We provide comprehensive legal services for prospective adoptive parents in the following areas: domestic adoption, stepparent adoption, relative adoption, embryo adoption, foster care adoption, and international adoption.
Our staff includes adoptive parents who have gone through the process as clients. As such, we know first hand that adoption can sometimes be confusing, overwhelming, and emotional. Gleaning from years of personal and professional experience and training, we are here to give you insight, counsel, and support every step of the way.
In addition to our support and assistance, our network includes adoption professionals with years of adoption experience, who can help you with each aspect of the adoption process–from your home study, to creating a profile, to helping you match with expectant parents.
How much will it cost?
The total cost for a domestic infant adoption includes the following categories:
1. Expectant Mother Expenses.
In most cases, the expectant mother either has private insurance or qualifies for state-funded insurance. However, if she does not have insurance, the adoptive parents may cover the costs of her medical care during pregnancy and birth. Additionally, Idaho law permits an adoptive family to pay an expectant mother’s reasonable living expenses during her pregnancy and for up to six weeks after the delivery of the child, if she is able to show financial need. For expectant mothers in Idaho, the living expense paid may not exceed $500, unless court approval is given.* In some cases, adoptive parents may cover the cost of counseling for the birth mother. If a birth mother lives out of state, her state’s statutes may allow other expenses to be covered.
*If matched with an expectant mother in a state besides Idaho, the allowed living expenses may be higher. Please consult our office if you would like to know more.
2. Home Study Fees (pre- and post-placement reports).
3. Legal Fees.
Legal fees for representation of the adoptive parents and, in some cases, the birth mother.
4. Other Costs.
These include court filing fees, the cost of the birth certificate, and publication costs if necessary.
What is a home study?
All prospective adoptive parents are required to obtain a home study. It includes a screening of the life and home of the prospective adoptive parents to ensure that they can provide a suitable environment for a child. Classes are often required as part of the home study process to ensure that a family is prepared to adopt.
How will I find expectant parents who are making an adoption plan?
Finding your “match,” can be one of the most daunting parts of the adoption journey. However, we are here to help! We work with a growing network of service providers who send expectant parent referrals to our law office. We also network with other adoption professionals to find matches across state lines. Prior to introducing potential birth parents to our clients, we conduct an extensive screening process, including in-depth interviews and drug and alcohol screening. We also provide counseling services to all of our expectant parents.
Additionally, we can help you network on your own, which can lead to quicker match times. We can advise you on networking techniques, and we are always here to screen expectant parents.
Open vs. Closed Adoption
In the world of domestic adoption, there are three general levels of “openness” that can guide your adoption plan:
Open: Classified by the sharing of identifying information, in person visits, letters, and pictures.
Semi-Open: Classified by the sharing of more limited information, letters, and pictures.
Closed: No sharing of identifying information and no future updates or pictures.
Today, approximately 95 percent of domestic infant adoptions have some degree of openness.
Can you explain the adoption process?
The timeline is unique for each adoption situation. However, the process is very similar for most Idaho adoptive parents completing a domestic infant adoption through our office:
1) Initial Consultation (Free). During your consultation you can learn more about the adoption process, discuss your options, and decide if adoption and our office are the right fit for you.
2) Complete a Home Study. We will refer you to licensed, trusted home study providers in your area.
3) Create Your Family’s Profile. A profile is a document, including pictures and text, which gives birth parents a glimpse into the life of your family. We show profiles to birth parents as the first step in choosing a family for their child.
4) Self-Networking (Optional). Sharing with your community that you are hoping to adopt may help you to find a match.
5) Presenting to Birth Parents. After screening birth parents, we learn what characteristics they are looking for in an adoptive family. If your family matches those characteristics, we will share some of the details of the adoption situation with you to see if you would like your profile to be presented to the birth parents. We will gather the profiles of all interested families and present them to the birth parents.
6) Phone and In-Person Meetings. If, after seeing your profile, the birth parents would like to know more about your family, we will arrange either a phone call or in-person meeting for you to meet them. A birth parent may know right away that you are the right family or she may want to continue calls and/or meetings for a while to get to know you better.
7) Match. Once both sides are comfortable with the situation and express a desire to move forward, we will make the match official!
8) Birth. Unless the baby was born prior to the match, the birth is an exciting and emotional step in the adoption process. We will help the birth mom come up with a hospital plan that she is comfortable with and will encourage her to discuss this plan with the adoptive parents, so that they know their role while at the hospital. Each birth mom is different and has different needs in the hospital. Some want the time completely to themselves, while others want to share every moment with the adoptive parents. Be prepared to be flexible during this time, but also know that our office will be here to help you navigate every step of the journey.
9) Placement. With hospital births, babies are typically discharged to go home with the adoptive parents. However, placement ceremonies in or outside the hospital are also a common occurrence and a special way to celebrate this precious gift. Placement ceremonies are common for children that are placed after being discharged from the hospital.
10) Consents Signed and Notice Given. After being released from the hospital, the birth parents will go before a court official to terminate their parental rights and consent to the adoption. If a legal parent is not present or involved, they will be notified of the adoption plan and will be given a set amount of time to respond.
11) Finalization. This is the day you have dreamed about: the day your baby legally becomes a member of your family! We will meet in court for the final legal step in your adoption journey.