This is the question we get asked most often. We work as quickly as we can to match expectant parents and birth mothers, but without sounding too vague, we honestly don’t know how long it will take to complete your family.
Some families are placed within just a few weeks of completing the home study process. While other families wait months. The average wait for families is roughly the same as a normal pregnancy — just over one year.
In most cases, the biological parents participate in the selection process, reviewing waiting families to select the ones they think may be the best fit for their child. Then the Lord steps in and makes the final decision — it is His will! In special situations, families are chosen because they have indicated that they are open to circumstances that surround the heritage, conception, pregnancy, or birth of a particular child. The more open and accepting you are, the more opportunities to complete your family there are.
No one is disqualified categorically because of race, age, length of marriage, etc. Each hopeful family is evaluated individually. However, the policy of our Texas adoption agency is to place our children with Christian couples where both parents believe that their salvation is through the grace of Jesus Christ, the Son of God — as written in John 3:16.
Each child has unique qualities; but, every one of them needs a stable and loving home. Consistent with our adoption agency’s First Amendment rights as a religious organization, it is AIM Adoption’s sincerely held belief that marriage is a God-ordained covenant between one man and one woman. Therefore, in order to qualify as an adoptive couple through AIM Adoptions, the married couple must fall within this definition. When inviting families into our program, we look for these things:
*Few families come into the program fully prepared to face the adoption issues head-on. The adoption agency provides several opportunities to enlighten our families through group home study, one-on-one sessions with agency social workers, parent support groups, available literature, and annual seminars. We have a lifetime commitment to our adoptive families which far exceeds the actual placement of a child into their homes. Post-adopt services (including counseling, referral services, and education) are available to adoptive parents and children.
Open adoption is often misunderstood by inquiring families. Well-meaning family and friends have cautioned them about this concept with stories of the birth mother lurking outside in the bushes waiting to grab up their child and move to Canada.
Fifty years ago, the stigma of “the unwed mother” was so overwhelming that the mother was whisked away to some “home” to have her baby and place it for adoption. The mother was told that she would soon forget all of the unpleasantness and get married to have children of her own. Often the adoptive mother would wear a pillow under her shirt or go to visit relatives in another state until “her baby came.” Then she would miraculously appear with the child. Or, she would be sainted for “taking an unwanted child.”
“The best laid plans..” With all of the secrecy and all of the planning, few secrets were actually secrets. And, no one forgot! Unfortunately, most of the children grew up feeling out of control and incomplete when a cousin spilled the beans. Even the children that knew of their adoption from the beginning suffered because their parents were given no information about the biological background.
How we have changed! Adoption has become a perfectly welcomed answer to the millions of infertile couples across the nation. And the stigma of being born “out of wedlock” is slowly fading into oblivion.
Today, Alternatives in Motion (AIM Adoptions), offers an open concept to every birth mother. An opportunity to make the plan for her child’s future, her own! She may participate in the selection of a permanent adoptive family for her child through the “Dear Birth Mother Letter” that every waiting family provides. She may choose to meet the selected family prior to the birth of the child, or at the actual placement ceremony. She may even choose to have the adoptive family present to share the miracle of birth at the hospital. Most of our families develop an ongoing relationship with the birth family which may include pictures, letters, videos, and presents.
The agency gladly facilitates these exchanges. Depending on the relationship the adoptive family establishes with the birth family, face-to-face visits may also occur.
Each of these opportunities remain the birth parent’s options. They may choose all of the options or none! Even today, we have adoptions where the birth parents do not want to participate in the selection, do not want to see the child, do not want to know the sex of the child, and do not want to meet the adoptive family or have ongoing contact after placement.
Many adoptive parents feel cheated by a closed placement; however, every effort is made by the adoption agency to secure photos and information about the birth parents to share with the child and his parents.
There are many articles, studies, and books published about the benefits of openness in adoption. Many of these will be available to you through our program.
As mentioned before, our phones are answered 24-hours of every day.
General questions and clarifications can be addressed after hours, however, you will most likely want to speak with someone who works directly with the adoptive families. These staff persons are available during normal working hours (9:00 am to 5:00 pm CST).
You are welcome to call at any time that you feel you need encouragement or have a question.
Each and every family in our program is special to us. We welcome the opportunity to interact with waiting families, as well as hear about how their little one is doing after the placement. We encourage families to develop an open line of communication with all staff persons and other families in the program.
Families that make a point to introduce themselves to staff persons over the phone or when visiting the office will feel more comfortable seeking support during the waiting process.
We understand that the adoption process can be very intimidating and we want our families to sense the personal atmosphere of the agency rather than thinking of us as a bureaucratic system.
Twice a year, the adoption agency hosts family socials. One occurs on the first Saturday of June (the Family Picnic) and the other is held on the first Saturday of December (the Family Holiday Party). Both are wonderful sources of support and contact with staff and families before and after placement of a child into your home.
Many families find that volunteering a couple of hours here and there (copying, sorting literature, etc.) is helpful in making them feel more comfortable with the agency staff.
Alternatives in Motion no longer allows this option to their prospective adoptive families because the biological parents participating in the selection process are not always aware of the sex of the child at the time of the selection. They are not comfortable with choosing two families (one for a boy and one for a girl). Therefore, they will choose a family open to either sex to eliminate that situation.
It is perfectly normal to “want a boy” or “think it’s going to be a girl” but, specification is impossible.
All mothers receiving prenatal care are automatically tested for the HIV virus and sexually transmitted diseases. Any information pertinent to the child will be shared with the prospective adoptive parents prior to placement.
We do not give the adoptive parents copies of the birth mother’s medical records. At the time of placement, the child’s medical records (from the delivering hospital) will be given to the adoptive family. These records should be given to the child’s pediatrician. The child’s medical records indicate results of testing done after birth.
Because of the infallibility (because of timing, metabolism, etc.) of drug screening, clients are only screened if her counselor feels it is necessary.