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Domestic Adoption Services

DOMESTIC ADOPTION

ASC’s domestic adoption program is mature and stable, with over 35 years of working with expectant mothers making adoption plans in the state of Florida.  Our domestic program provides a great option for families hoping to adopt a baby, and we are a fully licensed child-placing agency through the Florida Department of Children and Families.

When a family signs up for one of our adoption programs, we don’t take it lightly. We know their names and their situation.  We will take their calls, answer their questions, and be available both now and for years down the road as new adoption-related questions and situations arise.  To us at ASC, you are not a case or a file—you are a person.  Find out more about who we are in the information below.

ADOPTION
SERVICES

Adoption by Shepherd Care works with many families in situations that fall outside of our traditional domestic and Colombia programs. Some families only need a home study, others are seeking to adopt a relative in another country, and some are in need of services after adopting a child.

ASC is a licensed child-placing agency by the state of Florida and is fully accredited to work internationally within the guidelines set forth by the Hague Convention.

Home Studies

A home study is a comprehensive written report of your family prepared by a caseworker, and it is often one of the first requirements in any adoption whether domestic or international.

The process involves three to four meetings with your caseworker, a visit to your home, and assistance in the compilation of various documents such as medical reports, income verifications, police clearances, references, and more.  

During the home study process, you will receive education on adoption and raising adopted children.  This is a time when you and your caseworker can explore the unique issues surrounding adoption and how it affects you and your child.

While home studies are usually a requirement in any adoption, many families come to view them as beneficial as well.  They provide you the opportunity to sit down with an adoption professional and voice your questions about things like preparing to adopt, handling questions from friends and family, how to talk to your child about adoption, and many other topics.  

ASC caseworkers are ready to provide the services you need for your adoption as well as the personalized support you need for your family.

Family Marketing

We are very excited about the family marketing program. Please click here to make a payment and get started!

Please call us for access to our family adoption webinar.

Adoption Financing

We know that adoption can seem costly, and that is why we are thrilled about our partnership with Your Adoption Finance Coach!

Your Adoption Finance Coach is a proven, ground-breaking system helping our families with alternative ways to finance their dreams!

We offer this service to our families free of cost, and it includes the following resources:

  • A full library of instructional videos, resources and coaching
  • On-line gift registry service to receive money for your adoption expenses
  • Access to a dedicated finance coach to help you create a comprehensive plan for how you will pay for your adoption

Don’t allow finances to hold you back from fulfilling your dream of adopting. Call our office for more information or ideas about funding your adoption!

Click here for more information

Pre-Arranged Adoptions

Adoption by Shepherd Care has assisted many families with relative adoptions, stepparent adoptions, and adoptions in which the prospective adoptive parents and the birth parents meet and arrange an adoption plan independent from the services of an agency.  

ASC is experienced in providing all of the legal and supportive services necessary to complete these types of adoptions. ASC can provide the services if either the birthmother/child or the prospective adoptive family live in the state of Florida.

Our services in designated adoptions are tailored to the needs of each individual situation and may include:

  • Home study services for prospective adoptive parents residing in the state of Florida
  • Counseling to the birth parents during the pregnancy and after the birth of the child
  • Assistance in obtaining prenatal care for the birthmother and in providing living and medical expenses to the birthmother when applicable
  • Coordination of the adoption plan including hospital time and the openness of the adoption
  • Addressing the birthfather’s rights in accordance with applicable state laws
  • Coordinating the birthmother’s signing of adoption consent documents if she resides in the state of Florida
  • Services to comply with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
  • Legal services to finalize the adoption

Fees for pre-arranged adoptions vary according to the services provided in each situation. To find out more, request information or give us a call. We will be happy to speak with you about your situation and answer any questions you may have regarding the process.

Post-Placement Services

Adoption by Shepherd Care provides post-placement and post-adoption services to families in Florida who have adopted both domestically and internationally.  We will work closely with your placing agency to ensure that the requirements of the state or country from which you are adopting will be met.

To request more information on these services and the associated fees, request information or call us today.

Post adoption reporting is required in all domestic and most international adoptions, and the purpose is to document the family and child’s adjustment and well-being at various intervals after the child is placed with the adoptive family.

Families meet with their assigned caseworker either in the family’s home or in the agency office, and the caseworker writes a report detailing the child’s developmental milestones, socialization, attachment, and more.

The information included in the report as well as the number and frequency of visits are guided by the requirements of the agency, state, or country from which the family adopted.

While post adoption reporting is usually required in an adoption, many families come to view the visits as being helpful as they adjust to the child’s placement in their home.

The visits provide you the opportunity to sit down with an adoption professional and voice your questions about things like re-adoption, attachment, immigration documents, support services, and many other topics.

ASC caseworkers are ready to provide the services you need for your adoption as well as the personalized support you need for your family.

THE ADOPTION PROCESS

Determining Eligibility

ASC works with married couples throughout the United States and welcomes families of any racial, religious or ethnic background. Couples must be married for at least one year, and their average age must be between 25 and 50 years with neither spouse’s age exceeding 52 years.

Starting the Process

The first step in the domestic adoption process is to schedule a individual, confidential consultation, during which an ASC staff member will meet with you either in person or by phone to educate you on the domestic adoption process. This is the time in which you get to know our agency and we get to know you, so we can both determine if we are the best fit.

The family will complete a home study and a profile with biographical information and pictures, which birthmothers will view to choose a family for their child. Birth parents often choose a family for their child during the pregnancy, and the family then communicates with the ASC caseworker regarding the situation and may have telephone or in-person contact with the birth parents. The waiting time to adopt is dependent on many factors which are discussed in detail during a consultation.

Legal Process

In Florida, a birthmother may sign the legal documents to place her child for adoption 48 hours after the birth of the child or upon the birthmother’s discharge from the hospital—whichever is first. There is no revocation period after signing these documents in the state of Florida. In many cases, the child can be placed in the adoptive family’s care upon discharge from the hospital or soon thereafter. The adoptive family will have meetings with their adoption caseworker during the 90 days after the placement of the child in their home. ASC’s attorney will then collaborate with the family to complete the necessary documents to finalize the adoption.

Openness

In working within the desires of the birth parents and adoptive parents, adoptions with ASC have covered the spectrum of levels of openness. Most of the adoptions we complete are semi-open, with the birth parents and adoptive parents meeting sometime during the pregnancy or after the baby’s birth, and with the adoptive parents exchanging pictures and letters with the birth parents through the years. We will help to ensure that you and the birth parents can reach a mutually beneficial agreement on contact and communication. Identifying information for both parties is kept confidential by ASC unless you choose to share it.

Cost of Adoption

ASC strives to keep the cost of adoption as low as possible without compromising our comprehensive services to adoptive families and birthmothers. ASC’s estimated fees include all agency fees, legal costs, and financial assistance to the birthmother. Our most recent fee information is contained in our free information packet.

Next Steps

Since each family has a unique situation, we offer private consultations which acquaint you further with the process of adoption through our agency and give you the opportunity to speak one-on-one with one of our agency staff members. Many families have said that the consultation is what made them decide to work with ASC, as it gave them the “feel” in an agency that they were looking for. A confidential, one-on-one consultation can give you the information you’ve been looking for with no obligation, so get in touch with us to start the process of setting up yours today!

CHOOSING
AN AGENCY

We realize that choosing an adoption agency is a huge decision.

You might give your agency more information about yourself than you’ve given anyone in your life.  You invest your money, your time, and your dreams.  You invite them to be a part of this truly sacred event in your life.

As you choose an agency, you should be thinking about things like fees, waiting times, accreditations*, and more.  Request a free information packet to learn more about our agency and process.

But also think about the long-term relationship you will have with that agency.  Many families maintain contact with us for years down the road—for help with talking to their child about adoption, meeting with their child’s birth parents, traveling to the child’s home country, handling adoption issues in school.

We want you to know that when you sign up for one of our adoption programs, we don’t take it lightly.  We will orient you, educate you, and spend time with you. We will know your names and your situation.  We will take your calls, answer your questions, and be available.  To us, you are not a case or a file — you are a person.

While this may seem difficult to quantify, the “feel” of an agency is a very real and significant factor.  How do you feel looking through their website?  Talking to them on the phone?  Do you know anyone who has worked with them and been pleased with their experience?

Keep Reading...

The feel you have now is probably a good indicator of the feel you will have later, and here’s why that matters: The adoption of an infant is immensely delicate.  There is the longing of a couple who wants to have a child, the physical and emotional labors of pregnancy and delivery for the birthmother, as well as navigating the sensitive waters of openness, communication, financial support, and counseling.  

This work requires not just good intentions or the right credentials.  To do the work well requires experience, insight, and people who are willing to work from their hearts.  You need seasoned, caring professionals who will handle the delicate parts of your adoption process with genuine care and humanity.

There are a lot of great agencies out there that follow the processes and complete adoptions, but make sure the one you choose will continue to care after their contract is done.  At ASC we will, and we do.  Speak with one of our professionals today

*Note to families considering adopting internationally: Remember to ALWAYS verify that the agency is Hague accredited, as this is now required for any agencies working in international adoption.

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