Adoption Terms

Traditional Adoption:
Adoption STAR will identify the expectant parent or child. This happen through either Direct or Indirect Placement.
Direct Placement:
This is when Birth parent(s) surrender their parental rights directly to Adoption STAR
Indirect Placement:
Adoption STAR receives referrals of infants or children from agencies or attorneys it has collaborative relationships with. In these cases the expectant parent(s) will surrender their parental rights with another agency or attorney. Adoption STAR clients who successfully adopt through an indirect placement, are still responsible for the placement fee which will be held in escrow pending the successful placement of the child.
Expectant Parent & Birth Parent:
The term “expectant parent” is the preferred term for pregnant women over birth parent. One becomes a ‘birth parent’ when their parental rights have been terminated. At Adoption STAR, if you are pregnant, then you are considered an expectant parent. Pregnancy in itself is a form of parenting. Adoption STAR encourages expectant parents to cherish their pregnancies and birth experiences and to be as involved as they wish in the adoption process.

The agency works directly with expectant parents and receives referrals of expectant parents at all stages of pregnancy. Adoption STAR offers expectant parent clients 24/7 availability, free counseling, support and referral services that include help in obtaining housing, transportation, job assistance, continuing education, and of course, appropriate medical care throughout their pregnancy.

When expectant parents are ready to make an adoption plan many adoption options are shared with them. Identifying an adoptive family and matching with an adoptive family is a very important, special and often emotional step.

Infant Adoption with the Traditional Program – Getting Started: 10 Steps

When pursuing the adoption of an infant, Adoption STAR recommends registering for both the Traditional Agency Adoption Program and the Agency Assisted Private Adoption. Adoption STAR primarily places Caucasian infants, Black and Biracial infants.

The following is a generalized overview of how to start the domestic adoption process with Adoption STAR. If you have any questions at any time during the process, please do not hesitate to contact the agency directly.


Step 1 Contacting Adoption STAR for more Information

It is very important to learn as much about your adoption options as possible and to gather as much information from other agencies so you can make an informed decision and select an agency that you feel connected to. We hope Adoption STAR is one of the stops you make along your educational journey. To request a FREE information packet, please fill out this form, email us, or call at 1.866.691.3300 to find out more about the agency.

If you call the agency, you will immediately speak to a friendly, helpful and knowledgeable staff person who can answer any questions you may have.

Request Your FREE Information Packet


Step 2 Completing the Registration Form

You may feel overwhelmed by the registration packet upon initial glance. It will ask for demographic information and includes a questionnaire to get you thinking about various adoption-related topics. You will also be able to review the fee agreements and additional literature on Adoption STAR’s services and programs. Adoption STAR staff is available to answer any questions you may have as you work through the packet. You will be able to log in and out of the packet at your convenience with a username and password you create. Please fill out this Form to inquire about how to
begin the registration process.


Step 3 Welcome to Adoption STAR

Once we receive your Registration Form, it will be reviewed to make sure all sections are complete and that you will be a good fit for the program(s) you have registered for. If all is in place, you will receive your acceptance and can become a client of Adoption STAR. Welcome! You will be assigned a Family Advocate to guide you through your journey, and if geographically feasible, will have an in person consultation meeting with them. If you are unable to meet in person, a Skype appointment will be scheduled. If you reside in NY, FL, or OH, you will begin discussing the start of the home study process with your Family Advocate.


Step 4 Educational Class & Home Study

Pre-Adoption Education:
Adoption STAR believes a home study should involve an educational approach and we work hard to provide a welcoming and non-threatening home study process. We embrace adoption education and provide a comprehensive view of pre- and post-adoption topics and issues that greatly benefit our families throughout their journey. Our pre-adoption education class is offered several weekends per year and receives incredible praise from clients and professionals. We are thrilled to share the educational series with you!

NY, FL and OH residents:
If you reside in a state in which Adoption STAR is authorized/licensed, you will complete your home study through the agency. When you are prepared to begin your home study, you will be emailed a home study packet upon processing of your home study fee, that provides comprehensive instructions and documents per the regulations of your residing state. Once all the home study paperwork is received, you will be contacted by a social worker that will meet you at your convenience for
the home study visits.

Residents in other states:
If you do not reside in one of the states that Adoption STAR is authorized/licensed, you will be required to obtain a home study by a licensed adoption agency in your state. Feel free to ask Adoption STAR for referrals! Adoption STAR will provide guidelines to your home study agency and also send your agency a Domestic Adoption Inter-Agency Agreement. While you are not completing a home study with Adoption STAR, the pre-adoption education classes will still be an agency
requirement, as we feel they are beneficial for all families.

Learn More about Home Studies


Step 5 Creating an Adoptive Family Profile

Adoption STAR will provide you with samples and instructions for putting together a “Profile.” This profile is much like a colorful scrapbook or life-book and will be shared with expectant parents considering making an adoption plan for their child. We highly recommend sharing an electronic draft of your profile with us before investing in making copies of it. You will be requested to provide us with a specified number of profiles so we may have them on file. Your profile will also be on Adoption STAR’s website, as increasing numbers of expectant parents are identifying the family they want to place their child with through an on-line profile.


Step 6 Ready and Waiting

Once your home study is completed and approved and your profile has been created, you are now ready to be considered for prospective adoption situations. You have reached a milestone as you have learned so much and now are at a new and exciting stage in your adoption journey.

The Agency appreciates that both the decision to adopt and the process of adoption can be difficult for many individuals and families. The adoption process is very often filled with moments of hope, as well as moments of disappointment. Applicants who view the process as discouraging or have an overall negative view of the process are more likely to feel unhappy and unsuccessful in the program. Planning for the possibility that plans will change is a key element to keeping calm and stress free while going through the adoption process. Applicants who remain optimistic and view the adoption process as a journey filled with learning experiences are more apt to feeling happy and successful in the program.

The period in which it may take you to successfully adopt is measured from the time your file is complete. This includes the home study being completed and approved. Within the domestic program, a pregnant woman/couple often chooses the adoptive parents. The Agency has no control over that time period. The total time frame can vary from a few months to several years.

The healthiest way to be “ready and waiting” is to continue your adoption education, as adoption is life-long and does not end with the placement of a child. There is so much to learn about adoption and parenting, so embrace this time. We recommend that in addition to the Traditional Agency Adoption Program that you are enrolled in, that you participate in the Agency Assisted Private Adoption Program by scheduling a personalized training and following the program recommendations. These combined efforts have increased applicant(s) opportunities to adopt.

Click here for 25 suggestions for dealing with the “waiting” process.


Step 7 Matched With An Expectant Parent

Expectant parents who work with Adoption STAR are invited to share their preferences for the adoptive parents of their child and encouraged to view profiles of prospective adoptive parents. If you should be selected by an expectant parent, your Adoption STAR family advocate will contact you and share all pertinent information with you, including but not limited to the birth family social, educational and medical history. Many times you learn of the expectant parents before they are provided with your profile so you can decide if you desire your profile to be shown to a particular expectant parent.

After learning about the birth family, you will make a decision whether or not to accept the match. You will receive information in writing regarding the match and a booklet describing What To Expect During Your Match.


Step 8 Placement

Some families skip Step 6 and go directly to Step 7 because they were matched with a newborn and his or her birth family immediately after birth. Others are matched as per Step 6 above and learn of the birth when the time arrives.

Placement day varies for every family. You may meet your baby in the hospital or at the agency office. An Adoption STAR representative may hand you the baby or the birth mother may do so. Every adoption is unique and has its own special circumstances involved.

The day will be filled with paperwork, nerves, smiles and tears.


Step 9 Post Placement Period

After you are home with your new baby, your home study social worker will contact you to arrange the required visits known as post placement supervision visits. Once the visit reports are complete, they will be sent Adoption STAR who will provide them to your adoption attorney so plans for adoption finalization may occur. Finalization is where the court grants a parent(s) legal custody of their child. It typically requires a court appearance, and following an adoption finalization, a parent(s) apply for a birth certificate with their name(s) on it. A social security number/card can also be obtained for the child following finalization.


Step 10 Post Adoption Support

Post placement is the period of time after placement but before adoption finalization. Post adoption refers to any time after the finalization of adoption occurs. Post adoption support is crucial to the healthy and stability of the adoptive family. Adoption STAR provides post adoption support via support groups, online groups, counseling, post adoption educational workshops, and by providing additional resources and referrals.

Learn More