Frequently Asked Questions
For Adoptive Families
1. I'm adopting privately, can you do my home study?
Yes, as long as you are within our service area (please refer to our offices page to find an AFTH office near you.) Adoptions From The Heart is fully licensed to perform home studies for adoption in PA, NJ, DE, VA, NY, CT.
Download a list of available private adoption services .
2. How many placements do you do per year?
Placements vary year to year, here is a copy of our yearly statistics.
3. I'm having trouble viewing your forms online, how can I get the information I want?
Our forms are available for viewing through Adobe Acrobat Reader. If your computer does not have this program you may have to download it from the Adobe site. If you have tried this and you are still having no luck please e-mail us and tell us your name, mailing address and programs you are interested in and we will have an information packet mailed out to you.
4. I want to use your agency but I don't live in any of the states you are licensed in can I still work with you?
Our domestic program is open to families residing anywhere in the USA. If you are interested in this adoption program please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to work with you.
5. We want to adopt domestically but we only want a girl, is this possible?
We do not accept gender preferences in our domestic adoption programs. Since women who contact us are usually still pregnant there is no way of knowing for certain what sex child they are having.
6 I've been told to get a home study done even before I decide what agency/attorney I want to use to adopt. Is this correct?
No! It is very important that you first decide is you wish to pursue adoption through an agency or privately. Then you must also decide what type of adoption you wish to pursue, international or domestic. The home study process and your completed home study will reflect not only the type of child you are hoping to adopt, but also your feelings on adoption. If you are using a licensed agency to pursue adoption that agency should provide the home study. Your social worker and the agency are your advocates, often representing you to numerous birth parent situations. They have come to know you through the home study process and can act in your best interest. Also in some states agencies do not accept home studies from other agencies for many of these same reasons.
7. We are still involved in infertility treatments can we start the adoption process anyway?
In order to apply to our domestic adoption program you must be finished with your infertility testing. We believe that in order for a successful adoption placement to occur, each family must go through a "mourning process"; mourning the loss of the dream of conceiving and having a biological child. It is important that families deal candidly with their feelings regarding their infertility before they go forward with an adoption. If you don't mourn the loss you feel over not having a biological child, an adopted child may always feel like a substitute, which is not fair to the adoptive parents or the child.
8. We have wonderful biological children and want to adopt in order to give a child a home?
Not necessarily, AFTH does not have any restrictions for prospective adoptive families in regard to infertility. Some other agencies may have this restriction.
9. We live in the U.S. but aren't citizens. Can we adopt through your domestic adoption program? What if we are permanent residents?
AFTH accepts applications from prospective adoptive families in which one or both spouses/partners are Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) of the United States, or in which a single prospective adoptive parent is an LPR of the U.S. LPRs and other non-citizen spouses/partners will need to provide AFTH with a photocopy of their LPR (ie. “Green”) Card or other documentation verifying their immigration status.
10. We are an LGBT family, will you work with us?
AFTH welcomes LGBT families, however families should be aware that adoption laws are decided independently by each state and international countries also have their own laws regarding whether or not LGBT families can adopt. AFTH and their clients must abide by the adoption laws in the state where the family resides or the international country they are adopting from. Families in NJ, PA, DE, NY, and CT can adopt domestically as a couple, many other states have 2nd parents adoptions laws. Current laws in Virginina prohibit co-habitating unwed couples from adopting.
11. I'm Single, can I still adopt?
Yes! AFTH accepts male and female applicants from anywhere in the USA who are single. You don't need to be married or in a relationship to adopt through us.
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12. Why should I use an adoption agency instead of an attorney or a facilitator?
Adoption agencies can be public or private. They are regulated by state law and are overseen by a licensing department that ensures that they follow the laws of the state. Some states even require adoption agencies be involved in adoption procedures regardless of an attorney or facilitator being used. Using an adoption agency cuts out the middle man.
Facilitators are normally people who are not licensed or regulated to do adoptions. Facilitators act as intermediaries between prospective adoptive parents and expecting parents, they must outsource the Home Study and use an attorney to finalize the adoption, which often results in high fees. Using facilitators in many states is illegal.
Attorneys also must outsource their home study services and many do not provide counseling to expectant parents. Attorney's fees can be unknown since they usually charge an hourly rate as opposed to a fee for service like most agencies. Using attorneys to facilitate adoptions is also illegal in many states.
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13. What are your fees?
Adoptions From The Heart believes in transparency and has posted all of our fees on our downloadable forms, as well as estimated fees for such things as legal and inter-state costs. When looking into adoption, comparing costs of different agencies or other adoption professionals is common. Unfortunately not all agencies or adoption professionals present their fees in the same way, and many do not give all possible fees making it even harder to compare complete costs.