Adoption Assistance Services
Adoptions From The Heart, in addition to our open adoption and international adoption programs, offers private adoption assistance services to help families and professionals. These services are meant to enhance and not compete with the private adoption process.
Services for Adoptive Families
Home Study Services
A home study is a written report about you and your family that is required by law and must be initiated and completed prior to adoption placement. One of our experienced adoption counselors will meet with you to assist with the required paperwork, provide insight into the adoption process, and help you to complete you home study.
Adoptions From The Heart can provide home study services to families seeking a private domestic adoption, an out of state agency or private domestic adoption. Adoptions From The Heart is also able to provide homes study services for families adopting internationally.
Adoptions From The Heart is a licensed private, non-profit agency and can prepare home studies for families in PA, NJ, DE, NY, CT & VA.
New Jersey Adoption Complaint Investigations (ACIs)
Adoptions From The Heart can assist with NJ ACI’s which are required by the NJ judicial system. Supervisory visits are made to the prospective adoptive family at which time counseling is offered to biological parents. A report is then generated and provided for the Preliminary Hearing. It is then determined by the court if three additional home supervisory visits and a report are required prior to the final court hearing. The state of NJ also requires that a home study be completed prior to the preliminary hearing, except when the adoption is occurring between close relatives.
Adoptions From the Heart can obtain 72 hour surrender of parental rights for birth parents placing their child for adoption with a New Jersey family.
Virginia Designated Adoption Vs. Parental Placement
In the state of VA, prospective adoptive parents and pregnant women and their families who have located each other without the assistance of an agency may choose between Designated Adoption (an agency is enlisted to assist in all aspects of the adoption process including taking parental entrustment and assuming custody) and Parental Placement (an agency is enlisted to do the required home study, counseling and simultaneous meeting while the prospective adoptive and biological family handle all the other adoption arrangements with the assistance of an attorney who is responsible for termination of parental rights. The agency does not take custody).
Identified Adoption Services
Identified Adoption Services are to assist prospective adoptive families and pregnant women/men who have identified one another without the help of an agency and the pregnant woman and her family lives in the agency service areas of PA, NJ, DE, NY, CT and VA. AFTH will provide counseling, advice and support to both prospective adoptive families and women and men faced with an unplanned pregnancy. Home studies will be completed as this is a requirement for Courts and in NJ and CT the agency can facilitate an expedited 72 hour surrender of parental rights without the need for an outside attorney. In Delaware, although private adoptions are illegal, a pre-arranged match between all parties can be processed as an agency adoption when the agency provides the mandated services.
Intermediary Adoption Services
Intermediary Services are provided to prospective adoptive families when they have identified a pregnant woman through another agency or a private attorney. Services are then given to only the prospective adoptive family but also are for coordinating with the agency or attorney assisting the pregnant mother and father to be.
AFTH allows prospective families to put pictures and letters to pregnant women on their web site. When a family is selected by a woman residing in a state where the agency is not licensed, AFTH will assist the woman in locating an agency or attorney that can assist them through their decision to place their child for adoption. This is still considered an agency placement because this is how the two are connected but the fees for this program are reduced because of the need for the prospective family to pay another agency or attorney.
Adoption social workers and counselors are available to provide counseling services both pre and post to families. These are designed to ensure a smooth transition for families and to assist them in times of difficulties and problems with parenting. Assistance is also available for referrals to private counselors in various geographic areas.
Although AFTH practices open adoption, there are times when one of the members of the adoption triad looses touch with another and wants to reconnect. Whether it is a birth parent or adoptee, AFTH provides help with this search.
Post-Placement visits and supervisory reports
Post-placement reports are required by Courts to finalize an adoption and often to re-finalize an international adoption. The reports are generated from the visits and services are provided by branch offices in any area that the agency provides adoption services.
Interstate Compact Preparation
Families adopting across state lines are required to abide by the regulations of the Inter-State compact. The filing must take place in the state where the birth mother/child resides and sent to the receiving state where the prospective adoptive family resides. The prospective adoptive family must wait in the state where the baby is until the Inter-state compact is approved.
If you need any of the above services, please use our online information request form to obtain additional information and an application by mail.