medication. Getting this information may be difficult – you can turn to the adoption agency to help you ask these questions. This way, you maintain your good relationship with the birth mother. Most birth parents are happy to provide the best information that they have available to them. They want to provide the very best future for their child; including information that will be helpful in their child’s healthy development.
Even as you scrupulously study the birth parents’ medical histories, be reminded that the information you have can only go so far. There may be birth parents that are healthy at the moment but may be susceptible to hereditary conditions later in life. Your efforts towards getting the information should be seen as your efforts towards safeguarding the child’s health more than it being a tool to evaluate the risks of adopting a particular child. With an open adoption, often times birth parents are able to provide future health updates about themselves and their family through the years.
About A Act of Love Adoptions
Working with A Act of Love Adoptions means that prospective adoptive parents can be availed of the following services:
– Help with linking to a birth parent
– Guidance for home studies and post-placements
– Compliance with Interstate Compact regulations
– Choice among open, closed or semi-open adoptions
– Orientation about the adoption process
– Legal and counseling services
How A Act of Love Adoptions Can Help
Preparing Your Child for His New Adopted Sibling
Adoption is not only a significant event in the lives of the birth parents, the child and the adoptive parents – this life-changing decision also affects other family members, especially the children. If you are anticipating the addition of another family member through adoption, you also need to consider how this would affect any children you now have.
More often than not, your child, especially if they are younger, will feel one or a combination of these:
– Excitement. “Wow! I have a new brother/sister!” Your child may welcome his new sibling with anticipation, especially if you have laid sufficient groundwork with regards to the process of adoption and the reasons behind it.
– Feelings of being left out. The fanfare and excitement generated by bringing home your new child can make a child in the family feel left out. They may feel that the parents are too focused on the new sibling. When in the past, the spotlight focused solely on the existing child, he may feel that with the arrival, he is left in the shadows.
– Jealousy. This is especially true if the child you are bringing home is an infant or has special needs. Aside from the adjustments the family has to make, you will need to allocate time to the new addition, time which your existing child or children have considered their own.
– Confusion. Whether the new member of your family is your birth child or adopted child, the new arrival can be confusing and sometimes overwhelming. This may be further compounded by feelings that he does not belong to a “normal” family.
It will be helpful to admit that these feelings are natural. Remember, siblings have the tendency to feel the same way with the arrival of a new baby or child. What is important is that you have set the foundation to help make the transition smoother for your existing child.
Addressing Sibling Issues in Your Blended Family
Here are some ways you can help prepare your child for his adopted sibling:
– Discover how he feels. Be sensitive to indications of his feelings regarding the matter. You can arrange for “casual” times when you can simply sit down and discuss the issue. Sometimes, your child may not be as open to you as you would like. Be patient. You can draw how he feels through story-telling or role-playing. Read books about adoption and discuss how he feels about the story.
– Make him a vital part of the process. Don’t make him feel that the adoption preparations, waiting time and the arrival of the new sibling monopolize your time that you don’t have enough time for him anymore. Rather, involve him in the process. Have him help in the preparation of the family profile. If you are opting for an infant adoption, guide him throughout the pregnancy as the baby is growing and developing. If you are opting for an international adoption, involve him in exploring his new sibling’s culture and racial heritage.
– Give him your time and attention. Prior to the arrival of the child who was recently adopted, spend time with your family, especially your child. This is to set a solid foundation of your love for your child. Take the opportunity to play games with him, cuddle with him or do his favorite activities with him. Later, with the coming of his new sibling, make sure that he still has his private time with you, even as you share in activities that include his new sibling. Guide your child into realizing that as your family expands, yours and his capacity to love also expands.
– Let him know what to expect. Discuss with your child how the new addition will impact him and his environment in practical terms. For instance, you could discuss which room the new sibling will have, what kind of care the new addition will need and how he can help. Prepare your child to anticipate any behaviors his new sibling might show.
– Search for opportunities for your family to interact with families with adopted children. Help your child understand that your family is one way to build a family, but it is far from being not “normal”. If you know of friends or loved ones who have also adopted (and hopefully, who has a family member who is about his age), take the opportunity to interact with them. For one, this bolsters the feeling that he is not “alone”. This is also true if you are deciding on adopting a child of a different racial background as yours. Interacting with peers who are also going through the same process helps the child think of how he can deal with the upcoming adoption, as well as how other people in his environment might relate and react to his family.
– Establish simple rules they can follow as they relate to each other. The bottom line is you cannot expect a child to love his siblings simply because you said so. However, you can expect them to treat each other with respect and fairness. One good way to instill this expectation is for you to treat them with respect and fairness as well. Avoid playing favorites and comparing your children with each other. Rather, recognize your child’s individuality and his unique gifts.
A Act of Love Adoptions can provide vital services to families by providing the necessary counseling. This adoption preparation helps prepare not just the parents, but other immediate family members as well, to navigate the sometimes complicated issues related to adoption. A Act of Love Adoption will also provide assistance for adoptive parents with regards to home studies, placements as well as guidance towards complying with regulations and legal requirements for the adoption.
Baby Boom: Couple Adopts Triplets and Are Expecting Twins
When it rained, it really poured baby blessings for Andy and Sarah Justice. After three and a half years of being married and trying to conceive, the couple thought about fertilization specialists. However, the costs involved were quite high and they seriously began to consider adoption. They went to an adoption agency and submitted their profile.
With the adoption agency they chose, either birthparents or the birthmother reviewed various profiles of prospective adoptive parents and choose their adoptive family. Their profile was submitted to be reviewed by the birthparents.
The Justices’ received the good news that they had been selected by a birthmother to be the parents for her baby – or babies, as it turned out. After being matched with their birthmother, the Justices’ bonded with the birthmother and Sarah started to accompany her with her doctor appointments. It was in one of these appointments that the ultrasound showed a wonderful surprise. The birthmother was pregnant with triplets (one boy and two girls).
Andy and Sarah opened their home to babies Joel (the eldest by mere seconds), Hannah and Elizabeth on May 18th of this year. Much to their surprise, the week after the triplets’ birth, they discovered that Sarah was pregnant – with twins! So, on January 2014, the Justice Family will be blessed with 5 adorable children all under age one, with the addition of a girl and a boy.
The couple is over the moon with happiness. As Sarah joyfully puts it, “God has a great sense of humor.” Even as they await their twins, they are enjoying their three adorable children.
How Adoption Agencies Help
Amazing surprises like these are made possible with the help of adoption agencies that match birthparents with the families of their choice. The adoption agencies are instrumental in enabling families seeking to adopt to reach out to women who are dealing with a crisis or unplanned pregnancy. With the assistance of adoption agencies, birth mothers are given a safe and secure refuge that respects the mothers’ privacy and assistance for their pregnancy related needs – medical treatments, day-to-day needs, housing and even the resources to help them move on after the adoption.
Adoption agencies also provide prospective families who opt for an open adoption with the opportunity to “experience” the pregnancy as they bond with the birth mother and provide her with the support she needs during the pregnancy, delivery and recovery.
About A Act of Love Adoptions
A Act of Love Adoptions is an adoption agency that serves the adoption community not just locally but across the United States. The spirit of the mission statement embodies the adoption experience at Act of Love. A Act of Love is an organization that is committed to “serving the children by helping build loving families who share in the joy of living and loving together”. Act of Love supports birthparents by giving them a loving and secure environment and assisting them in choosing the birth and adoption plan. It also provides services for prospective adoptive parents by guiding them through the process of adoption, the home study and through the legal requirements of adoption.
As Much As A Miracle
The gift of adoption is given every day by birthparents that so lovingly choose adoption. When faced with an unplanned pregnancy many women consider all of their options including parenting and abortion. Act of Love Adoptions counselors willingly and loving provide confidential services to assist birthparents in making the most important decision for their child.
Birthmother Samantha stated, “I don’t know what I would of done without your help. Your agency helped me get my life back. Everyone is so kind and loving. I am so glad that God brought all of you into my life. I love each and every one of you and am grateful for everything you have done to help me. Love Always, Samantha”
Birthmothers like Samantha are provided adoption services each day to assist them with an adoption plan for their baby and a plan to help them move forward with their life. Many adoption plans include a post-adoption contact plan that includes letters and pictures so birthparents see the joy and love their baby is receiving.
Post-adoption counseling is provided to all birthparents and many previous birthparents express how grateful they are to have a counselor that understands the adoption process and the experience of adoption. The counseling is at no charge to birthparents and is kept private and confidential.
The miracle of adoption happens every day at Act of Love Adoption Agency. Adoptive parents like Jaylynn and Derrick see the miracle of adoption and feel the love that each birthparent has for their child. The professional agency staff is committed to provide the best possible adoption services to both birthparents and adoptive families. If you are in need of adoption services, please contact Act of Love Adoptions today for free information. Birthparents call 1-800-835-6360 – Adoptive Families call 1-888-767-7740 or 801-572-1696.
After working in adoption for more than 10 years, the topic of abortion comes up quite often. I take phone calls from women who have an appointment at an abortion clinic, but are second guessing that decision. I talk to women who have had multiple abortions and are then considering placing a baby for adoption. I have talked to women who had one abortion and it affected them so deeply that when they found themselves pregnant again, they knew they needed to look into adoption rather than abortion. I talk to women who have been in life-threatening situations and had to have an abortion to save their own life, yet they still regret it. I heard the story of a woman who had several children with her boyfriend, and they were fighting for custody when she found out she was pregnant again. She decided abortion was the best option so there would not be another child involved in the custody battle. I have talked to birth mothers who are in a situation where the birth father wants an abortion to ‘take care of the problem.’
I talk to women in all circumstances in life. But, when I talk to them about abortion, almost all of them were surprised at how deeply the choice affected them. Almost all of them wonder what their child would have looked like, what color hair they would have had, and what their personality would be like. I have had so many women express the trauma they went through after having an abortion.
November is adoption awareness month. We would love to offer you the adoption option. If you are pregnant and contemplating adoption, we would love to help you or anyone you know with an adoption plan. Have them call Act of Love Adoption Agency at 1-800-835-6360. Their call will be answered by our caring staff. Adoption changes lives in a positive way. Make a difference.
A Safe Place
Savannah’s life was hard. Her two children were living with family members until she could get in a stable place. She had been looking for a job to financially support herself, but had no luck. She was relying on staying with friends, but the situation turned emotionally and physically abusive. At one point, she was sexually assaulted. She tried to put all of the abuse out of her mind, because she was just grateful to have a roof over her head. The situation continued for several months. Savannah realized that she was pregnant. She was devastated that a pregnancy resulted from the abusive situation she was in. She knew it would be difficult emotionally to try to raise this baby, so she started to look into adoption.
Adoption literally became a lifesaver for Savannah. She was able to relocate to the agency housing for the end of her pregnancy, and would have some assistance after the birth and placement of her child to go to the state where her family was living and get back on her feet- away from the abuse.
Savannah traveled to Utah to stay in the housing that A Act of Love Adoption Agency provides for birth parents. She felt complete relief that she was safe, and could focus on choosing an adoptive family for her baby.
Savannah chose a wonderful family, and had a beautiful baby that she placed with them. But, adoption was so much more than placing her child. It provided her a sense of security when she was scared, she felt support and received counseling. But, the most important part of the adoption was that Savannah could feel peace in moving forward with her life, knowing that her child was in the home of a wonderful adoptive family. Savannah was able to move on from her abusive circumstances, and her adoption plan with Act of Love Adoptions is what helped her.
If you know someone in similar circumstances, have them call Act of Love Adoption Agency at 1-800-835-6360 to speak to our wonderful staff!
Look Who’s One!
Act of Love celebrates the honor and the privilege to be a part of these beautiful children’s’ lives. Having placed over a 1000 children in wonderful adoptive homes is an amazing accomplishment. Kathy Kunkel had a vision to bring birthparents, adoptive families and children together. Her vision to offer choices and support people in need still drives the force behind Act of Love Adoptions.
What an awesome feeling to know that the work done at Act of Love is bringing children to permanent and loving homes. Helping birthparents to give the greatest gift of love to a family and helping them to move forward and realize their dreams is so rewarding.
It is such a pleasure to watch all of the children grow and to catch-up with birthparents and adoptive families as they continue to move forward in their lives. The Act of Love family continues to grow each day and the love and support found at Act of Love is truly amazing.
If you are in need of adoption services, please call Act of Love Adoptions to speak with a loving case worker. Act of Love believes in personal care of our clients and takes the time to help you feel comfortable with your decisions.