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the adoption PROCESS

Kristen and LifeLong
Baby Girl Kaley

Interested in starting your adoption journey? We’ve helped hundreds of hopeful adoptive parents grow their families through adoption and we’d be honored to do the same for you. With more than 25 years of combined experience in the adoption industry, our friendly and knowledgeable coordinators are ready to guide and support you every step of the way.

There are many different ways to grow your family, and there are many different ways to adopt, but this is what the adoption process looks like when you adopt a baby with LifeLong Adoptions.

  • Application Icon
    Step 1: Complete our free adoption application.

    If you’d like to work with us, the first step is to complete our free adoption application. We’ll review your application — we review every application we receive! — and will reach out to you within a few days. You’ll be asked to set up an informational meeting with one of our admissions advisors in which you’ll learn more about our process and adoption in general and have the chance to ask any questions you have.

  • Home Icon
    Step 2: Start the home study process.

    In order to legally adopt a baby in the United States, you must have a home study completed by a licensed home study agency or social worker. If you’ve already started or finished this step, you’re off to a great start! If you haven’t begun yet, we’ll be happy to provide you with referrals for home study providers in your area. This process usually takes three to four months, but you can start working with us at any point during that process.

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    Step 3: Create your adoptive family profile.

    Our profile coordinator and designer will work with you to create your custom adoptive parent profile using photos and content provided by you. Your profile is what we present to prospective birthmothers to help them find the adoptive family that is best for them and their baby. We’ll create a physical paper version we send through the mail and a digital online version that will be listed on our Waiting Families page.

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    Step 4: Wait to be chosen by an expectant mother.

    Once your profile is completed, you’ll let us know your adoption preferences, including the level of post-placement communication you’re open to. We will only present your profile to expectant mothers whose situations align with your adoption preferences. While you’re waiting to be chosen, you’ll take our Adoptive Parent Education Course and start regular education calls with your dedicated adoptive parent coordinator. When an expectant mother chooses you, we’ll contact you immediately so you can begin communicating with her as soon as possible.

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    Step 5: Connect with the expectant mother.

    If the expectant mother you’re communicating with decides she’d like to move forward with your family exclusively, as the prospective adoptive parents, you will begin supporting her financially. We’ll refer you to an adoption attorney in your state who you will retain in order to start that process. Depending on the expectant mother’s situation and state laws, you may need to hire services in her state as well.

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    Step 6: Travel to the baby’s birth state.

    When the expectant mother you’re working with goes into labor, you’ll need to get to her hospital as soon as possible. Our coordinators will make sure you have all the information you need and will keep everyone else informed so you can focus on traveling. What happens at the hospital, including before, during, and after the baby is born, depends entirely on the expectant mother’s birth plan. Ideally, she will have worked with her social worker or attorney to outline that beforehand.

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    Step 7: Complete the necessary legal requirements.

    At this point, if the birthmother still wishes to move forward with her adoption plan, you’ll proceed to this step. The laws surrounding the finalization process vary significantly from state to state. Your attorney will make sure you’re aware of the laws applicable to your situation. Many states require a certain amount of time to pass before a birthmother can sign the termination paperwork. Most states also have a defined revocation period, which is the amount of time after signing the termination paperwork during which a birthmother can legally change her mind about the placement. Furthermore, some states do not consider an adoption final until specific court proceedings are held. Lastly, if your baby was born in a different state, you will need to remain in that state until the paperwork is processed that will allow the baby to legally leave the state. That process is referred to as ICPC and usually takes seven to ten business days.

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    Step 8: Celebrate your adoption.

    If the adoption plan moves forward and is legally finalized, we’ll happily celebrate with you! We’ll ask you to share photos with us so we can create and publish your adoption announcement on our website and in our newsletter. With respect to your baby’s birthmother, you’ll be expected to honor the post-placement communication plan you all agreed to during the connection phase. As a birthmother-centered company, this is incredibly important to us and to future expectant mothers and birthmothers who work with us.

Ready to take the first step?

Complete our free adoption application today. We look forward to working with you!

Get Started

Questions about the Adoption Process

  • What are the stages of the adoption process?

    While the details of the adoption process differ depending on who you work with, the general adoption process usually remains the same. All prospective adoptive families must get a completed home study through a licensed provider. Families are usually presented to potential birthmothers and must wait to be chosen. Once chosen, when both parties agree to move forward, the adoptive family must hire an adoption attorney who will facilitate all the legal aspects of the adoption process and placement.

  • How long does the adoption process take?

    The length of the adoption process varies and depends on a number of factors, including the adoption professional you work with, how long your home study takes, how you are presented to expectant mothers, the expectant mother’s due date, and more. All of these factors affect the length of your adoption process. Because most of these things are unable to be controlled, it’s impossible to predict how long an individual family’s adoption process will take. That being said, most families who work with LifeLong successfully adopt within two years.

  • How much does the adoption process cost?

    The cost of the adoption process also varies significantly from family to family. It depends on many factors, including the situations you are chosen for, how many expectant mothers you connect with, what level of financial support the expectant mother needs, the required legal fees, home study fees, travel fees, and more. Most of these factors cannot be ascertained ahead of time, which makes the total cost of a family’s adoption process impossible to predict.

  • Is the adoption process difficult?

    As much as we’d love to say that the adoption process is easy and wonderful, the truth is that for most adoptive families, the journey is a difficult one, filled with twists, turns, and bumps. It’s important to expect the unexpected and be prepared for an emotional ride. Despite this, the sentiment we often hear from adoptive families is that once you’re holding your baby, everything you went through to get to that point will have been totally worth it.