Adoptive Parents

Baby Picture
Adoption can be a beautiful way to start or expand your family, but you need a team who understands this process to lead you through it. Our dedicated staff have years of experience helping families like yours who are seeking to adopt a child domestically or internationally. We guide you through every step from the initial information meeting to the home study assessment, through the matching process, bringing your child home, and beyond. Adoption is for life and so is our dedication to your family. Are you ready to get started?
  • Domestic Adoption
    The Process of Adopting a Child in the United States
  • Home Studies for International and Domestic Adoptions
    A Life Study About Who You Are as a Family
  • Adoption Financing
    Let's Face It ... Adoption Is Expensive

Adoption Services

In addition to traditional domestic infant adoptions, in which a family is matched with an expectant mother, Adoption by Shepherd Care also works with many families in situations that fall outside of our traditional domestic program. Some families only need a home study, while others may already be in contact with an expectant mother when they come to us.

ASC is a child-placing agency licensed by the state of Florida and is equipped to help with most domestic adoption scenarios.

The Adoption Process

 
Determining Eligibility

Adoption by Shepherd Care (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 50 years or less with neither spouse younger than 25 or older than 52.

 
Starting the Process

The first step in the domestic adoption process is to schedule an individual confidential consultation, during which an ASC staff member will meet with you either in-person or by video call 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 for expectant mothers to view, as they choose a family for their child. Birth parents often choose a family during pregnancy. The wait time to adopt is dependent on many factors which are discussed in detail during a consultation.

 
Legal Process

In Florida, a birth mother may sign the legal documents to place her child for adoption 48 hours after the birth of the child or when she is discharged 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.

 

ASC has extensive experience conducting both international and domestic home studies. For international adoptions, ASC can conduct a home study for any country and will work in conjunction with a primary service provider agency that has a program in the country from which you are seeking to adopt. If you live in Florida and need an international home study, please call 954-981-2060 to speak with one of our experienced staff.

Home Study Documents

The first part of the paperwork is “Vital Statistics.” This is paperwork like birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce decrees, and passports.

Next would be medical clearances from your doctor and perhaps a psychological evaluation.

Criminal clearances and Child Abuse registry clearances are another part of the report. Collecting these can be intimidating, but we help you through it.

We ask that you get references from your friends, family, and your employers.

We collect financial information that shows that you can support another person in your home.

ASC feels that ADOPTION EDUCATION is the most important part of the Home study. It is a time in which you can share your fears and concerns with your caseworker, and they can educate you on myths and realities of adoption. It is a safe place for you to feel you have an advocate on your adoption journey.

At ASC we believe a Home Study is a time to become educated on the life long journey of adoption. Below is a diagram to help you understand a typical home study process.

 
Home Study Diagram
 

We average 30 to 40 infant placements a year.

On average, we have 30 to 40 active waiting families at any given time, with a range of family openness represented. If needed, we would cap at 60 families and open a waiting list.

Home studies take an average of 2 to 4 months, depending in part on how quickly a family completes their paperwork.

The wait time will vary depending on a family’s openness and may be anywhere from a few weeks to 2 years. On average, our families wait 9 to 18 months for a match.

In the State of Florida, a birth mother can sign consents 48 hours after birth, or after her hospital discharge-order has been signed. After consents are signed, there is no revocation period in Florida.

The cost of adoption varies depending on the type of adoption. For domestic adoptions, fee information is included in our information packet and discussed in more detail during the consultation meeting. Please call or fill out the contact form to request a packet today. For international adoptions, please call our office to discuss the fees associated with your specific case.

Families finance adoptions in many ways, including grants, loans, and fundraising.

For ASC’s domestic infant program, the average age of the adoptive parents must be 50 years or less with neither spouse younger than 25 or older than 52. For international adoptions, the age guidelines are determined by each individual country’s requirements.

For our domestic infant program, we accept a limited number of single applicants, on a case by case basis. For international adoptions, this is determined by individual country requirements.

For domestic adoptions, families residing in the U.S. should be U.S. citizens or may be permanent residents, on a case by case basis. For international adoptions, at least one spouse must be a U.S. citizen.

Yes, we accept applications from out-of-state families. Please call or complete the contact form to receive an information packet and to schedule your consultation. You will need to obtain an approved home study from a provider licensed in your home state. The Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) is the process that monitors a child’s movement across state lines. We will work closely with you and your home study provider to ensure that all ICPC requirements are met for both Florida and your home state.

Families who have or are in the process of completing a home study with another provider can apply to join ASC’s waiting families. Please call or complete the contact form to receive an information packet and schedule a consultation, which is the first step.

We are experienced in providing post-placement and post-adoption services, including post visits and reports. Our counselors are trained in TBRI and take a holistic approach to post-adoption counseling, working with children and families. These services are available even if you did not complete your adoption through ASC.

The majority of ASC’s domestic adoptions are semi-open, with a range of communication occurring between adoptive families and birth parents both before and after placement. Typically, the adoptive family and birth parents do meet and get to know each other, but they do not exchange identifying information. The level of openness in your adoption will ultimately depend on what all parties are desiring and feel comfortable with, something your ASC counselor will help you navigate and plan.

We have experienced counselors in the area of search and reunion. Our team would love to speak with you. You can also register on the state Florida Adoption Reunion Registry.

Have More Questions?

Please feel free to contact us anytime. We welcome the opportunity to answer any of your questions.