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Caucasian/African American Baby Boy due in June – Matched

Act of Love has been contacted to help find a family for a Caucasian/African American baby boy that is due in June. Birthparents, N & M, would like an adoptive family that is willing to send pictures and letters once a month for the first year and then a few times a year until the child is eighteen.

Birthmom reports that she is healthy and free from any major medical illness or injuries. Birthmom reports she has had limited prenatal care and is taking prenatal vitamins. Medical records have been requested and will be available. Birthmom reports some drug use during the pregnancy and tobacco use. She also reports that she has not consumed alcohol during the pregnancy.

If you are a home study approved adoptive couple that meets the requirements above and are interested in being considered for placement of this baby, please contact Act of Love Adoptions at outreach@aactofloveadoptions.com to receive further information regarding the Outreach approval process. If you have not started the home study process, but are a local Utah family or your home study will be finished immediately, you may contact Act of Love at outreach@aactofloveadoptions.com to possibly be considered for this situation. Only approved Act of Love Outreach adoptive families can receive further information and details available for this situation. The Application for Services in the Outreach Program does need to be completed, but does NOT require a fee until match.

Adoptive family will need to be prepared to complete an Application for Services, provide an original signed notarized copy of the home study along with supporting documentation and meet other agency requirements to become approved for Outreach situations. The Application for Services in the Outreach Program does NOT require agency fees until you are matched. For more information on the programs available, contact Act of Love Adoption Agency at outreach@aactofloveadoptions.com.

African American/Hispanic Baby Boy due in July – Matched

Act of Love has been contacted to help find a family for an African American/Hispanic baby boy that is due around the middle of July. Birthmom, R.C., would like an adoptive family that is willing to meet her at the time she selects them and she would like to receive pictures and letters every 3 to 4 months that will be sent through the agency through the child’s life.

Birthmom reports that she is healthy and free from any major medical illness or injuries. Birthmom reports she is taking prenatal vitamins. Medical records have been requested and will be available. She reports that this is her 3rd pregnancy and that all of her children are healthy and developmentally on-track. She also reports that she has not consumed alcohol during the pregnancy and that she smokes marijuana one time a month.

If you are a home study approved adoptive couple that meets the requirements above and are interested in being considered for placement of this baby, please contact Act of Love Adoptions at outreach@aactofloveadoptions.com to receive further information regarding the Outreach approval process. If you have not started the home study process, but are a local Utah family or your home study will be finished immediately, you may contact Act of Love at outreach@aactofloveadoptions.com to possibly be considered for this situation. Only approved Act of Love Outreach adoptive families can receive further information and details available for this situation. The Application for Services in the Outreach Program does need to be completed, but does NOT require a fee until match.

Adoptive family will need to be prepared to complete an Application for Services, provide an original signed notarized copy of the home study along with supporting documentation and meet other agency requirements to become approved for Outreach situations. The Application for Services in the Outreach Program does NOT require agency fees until you are matched. For more information on the programs available, contact Act of Love Adoption Agency at outreach@aactofloveadoptions.com.

Questions to Ask When Choosing an Adoption Agency

Are you seriously considering building a family through adoption? An adoption agency can be helpful –it can provide the vital link between prospective birthparents and parents. An agency will also provide support to the birthmothers while providing step-by-step advice and assistance for prospective parents through the adoption process. A Act of Love Adoptions is here to help you through the adoption process. However, it is best for you to carefully examine the potential adoption agencies in your short list.

Choosing an adoption agency can be overwhelming. If you go on Google and search for adoption agencies, you will find a long list of adoption agencies operating in the country. To help you, here are some questions you can ask Act of Love or any adoption agency you are considering:

About the organization
– What type of programs does the organization offer?
– How long has the agency been in operation?
– What level of experience does the staff have? How long have they been working for A Act of Love or the field of adoption?
– How accessible is the staff?
– How transparent is the company in terms of the contracts and its track record? Does the agency provide a sample copy of the contract and the list of fees so that a prospective parent can study it?
– How wide is the reach of the agency? In which state does the agency have a license? Does the agency have linkages with other adoption agencies and adoption professionals in other states?
– How will any concerns be addressed?
– Can references from parents that have worked with the agency be provided?
– What is the philosophy in regards to open or closed adoptions? What requirements are there for prospective parents? Are there any restrictions (i.e. age, income or marital status)?

Adoption Services
– What kind of adoptions does the agency facilitate? Domestic adoptions? International adoptions? Special needs adoption?
– How are the legal requirements for the adoption satisfied?
– What adoption-related services are provided?
– What post-adoption support is available?

Placement record
– How many prospective parents is the agency currently working with?
– How many children were placed by the agency annually?
– With what type of families were the children placed? How many for two-parent families? Single parent families?
– How many prospective birthparents are working with the agency?

Fees– About how much does an average adoption cost?
– What do the fees cover? Does it include the fee for the home study, processing of the paper work, document taxes and other related costs?
– Will I get the breakdown of the service fees and the fee schedule in writing?

Wait times– How long does an average adoption take?
– After I lodge the application, how long will I wait for the home study to be initiated?
– If there are problems with the home study (i.e. the application is not approved), what are my rights?

Other related questions
– What if the adoption falls through?
– What if I have any problems after the adoption?
– How does the agency assist prospective parents to ensure compliance with local and international (if applicable) laws and regulations?

Bi-racial and African American Babies Due Soon

Act of Love is in the processing of matching adoptive families with bi-racial and African American babies due in the next couple of months. Birthparents are actively seeking loving adoptive families to adopt their children. For more information on the programs available at Act of Love Adoptions, contact us at 801-572-1696 or visit our website at www.aactofloveadoptions.com.

For further information and an opportunity to learn more about adoption, plan to attend the next orientation meeting on June 3, 2014, at the Act of Love offices in Sandy, Utah. The free orientation offers a relaxed environment to ask questions and learn about the many aspects of open and closed adoptions. There is no obligation required to attend and receive information on the adoption process, home study, inter-state adoption process and much more.

Preparing Your Child for His New Baby Sibling

The excitement brought about by the addition of a new child in the family never gets old, even with a first child or subsequent children. However, the spotlight is mostly on the new addition – with the existing children just being in the background. The same thing is true when you already have children and you decide to work with A Act of Love Adoptions for a domestic infant adoption. The excitement at the prospect of a baby brother or sister can turn to jealousy and insecurity if you are not careful.

Make the first steps towards building a strong foundation for your children. These steps can strengthen the bonds between siblings and provide more sibling revelry than sibling rivalry in the future. Here are a few things to do to help prepare your child for a new sibling:
– Discuss your desire to grow the family. In the eyes of a child, everything is about them. Hence, your desire to have another child may lead to your existing child’s thinking that maybe his presence is not enough. Redirect your child to see a bigger picture, from the viewpoint of the family as a whole.
– Talk to your child about adoption. Whether your existing child is biological or adopted, he may still need a deeper understanding of how a act of love adoption works. If your child is also adopted, you can outline the similarities and differences of this adoption. One good way to open up a conversation about adoption is to read bedtime stories that cover the topic of adoption.
– Keep your child in the thick of things. Do not make your child a spectator of all that is happening. Involve him in the preparations and take time to discuss the process with him so that he knows what to expect with a act of love adoption. You can also point out ways he could help. For instance, you can give him a “speaking part” in your family video or get him to help in decorating the nursery. Once the baby comes, give him some “big brother” responsibilities such as preparing the baby’s things during his bath.
– Set reasonable expectations for your child. Remember, even after you have taken the baby home, it will likely be some time before the adoption is finalized. Depending on the state where the adoption occurred, the birthparents may still be able to change their mind even after you have taken the baby home.
– Treat your children equally. Do not make distinctions between your biological and adopted children. If your existing child is a biological child, be careful about saying that the newly adopted baby is “special”. Doing so can put unnecessary pressure on the sibling to continue being “special”.
– Give your child the reassurance he needs. Make it clear to your existing child that his place in the family is secure. The new baby is not there to take his place in your heart and in the family. Explain that love has the magical power of being able to expand to fully embrace each member. The more family members you have, the more love can multiply.
– Go out on dates with your older child. Do this while you are waiting to bring your baby home, and most especially when his baby sibling has arrived. Make your child feel that your one-on-one time with him is one of your priorities.

African American Baby Girl due in July – Matched

Act of Love has been contacted to help find a family for an African American baby girl that is due around the first part of July. Birthmom, G.L., would like an adoptive family that is African American or who has adopted African American children. She is asking for pictures and letters to be sent through the agency around the child’s birthday until age 18.

Birthmom reports that she is healthy and free from any major medical illness or injuries. Birthmom reports some prenatal care and limited medical records are available. She reports that this is her 5th pregnancy and that all of her children are healthy and developmentally on-track. She also reports that she is taking prenatal vitamins and has no present or past use of illegal drugs or tobacco. Her report includes a small amount of alcohol consumption the end of December.

If you are a home study approved adoptive couple that meets the requirements above and are interested in being considered for placement of this baby, please contact Act of Love Adoptions at outreach@aactofloveadoptions.com to receive further information regarding the Outreach approval process. If you have not started the home study process, but are a local Utah family or your home study will be finished immediately, you may contact Act of Love at outreach@aactofloveadoptions.com to possibly be considered for this situation. Only approved Act of Love Outreach adoptive families can receive further information and details available for this situation. The Application for Services in the Outreach Program does need to be completed, but does NOT require a fee until match.

Adoptive family will need to be prepared to complete an Application for Services, provide an original signed notarized copy of the home study along with supporting documentation and meet other agency requirements to become approved for Outreach situations. The Application for Services in the Outreach Program does NOT require agency fees until you are matched. For more information on the programs available, contact Act of Love Adoption Agency at outreach@aactofloveadoptions.com.

Will I be judged by those around me, if I choose to place my baby for adoption?

This is a very common fear among birth parents. It takes a lot of courage to even to come to the decision to consider placing a baby for adoption. When family, friends or peers start expressing their opinions, it can make the decision even more difficult. The counseling that is available along with an adoption plan will be of great assistance in working with these kind of issues.

A courageous birth mother was asked her feeling about feeling judgment from the people around her. Here is how she responded, “I did feel some pressure from my parents, but it did not in any way affect my choice. I didn’t feel any judgment from anyone, but I knew it was there on many levels from many people, some good and some bad. I did not get any negative judgment to my face simply because I didn’t leave any room for it, but people did judge behind my back. I was very open during my pregnancy about making and having an adoption plan. People would ask what I was going to name him and I would tell them whatever his parents choose for him. I got a lot of weird looks from people, but more out of curiosity rather than judgment. I was actually quite surprised by the amount of people that actually embraced it and how many people had stories of how adoption had touched their lives.”

So the judgment can go two ways; positive or negative. As you start to share your adoption plan with the people around you, you will probably be surprised by how many people have been influenced by adoption, whether it be that they are adopted, know someone who has placed a child for adoption, have family members or friends who have adopted, etc. As you make a plan to place your baby for adoption, prepare yourself by receiving the appropriate counseling. Adoption touches so many lives and by choosing to place, you are becoming an angel to an adoptive family.

Understanding and Dealing with Your Child’s Feelings of Loss and Grief

Even when a child has been adopted as an infant, the knowledge of having been adopted will still have a profound effect on him. Indeed, no adoption is without loss, especially on the part of the child and the birthparents. Even in an open adoption where a child can have contact with the birthparents and ask questions, these feelings of loss may still be present.

These feelings may be rooted on the perception that he was “given away”, his loss of relationship with his natural parents, as well as, his birth siblings and other members of his extended family. The loss may also spring from a feeling of being disconnected with the family that adopted him.

Indeed, an adoption with A Act of Love Adoptions involves loss in various levels and areas. Thus, any feelings of grief would only be natural. What is important is how you as a parent are able to help your child deal with these feelings. Here are some things to bear in mind as you help your child with his emotions:
– Understand where your child is coming from. Rather than attempting to gloss over your child’s emotions or denying their validity, try to provide a safe refuge for your child as he explores and expresses his feelings.
– Determine whether your child wants to talk or needs some space. This is where your parenting skills and your knowledge of your child come into play. Do you feel that you need to draw him out by gently opening the door for a discussion? Or, do you feel that now is the time to give him the space he needs to process his feelings?
– Open the lines of communication. Let your child know that you are there if and when he wants to talk about it. You can say, “If you have any questions or if you want to talk about your adoption, I will be glad to sit down with you.”
– Do not take it personally. Your child’s feelings of loss do not necessarily mean that you are being a bad parent. In the same way, grieving what he has lost does not necessarily mean that he is regretful for what he now has. As your child expresses what he feels, try not to feel defensive or even annoyed at some of his questions.
– Give your reassurance. A child’s feelings may range from anger (“I hate my birthmother and I hate you!”), fear (“I was given up once, it may happen again.”), to a low sense of self-esteem (“My birthmother chose adoption; there must be something wrong with me.”). Be patient with your child and reassure them constantly that he is an intrinsic part of the family, that the family will never be complete without him.
– Love your child unconditionally. This is the best reassurance your child could have – that he is loved and he always has a home in your heart. Your child may be unable to articulate his feelings in words and may express this through his behavior. Some red flags include inordinate anger, hyperactivity, changes in mood or appetite, clinginess or regressive behaviors. Note if your child starts to exhibit these behaviors, it may point to his grieving process or to some other factor. Be the loving parent your child needs with the right mixture of gentleness and firmness.
– Provide healthy distractions. Give your child activities that can serve as a release valve for his negative emotions. You can help your child discover activities he enjoys and where he can excel. Here, he can develop his self-confidence as he finds out that there are some things that he can do well. These activities can include sports, dance, writing in a journal or drawing.

Unplanned Pregnancy – Three Options

Every year there are around 6.4 million pregnancies in the United States. Of those, 49% are unplanned. This leaves a lot of mothers and fathers wondering, “What do we do?”

There are basically three options to that question: The first is to make plans to parent the child. Do what is necessary to prepare for the upcoming birth and life afterward. This option requires responsibility for not only the mother, but the father, if the parents are not married. Plans need to be made for providing for the child, which should include financial responsibility, physical responsibility and emotional responsibility.

Another option is abortion. Unfortunately, over 3,500 abortions are performed in the United States every day, which equals about 24% of all pregnancies each year. This is a very sad statistic and one that does not need to occur. There is a much better alternative to abortion and this leads us to our third option which is adoption.

At A Act of Love Adoption Agency, we believe adoption is the option in which everybody wins. The baby is given life. The birthparents are able to move forward with their lives with peace of mind, knowing that they did give their child life and they gave their child more than they could at the time. The adoptive parents win because they have longed for a family, a baby they could love and nurture and share their life with. There has never been a better time in the United States for adoption. Birthparents have the opportunity to have an open adoption and adoptive parents are ready and willing to be a part of an open adoption. Open adoptions are healthy for everyone involved – it takes the “wonder” out of the equation and helps all parties feel a part of the child’s life. Since 1987, the number of adoptions annually in the United States has remained in the range of 118,000 to 127,000. This is such a small number when compared to the number of abortions that continue to be performed each year. In fact, to put it into perspective, for every 134 abortions performed by Planned Parenthood, ONE adoption referral is given.

Why is it that America chooses death over life? One reason is that carrying a baby for nine months to place that baby for adoption is a sacrifice. But, sacrifice can be so much better than a lifetime of guilt. Many women who have experienced abortion, describe how they feel. There has never been one who has said that abortion was the best thing they could have done. In contrast, many women who have placed babies/children for adoption say it wasn’t easy, but they know it was the best thing for the child. Receiving pictures of a happy, smiling child confirms their decision over and over again.

As you think about this topic, what comes to your mind? What would you do if you found yourself with an unplanned pregnancy? or, What have you done in this instance? How do you feel about your decision? We at Act of Love Adoptions want to hear from you! Did you parent? Place? or abort? Tell us your story!

Sources:
Adoption and abortion statistics found at: https://www.birthmotherministries.org/extras/fast-facts.htm

Adoption Basics for First-Time Parents

As parents who are in the first stages of the adoption process, you may feel you are in a whirling vortex of emotions. There is the elation of being selected and meeting a prospective birthmother, the determination to finish all the paperwork and home study requirements, the confusion involved in the complexities of the process, the disappointments at the roadblocks and the thrill and anticipation at the act of love of adding a precious child to your family.

Here are some things you can take into consideration as you embark on the first steps of this exciting process:
– Decide on what kind of adoption you want. There are basically the following types of adoption you can consider:

Foster adoption. This involves the adoption of a child that is in the foster care system. Foster adoption has the least adoption-related expenses. The child will also have the most complete medical information and you will have access to counseling and other medical resources provided by the child services department. However, until the adoption is finalized, there is a risk of the adoption not be completed. Also, children in the foster care system may have issues related to abuse or neglect.

Domestic infant adoption. With domestic infant adoption, you can have the opportunity to be with the birthmother during the pregnancy and the delivery of the baby. There is also the choice of having an open adoption, where you can also have access to the child’s medical information and history since you can have direct communications with the birthparents. However, this type of adoption comes with the risk of the birthparent changing his or her mind about terminating his or her parental rights. Most domestic infant adoptions also involve a period of waiting for the birthparent to choose you from among the other prospective parents. You may also be providing for the birthmother’s medical and living expenses during the pregnancy, delivery and recovery.

Foreign adoption. Orphaned children from other countries are also waiting for a family to love them. With foreign adoption, you can get to meet your child. The length of the adoption will usually depend on the child’s country of origin. There will be more paperwork since you will also need to process the child’s immigration papers. Also, it may require extensive expenses and travel to and from the child’s country of origin. Additional drawbacks include the lack of medical or personal history and potential issues with the child’s being institutionalized.

– Prepare your family and friends. Educate yourself not just about the adoption process, but also how to parent a child who has been adopted. You will also need to prepare any existing children, as well as immediate family and close friends so that they can have a better understanding of the reasons behind your decision, as well as how best to approach the issue of adoption with the child’s best interests in mind.
– Examine your financial resources and available help. Adoption may involve a considerable expense. On top of this, prospective parents must also prepare the family’s monthly budget for an additional expenses to the family. There are a number of ways for prospective parents to get financial assistance – through their employer, through loans or grants provided by adoption-related organizations.
– Choose your adoption professional. A reputable adoption professional or agency such as A Act of Love adoptions will prove to be invaluable as you navigate the path towards adoption. These professionals will help you through the home study, help match you to prospective birthparents and provide pre- and post-adoptive services.
– Fulfill the requirements of adoption. At this stage, you can decide on the adoption agency you want to work with, prepare an application for adoption and go complete the home study process.

After these basic steps, you now prepare to wait for a placement. An adoption agency with a wide reach such as A Act of Love can help provide opportunities for placement. While waiting, you can exert more effort to prepare yourself, your family and your home for your child’s arrival. Once the adoption is legally finalized, you will now be embarking on another exciting adventure – becoming and growing together as a family!

Adoption
is An Act of Love

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