Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Changes In International Adoption Rates

For many years, it has been a popular trend for Americans to adopt a child outside of the United States. This has been especially so for celebrities. However, there has been a drop in the rates of international adoption recently. In fact, over the last decade, there has been a 70% drop in the number of international adoptions by American citizens. There are several reasons why this is occurring. No, it's not because there has been a rise in the adoption of American children. It is also not because it is no longer an "in thing" to adopt a baby from another country.

Popular Countries Are Now Off Limits


In the past, it was very popular to adopt a child from Vietnam, Guatemala, and Cambodia. However, there have been some questions regarding there being corruption within those countries' adoption practices. As a result, the United States has now banned Americans from adopting children from these once very popular countries. Unfortunately, this means that those wishing to adopt will have to seek out children from other countries. Or, they will have to focus on adopting a child within the United States.

Stricter International Laws


As a result of the Hague Convention, countries must comply with strict adoption laws and openly communicate with not only the United States, but other countries in order to prevent the potential selling, trafficking, and abduction of foreign children.

The United States joined the Hague Convention in 2008 in an effort to reduce these horrible crimes against children. In addition, it reduces the number of illegally adopted children entering the United States. As a result, fewer children are put in danger. Foreign adoptions are also more closely monitored than they ever were before. Agencies such as AdoptionsFromTheHeart offer home studies for adoptions from these countries.

Foreign Policies Restricting Americans from Adopting


Some countries have placed restrictions on Americans being able to adopt children from their country. For example, Russia has banned Americans from adopting a Russian child and bringing the child into the United States. Some countries are doing it because they dislike Americans. However, other countries are enforcing the ban because they are encouraging adoptions within their own countries.

To learn more about adoptions, contact our Adoptions From The Heart offices in:

Greensburg, PA (Pittsburgh)
1225 S Main St #207
Greensburg, PA 15601
(724) 853-6533

Philadelphia, PA
30 Hampstead Cir
Wynnewood, PA 19096
(610) 642-7200

Allentown, PA
2212 Union Blvd
Allentown, PA 18109
(610) 432-2384  

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Different Types Of Adoption Related Counseling

Placing a child for adoption is never an easy or simple process and as mentioned on AdoptionsFromTheHeart, it's sure to raise many questions. There are many emotional factors as well as legal matters to deal with as the adoption decision is made and throughout the entire process.

There are many different types of adoption-related counseling services  available to help a person who is going through the adoption process, both as the party placing the child up for adoption and the people looking to adopt a child. Get to know more about these potential options so that you can be sure you get the help and support you need if you are looking into adoption as an option.

Options Counseling for Pregnant Woman


One of the types of adoption counseling available is known as options counseling. Options counseling is simply a session with the pregnant woman to discuss her options when it comes to her pregnancy. Abortion, adoption, and keeping the child can be topics of discussion as well as the different types of adoption (i.e. closed adoption, private adoption, and open adoption).

Pre-Adoptive Parent and Family Counseling


A family that will be taking a child into their home through adoption may have their own concerns to work through throughout the process. It is not uncommon for families to seek out pre-adoptive parents counseling and family counseling services to prepare for the changes that will occur when a new family member is added.

Play and Trauma Therapy for Children


If an older child is up for adoption rather than a newborn baby, they may have suffered trauma, have attachment issues, or other relationship problems. As such, they may require play and trauma therapy from an adoption-related counselor. These therapies involve both individual and family therapy sessions with the adoptive family to ensure that proper bonds and relationships are forged.

To learn more about adoptions, contact our Adoptions From The Heart offices in:

Greensburg, PA (Pittsburgh)
1225 S Main St #207
Greensburg, PA 15601
(724) 853-6533

Philadelphia, PA
30 Hampstead Cir
Wynnewood, PA 19096
(610) 642-7200

Allentown, PA
2212 Union Blvd
Allentown, PA 18109
(610) 432-2384  

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Eligibility Requirements For Same-Sex Adoptions

If you are in a same-sex relationship and you are interested in adopting a child, it is important to know about any rules or hurdles you might encounter in your quest to become a parent. Knowing the rules and hurdles before you begin the process can make it less confusing and stressful later on.

State Differences In Same-Sex Adoptions


It is estimated that 6 to 14 million children have a gay or lesbian parent since this last decade. Furthermore, 8 to  10 million children are being raised in a gay or lesbian household. Of the 50 states, Mississippi is the only one that previously would not allow same-sex couples to adopt. However, in 2016 a judge declared it to be unconstitutional in light of the state allowing same-sex couples to marry. However, despite these estimates and equality in the adoption system, some states do have some restrictions when it comes to same-sex couples fostering children.

AdoptionsFromTheHeart is one resource that you will find you can turn to where you are treated the same as any other couple wishing to adopt.

State Residency Requirements


Certain states require you to be residents in order to adopt. If you live in Georgia or Illinois and have lived there less than six months, adoption is not permitted. Other states, such as Kentucky, Wyoming, Tennessee, Oregon, Arizona and Minnesota, have similar restrictions in place for couples who wish to adopt a child.

Adoption Considerations


Consider these facts before you begin the process of adopting a child:

In most cases, as a same-sex couple you will have better luck adopting a child within the U.S. than one outside the U.S. Many countries outside of the United States do not allow same-sex couples to adopt. However, in some foreign countries you are permitted to adopt a child.

You have resources available to you such as the Family Equality Council, Child Welfare Information Gateway and the Human Rights Campaign.

To learn more about adoptions, contact our Adoptions From The Heart offices in:

Greensburg, PA (Pittsburgh)
1225 S Main St #207
Greensburg, PA 15601
(724) 853-6533

Philadelphia, PA
30 Hampstead Cir
Wynnewood, PA 19096
(610) 642-7200

Allentown, PA
2212 Union Blvd
Allentown, PA 18109
(610) 432-2384 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

What Is An International Adoption Home Study?

When adopting a child, it is normally expected that you will have to undergo a home study as part of the process before you are determined eligible for adopting regardless of what state you live in.Find out more about domestic adoptions and home studies here. However, if you plan to adopt a child from another country, you are required to go through an international home study, but the requirements will differ according to the country you wish to adopt from.


International Adoption Home Study Requirements



If you are adopting from a country that participates in The Hague Adoption Convention, you will need to choose the country before beginning your home study. You must submit your home study to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) via Form I-800A.


Most home studies include:
  • In-person interviews and home visit with all adults of household
  • Evaluation of physical, emotional and mental capabilities of prospective parents 
  • Financial disclosures 
  • Description of living conditions 
  • Description of counseling given to prospective parents 
  • Background check to screen for child abuse, substance abuse, sexual abuse and/or domestic violence for all adult household members 
  • Check for previous adoption rejections 
  • Criminal history for parents and all adults in household

Additionally, adoptions within Hague Adoption Convention countries require compliance with 8 CFR 204.311, which requires that:

  • An approved/accredited adoption service provider conducts an international adoption home study.
  • The provider ensures that the study has been performed according to federal and state law. 
  • The person performing the study is licensed or authorized in the state where the study occurs. 
  • All estimated expenses and fees are disclosed in writing for the home study. 
  • A determination as to whether the prospective parents are suitable for adoption.
Upon completion of the home study, a true copy must be to the intended country's Central Authority.

For non-Hague Convention adoptions, the home study can be started and completed before naming your choice country. You will also be able to submit your home study to the USCIS within one year of filing Form I-600A. Depending on the country, there are various requirements according to individual country's laws that may be required with completing the home study.


To learn more about adoptions, contact our Adoptions From The Heart offices in:

Greensburg, PA (Pittsburgh)
1225 S Main St #207
Greensburg, PA 15601
(724) 853-6533

Philadelphia, PA
30 Hampstead Cir
Wynnewood, PA 19096
(610) 642-7200

Allentown, PA
2212 Union Blvd
Allentown, PA 18109
(610) 432-2384

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Busting the Top Five Myths Concerning Adoption

If you are thinking of adopting a child for yourself, or just wish to know what's true and what's not about this process, read on to find out the myths and truth about adoption below.

Myth: American babies are unusually hard to find

Reality: Well, out of the roughly 70,000 adoptions done in the U.S. annually, nearly 18,000 of them involve newborn American babies.

Myth: All children adopted from abroad are either traumatized or disabled

Reality: Adopting a healthy toddler or infant from abroad might be getting more difficult, but a majority of the children who are eligible for international adoption only have minor, special needs of correctable nature.

Myth: Adoption can take a really long time

Reality: While this is true in some aspects, there are also instances where the process is not so long. Some families have succeeded in adopting their little ones within just two years of submitting paperwork, with the process taking below a year for some.

Myth: Costs related to adoption oftentimes spiral into thousands of dollars

Reality: Adoption by average costs the same as a mid-sized car, before reimbursements and grants are included. One could in fact complete a foster adoption with only several hundred dollars in the pocket.

 Myth: Only perfect couples stand a chance of adopting American babies

Reality: Just about anyone who displays the ability to bring up children in a responsible way will be granted a child through adoption, regardless of marital status, sexual orientation, profession and ability or disability among other considerations.

For more information about adoption myths and other learning resources, visit AdoptionsFromTheHeart.com

A lot of what people believe about the adoption process is drawn from either what's been floated by the media or personal experience with adopted children while growing up. However, arming yourself with the truth about adoption as outlined above should begin stirring you up to consider adoption.

To learn more about adoptions, contact our Adoptions From The Heart offices in:

Greensburg, PA (Pittsburgh)
1225 S Main St #207
Greensburg, PA 15601
(724) 853-6533

Philadelphia, PA
30 Hampstead Cir
Wynnewood, PA 19096
(610) 642-7200

 Allentown, PA
2212 Union Blvd
Allentown, PA 18109
(610) 432-2384  

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Exploring New Jersey Adoption Laws

Countless couples struggle with trying to conceive. They get to the point where it seems like they are never going to be able to have the family of their dreams. Thankfully, there are options available to help couples fulfill their desires and have the family they want. When it comes to New Jersey adoption laws, you need to make sure you have a solid understanding of what the process entails to protect your rights.

Birth Mother

There are instances where birth mothers feel that it isn't in their best interest to try and raise the baby alone. That's when they start the adoption process on their own to make sure everything is set for when they go in and have the baby. The process can be executed 72-hours after the child is born. If the birth mother desires, she can help choose the adoptive parents.
Birth mothers can change their mind at any time during their pregnancy. However, they are liable to the potential adoptive parents for any expenses incurred that the other party paid for.

Communication With The Adoptive Parents

According to New Jersey adoption laws, there are no specifications in regards to whether the other biological parent is allowed to have contact with the adopted child. If the adoptive parents decide that they are okay with the biological parent speaking with the child, that is up to them. Technically, once the child is adopted, the biological parent has no rights to the child, including that of visitation rights. Once the biological parent has given the child up for adoption, the adoptive parents are that child's parents.
The best thing you can do when looking to adopt a child is to consult with a licensed adoption attorney. In doing so, you can make sure you know what your rights are and protect yourself. As much as you might want to rush the process along, you need to make sure things are done right to prevent issues down the road.
To learn more about adoptions, contact our Adoptions From The Heart offices in:

Greensburg, PA (Pittsburgh)
1225 S Main St #207
Greensburg, PA 15601
(724) 853-6533

Philadelphia, PA
30 Hampstead Cir
Wynnewood, PA 19096
(610) 642-7200

 Allentown, PA
2212 Union Blvd
Allentown, PA 18109
(610) 432-2384 


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Importance Of Observing National Adoption Month

Since President Clinton first proclaimed the month of November to be National Adoption Month back in 1995, the event has been shedding light on the role of adoption in American society. The message? All children need stable, loving families.

What Is The Month Long Agenda?


The month-long agenda of activities ranges from recognition dinners to fundraisers to community and national awareness-raising events. In 2016, the focus for National Adoption Month is on older youth waiting in foster care for permanent adoptive families. Too many young people age out of the system without ever having a stable home. They are the kind of statistic the Month was designed to address.

Those who have experienced adoption in their family, either as a foster parent, an adopted child, or as the sibling or friend to an adopted child, know just how important it is for the general public to know more about adoption issues.

How To Get The Word Out


Here are some ways you can do your part:

  • Help get the word out
  • Organizations and individuals can get guidelines to create press releases, public service announcements and other calls to action for press and media to use
  • Use Twitter, Facebook, or other social media to share the facts about adoption
  •  Raise awareness and let friends know what month it is and why
  •  A little information and positivity goes a long way towards promoting understanding and compassion
  • Listen to stories of adoption as a way of starting conversations in your own community
  •  The Children's Bureau, part of the US Department of Health and Human Services (who initiated the National Adoption Awareness program) publish a tip sheet called Talking With Older Youth About Adoption. It's free to download, as are many other digital resources including links to other national organizations that publish personal stories of adoption as a way to inform and inspire.     
To learn more about Pennsylvania adoptions, contact our Adoptions From The Heart offices in:

Greensburg, PA (Pittsburgh)
1225 S Main St #207
Greensburg, PA 15601
(724) 853-6533

Philadelphia, PA
30 Hampstead Cir
Wynnewood, PA 19096
(610) 642-7200

 Allentown, PA
2212 Union Blvd
Allentown, PA 18109
(610) 432-2384