FAQ’s – General Adoption
Several things make Adoption STAR different and special!
- We are the only agency in the Western New York area specializing in domestic infant adoptions.
- In Florida and Ohio we are one of only a very few Hague Accredited agencies.
- Our fees are consistent regardless of the child’s race.
- Placement fees are based on a sliding fee scale.
- You do not pay a deposit toward your placement fee unless you are matched with an expectant parent or until placement occurs.
- Our approach is very personal. You will never hear voicemail.
- We offer traditional agency adoption as well as an agency assisted private adoption track.
- We have a unique educational home study program including one-on-one attention and group involvement, as well as a credit system providing many creative options to learn more about adoption.
- We take a strong stand on adoption education and believe no one can make a decision to adopt or place a child for adoption without fully educating themselves on adoption and its many options.
- We have put together a comprehensive curriculum on adoption, we maintain a wonderful library of adoption and related materials and we network with many other adoption agencies and professionals in order to make the very best referrals for our clients to increase their chances of adopting.
- Support group and our mentoring program keep you linked to other adoptive families.
- Our staff is knowledgeable and passionate about adoption.
The agency offers consultation, counseling, educational classes, a resource library, as well as adoption services. Home studies, updates, post-placement, post-adoption support, expectant parent, birth parent and adoptive parent counseling, and child placements are just some of the services Adoption STAR is offering. In addition, our expert staff is committed to assisting you in your adoption planning by offering you support, knowledge, assistance, confidentiality, and most importantly, personalized attention.
Authorized and Licensed agencies must meet minimum standards from the State, with which one can file a complaint if clients feel they were in any way mistreated. In addition, agencies can be found and can be held liable legally for dishonest and unethical practices. Other reasons to work with an agency:
- Adoption agencies work in the best interests of children. Adoption STAR works to identify adoptive families for all children.
- Adoption agencies have adoption staff with years of experience. Adoption STAR has a staff of experienced and trained professionals who work with adoptive parents and birth parents.
- Adoption agencies offer options. Most agencies offer their clients various adoption options. Adoption STAR can assist you with all types of adoptions including agency, private and international.
- Adoption agencies may increase the possibility of child placement. As an Authorized agency we can place children for adoption and make referrals to agencies that have children in need of adoptive placement. Not all adoption agencies place children for adoption; some simply conduct adoption home studies. You may register with Adoption STAR not only for home study services, but for possible child placement too.
- Adoption agencies believe in education. At Adoption STAR we use an educational approach when conducting a home study. We offer workshops during the home study process. These workshops allow our clients to become familiar with various adoption options and issues surrounding adoption. Adoption STAR offers an orientation session and a series of classes including Talking About Adoption, Child Interest, Open Adoption, Child Identity and Adoption Law. The sessions are not only educational and an important part of the home study process, but they are fun too!
- Adoption agencies promote post adoption support. Agencies will not disappear after the placement of a child into an adoptive home. They will be there to offer post-placement support. Adoption STAR is equipped to handle post adoption issues that arise after the adoption of a child. In addition, Adoption STAR will be happy to make referrals to adoption support groups and to professionals in the community who work with adoption related issues. Adoption STAR also operates an adoptive parent support group known as SOFIA, and a birth parent support group known as Blue Rose, an adult adoptee support group known as ACE and a birth grandparents’ support group.
You should choose an adoption agency that will best meet your needs, offering you confidential and personalized services. Adoption is often overwhelming, and it is important that you are comfortable with the agency you decide to work with. At Adoption STAR, we pride ourselves on our professionalism and experience within adoption. Most importantly, we LOVE adoption.
Yes. Adoption STAR has created a compassionate and personalized program that will enable you to pursue a private adoption (with or without participating in the traditional agency program.) By participating in this program, you will decrease the current challenges of a private adoption by having an experienced and supportive agency to assist you in the process.
Birth parents are individuals of all ages, races and backgrounds making difficult decisions on behalf of themselves and their child(ren.) At Adoption STAR women who are pregnant are known as expectant parents. Expectant parents may be referred to the agency from any number of resources or they may contact us directly. Each expectant parent will be assigned a caseworker that will be available to them around the clock. They will receive both pre and post counseling services, as well as help with arranging for: transportation, prenatal care visits, coverage of medical expenses, and general adoption counseling and education. We also teach expectant parents about adoptive parents, and help them to prepare an adoption plan for their child. Our caseworkers will discuss the many alternatives and resources available to a pregnant woman. We encourage her to seek out her many options. She should be actively involved in the decision making process. It is extremely important and essential to allow expectant parents to choose the type of family and environment they wish their child to be raised in. Not all expectant parents want to be involved in the process of choosing a family; however, some are very excited that they have the opportunity to choose a path for their child. Everyone is different. It is important to work with expectant parents to tailor an adoption to fit their needs and desires.
Within the domestic programs, Adoption STAR provides placement programs for children of all ages from infancy through age 21. The agency places children of all races, backgrounds, and special needs. Most are healthy; some may have special needs or be born at-risk for developing special needs. Within international adoption, the children available are most often 9 months old and up.
The home study at Adoption STAR is a process. This process includes gathering the necessary paperwork, attending educational classes and/or obtaining credits toward adoption education, as well as meeting with a social worker. Adoption STAR does not simply consider a home study a stamp of approval to adopt, but an educational opportunity for you to learn more about adoption in general. Equally as important, the home study process gives Adoption STAR the opportunity to get to know you and thus best assist you in exploring your adoption options.
At your initial consultation with the agency you will receive a home study packet. Most documentation required for the home study is mandated by State regulations.
This varies depending upon when you enter the process, when you attend the classes and how quickly you return the necessary paperwork. The time frame generally ranges from 1 to 4 months. A minimum of three visits with a social worker is required.
Yes, this is very normal, as most people do not know what to expect. While the classes cannot address every adoption issue, the classes will educate you on aspects of adoption that you may not have considered. They are designed to facilitate thinking about issues that you may not have considered previously, provide information, offer you the opportunity to meet other families who are in the same process as you and to meet adoptive families and birth parents who are already a part of the adoption triad. Clients enjoy the classes tremendously.
This is a question that is often asked, but unfortunately there is no answer. Due to various circumstances, it is impossible to predict the wait time. There are several factors involved in child placement. The agency must consider the requests of the birth parents, as well as the type of child you hope to adopt, and most especially must consider what is in the bests interests of the child in need of adoption. Additionally, “how long is the wait” implies that Adoption STAR will ultimately have a placement for every prospective family. This is something that cannot be known by Adoption STAR. The agency does not guarantee the placement of a child. Other agencies and attorneys may provide you with an answer to this question, but Adoption STAR will not promise a placement or commit to a time frame.
Adoption STAR advocates that you continue to educate yourself about adoption and all of your options to become a parent as you wait; join an Adoption STAR committee; join an adoption support group; get to know adoptive families, birth families and adoptees; network with friends, family and associates; attend agency and support group functions; and update your profile, pictures and dear birth parent letter. Additionally, establish a timeline and re-evaluate your adoption plan at desired intervals. Decide what you want to do differently and when you want to do this. Remember that adoption works, but you must have faith as there may be disappointment along the way. If you remain diligent and constantly re-evaluate your plans and options you will most likely become an adoptive parent. It may be directly through Adoption STAR, but it may not. So carefully explore all of your options.
Above all, expectant parents are looking for someone to love their child as they do. When expectant parents look at profiles it is impossible to know what will make them choose one family versus another. Adoption STAR will help you understand what you need to do to prepare a profile that may be viewed by prospective birth parents. You will also have the opportunity to meet adoptive parents who have experienced the selection process and receive advice and feedback from them.
Adoption STAR is a nonprofit agency whose mission is finding homes for children in need both in the United States and from countries around the world. While doing so, we are committed to providing quality services to children, birth parents and adoptive parents, as well as helping, through humanitarian aid, those children left behind. To accomplish our mission, we established a sliding scale fee for our services based on the applicant’s gross worth to enable as many families as possible to become adoptive parents and provide homes for children. The actual cost of providing services far exceeds the revenue from fees and Adoption STAR does not receive government funding. We rely on fundraising, donations and adoption fees affordable for our clients. Click here for an information on Affording Adoption.
If you feel Adoption STAR is the agency for you, fill out our Inquiry form; you will be contacted with information about registering with the agency. If you chose to register with the agency, you will have a large selection of programs and services to choose from. Upon receipt of your registration, we will make an appointment with you for your initial consultation and welcome you as a member of the Adoption STAR family!