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. I'm thinking of adopting Internationally should I apply to USCIS immediately?
Despite what you may have read on other sites the answer to this is, NO! Your CIS approval may take a while to receive but is only good for 1 year. Please take the time to locate an agency that you feel comfortable working with and talk to them about when you should apply. If you apply too soon your approval may expire before you travel and you will have to reapply at a considerable additional cost to you.
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, do we have to be infertile to adopt?
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 one of your international adoption programs? What if we are permanent residents?
No. At least one parent of a two parent family must be a U.S. citizen in order to adopt internationally and bring the child back to the United States to live. This also applies to families that are permanent residents.
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.