Horror stories abound about people who have to wait years and years to adopt a healthy child. People who have lost thousands of dollars because they were taken advantage of by a birth parent, adoption facilitator, agency or attorney. About someone who has a child with them for months or even years only to have a birth mother or birth father come back and legally take back the child. Situations where a birth mother has been receiving money from multiple families and may not even be pregnant. Families who have already paid large sums of money to a facilitator, birth parent, adoption attorney or agency and then just when they are ready to get the baby "more unexpected fees" are suddenly required. Families who have taken custody of a newborn baby in a state other than where they live, only to find that they are stuck in that state for a month or two because they were not aware of interstate laws and procedures. Situations where a child has Native American heritage and the family did not follow the requirement of the Indian Child Welfare Act and, as a result, lost the child after months of having custody and months of loving and bonding with the child. The list of horror stories goes on and on and over the past 40+ years I have heard so many that break the heart of everyone involved.
As a PhD Psychologist I have helped over 9,000 adopting families, birth parents, pregnant women and children over the past 40+ years. I am the founder of Adoption Services, Inc., an adoption agency licensed in multiple states, and I have created 7 websites filled with information to help adopting families, birth mothers and pregnant women. As I have helped many others, I am available to help you with every aspect of the adoption process, no matter where you live, no matter where the child is and no matter what adoption agency, attorney, or facilitator you plan on working with. I can help you regardless of your marital status, your age, race, or sexual preference. I can help you with an agency or private adoption, an open or closed adoption, an intrastate or interstate adoption, and a domestic or international adoption.
I can explain to you in simple terms the differences in the various types of adoption such as open adoption, closed adoption, private adoption, agency, domestic adoption, interstate adoption, intrastate adoption, international adoption, adoptions affected by state and federal laws such as the Interstate Compact Act, and Indian Child Welfare Act.
I will help you find the "total cost" of adoption which may include not only the obvious attorney, agency and medical fees but also reimbursements to the birth mother for counseling, living expenses, travel and even loss of wages.
I will help you to understand all of the fees involved and the importance of finding out when they are due. Why is it important to know when the fees are due? An example would be that one agency does not require certain require fees until after the birth parents rights have been ended and the birth parents can no longer change their mind. If you never adopt a child you do not have to pay the fees. A second agency may demand these same fees up front and if you do not adopt a child they may refuse to refund them. A third agency may only require the fees after a period of time has elapsed after the adoption, thus if you have to return the child for any reason you may not be stuck with having to pay these fees. As you can see, when you pay these fees can actually be as important as the amount of the fees.
All Home Studies are not the same. All adoptions, except those involving a close relative adoption, require a Home Study. But some Home studies are very limited in their use and you could end up wasting a lot of time, money and energy getting a Home Study done that will not meet the requirements of your adoption situation.
Many states have laws that basically state that it is illegal for a family wanting to adopt a child to advertise. The penalties for advertising in these states vary but a violation could make it impossible for you to ever adopt in that state.
A disruption is the euphemism for a horrible experience where you take custody of a child but then the child must be returned to the birth parent or agency. Disruptions can occur as the result of many factors. I can help educate you in what to look for, i.e. what are the red flags that cry out for attention, and thus reduce your chances of having the adoption process disrupted and having to give your adopted child back. I can show you about "what to expect" and how to reduce your chances of a disruption of the adoption process.
Delays in the adoption process can be costly. They mean not only extra time, but also extra work, stress and worry. Even more than can actually result in an adoption falling through. There are many causes for delays from paperwork to not understanding the adoption process. I can teach you many ways to reduce the chances for delays in adopting a child which in turn helps lower your risks.
Let me help to take the stress out of the adoption process for you. I can help to reduce and eliminate unrealistic fears, worry, stress, and obstacles. Do not forget the negative domestic adoption stories you have heard but recognize that you can do much to make sure you are never one of those stories. Feel free to contact me or call (toll-free 1(800)943-0400) if you have any questions or if you want guidance or help.
Dr Vince Berger
and the staff of Adoption Services
Adoption Services, Inc
28 Central Blvd
Camp Hill, PA 17011