The Adoption Process
2. Home Study
3. Profile (Letter and Pictures that will be shown to the Birth Mother)
Michelle and Lisa represent Heart to Heart Adoptions in answering questions regarding adoptive families.
Please see the “Get Started” page to download an Application
We welcome all adoptive families that are United States citizens, in good physical and mental health, of any racial, religious or ethnic back ground that meet the following criteria.
1. Couples must be married for at least two years and have a stable marriage. Single parents are also welcome though we do have a cap on how many single parents we can take.
2. All individuals should exhibit high moral standards, be emotionally stable, and have good parenting skills.
3. Adoptive couples or individuals must be between the ages of 23 and 50 years old and must be at least ten years older than the intended child and be in good physical health with a life expectancy long enough to raise their adopted child(ren).
4. Couples and individuals should have sufficient income to care for their family.
5. Couples and individuals must have a clean criminal background screening. Any criminal offenses must be reviewed and cleared. We do not accept any individuals with a history of domestic violence.
6. Couples and individuals with misuse of drugs or alcohol need to have been recovered for 5 or more years.
7. Couples and individuals must have a favorable current adoptive home evaluation.
8. Couples and individuals should have 4 or fewer children currently in the home.
9. Adoptive families must have health insurance that will cover the child that they hope to adopt as well as themselves.
10. Additional items may be required by your state.
The Adoptive Home Study, generally called a “Home Study,” is to help prepare you for your adoption process and ensure that you meet agency and state requirements. If you already have a current home study we will assist you in assuring that your home study is in compliance with Heart to Heart and Utah state adoption standards. The home study consists of several interviews and written information provided by you and others. Ask your home study worker questions anytime during the study process. The written material includes medical background, marital status, parenting styles, finances, and other such data. A series of reference letters will also be requested. We accept completed adoptive home studies from other sources that adhere to similar professional adoption standards as Heart To Heart Adoptions. In addition, if we complete an adoptive home study for you, we are happy to forward it on to other adoption agencies with which you may be working.
Heart to Heart reviews the home study, your adoptive profile, and the application packet materials. This process can take weeks sometimes. After this review is complete, you will be notified of your approval for the placement of a child in your home. Once approved, maintain contact with the agency until you are matched with a birthmother. This contact can include participation in our adoption education and support group meetings, visits to the agency, written correspondence, and telephone calls the adoptive family department. We also ask that you update your Home Study annually and inform the agency of any changes in your circumstances, such as moving or additions to your family.
This is a difficult time because you seem to just be waiting without a great deal of control. Please be patient. Remember that we have a list of other families that we are also trying to match.
Some of the following are things we consider when we match:
· Birth mother preferences- This is very important- (Because of these preferences, families that have many children, a single parent, or are older may wait longer)
· Characteristics about you that may match with the birth mother’s situation.
· Your budget- (Most situations require legal and medical fees in addition to agency fees)
· Your openness to a variety of situations. (For example- cigarette smoking during pregnancy.)
· What state you are from. This is due to different state regulations.
· How long you have been active with us. We try to consider longevity when we match.
· If you have had a failed adoption with us. These cases take top priority.
· Your expressed interest in the situation. (Please be aware that in many situations, we are not able to show all families that express an interest.)
When you are called on a situation we will give you all the information that we have. If you have any questions about the situation, this is when you would ask them. Once you commit to being shown to a birth mother and she chooses you, we consider you to be matched. A finacial contract will follow and you will have 48 hours to sign and return.
When you are matched you will generally pay half of the total fee. However, those funds will be at risk only if you back out of the placement, not if the birthmother parents. If she changes her mind you will loose no money and all your funds will apply to a new situation. You will work with Beth to fully understand all financial obligations associated with that situation.
In the state of Utah, the placement of a child generally occurs 24 hours after the child is born. If your child is born in any state other than Utah, the placement will be subject to the laws and regulations of that state. Depending on your desires and the wishes of the birthparents, you may have the opportunity to be there for the delivery of the child and to support the birthparents. Final payment of all fees is due at the time of placement.
Supervisory Visits: In Utah, there is a supervisory period of six months before finalization is allowed. If the adoption occurs in any state other than Utah, the supervisory period is dependent on the rules and regulations of that state. You will visit with a representative on two or three occasions to help ensure you and your child are adjusting to each other and to confirm the success of the placement.
This is a very exciting time. Note that you are responsible for any legal fees associated with finalization. You are free to select independent counsel for all necessary adoption proceedings. After finalization you will want to obtain an amended birth certificate, which will list you as parents and include your child’s name as shown on the adoption decree.