You have decided to answer God’s call to adopt, and you are eager to grow your family. It’s natural to wonder when that part of your journey will finally begin.
How long does it take to match with a birth mother? When will the baby officially become yours? Adoption is a matter of the heart, so timelines vary depending on the unique circumstances of each adoption.
Hopeful Christian adoptive parents who choose Lifetime Christian Adoption generally finalize their adoptions within 6-18 months. The process can go even faster if you are biracial, African American, or open in your adoption preferences to a wide range of God’s children.
Most of your adoption journey will be in God’s hands, but you can take steps to speed the process along. Use this guide to educate yourself about the adoption process and avoid some common setbacks.
The Home Study
Every hopeful adoptive family must complete a home study. You will work with your adoption professional, a home study coordinator, and a social worker to prepare your home and your family for your blessed new addition.
The home study generally takes three to six months to complete, but you can avoid any delays by gathering and submitting the following information right away:
- The home study application
- Identification documents
- Your birth certificates
- Marriage certificate
- Proof of insurance
- Proof of income
- Financial records
- Medical records
Your Adoption Profile
Your adoption profile is the first impression you will make on a birth mother. Once your home study is complete, you can “go live” with your adoption profile. The sooner your profile is ready, the sooner a birth mother can decide if you are the Christian parents she desires for her child. Here are some tips for creating a profile that will make prospective birth mothers want to get to know you:
- Be authentic and honest about who you are – nobody is expecting perfection.
- Include a variety of pictures, videos, and testimony that highlight what your family has to offer a child.
- Discuss your Christian values and how you plan to raise your child in the Christian faith.
- Write a “Dear Birth Mother” letter that explains who you are, why you are adopting, and what kind of Christian parents you hope to be.
A strong profile will help a potential birth mother picture her child’s life with you, and increase the likelihood that she will reach out to learn more about you.
Matching with a Birth Mother
Each birth mother has her own vision for her child’s future, and matching with an adoptive family is an intensely personal decision for her. While the birth mother’s intentions are out of your hands, you can control the number of birth mothers your profile is shown to.
By opening your adoption preferences, you will increase the number of birth mothers who look at your adoption profile. You will match faster if you are open to children who are biracial or transracial, special needs, prenatal substance exposure, or older children and sibling groups.
Most birth mothers today choose to create an open adoption plan. You increase your chances of matching if you are willing to communicate with the birth mother throughout your child’s life.
Don’t let unexpected adoption costs hold you up on your path to grow your Christian family. Adoption can be expensive, so it’s important to research all of the fees and create a finance plan ahead of time.
Speak to your adoption professional about their application fee, home study cost, birth mother expenses, legal expenses, and travel costs. You may also wish to consult with a financial advisor to help you make an efficient and realistic plan.
As you create your budget, remember that there are adoption loans and grants specifically for Christian families. Programs such as America’s Christian Credit Union, ABBA Fund, Lifesong for Orphans, and Lifetime Adoption’s African American Enrichment Program can help you fund your adoption. Most loans and grants will require that you complete the adoption home study before applying, so research and apply early to avoid any financial roadblocks on your adoption journey.
The baby is not officially yours until the end of the revocation period. Each state has its own timeline for finalization, ranging from 72 hours to 14 days after birth.
At that time, a judge will dissolve the birth parents’ rights and bestow the rights to the adoptive parents. That is your adoption day – the day you become the legal guardians of your precious baby. The adoption placement is finalized, and your journey to raise your child in God’s love begins!