Lifetime Adoption’s Founder Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P., has helped thousands of couples build their families through adoption since 1986. An adoptive mom herself, Mardie has dedicated her life to helping birth mothers and adoptive families find each other. Read on for Mardie’s tips on 6 things that you can be doing in order to have a successful adoption:
1. Make Sure That You Have the Desire to Adopt
Before you turn to adoption, make sure that you’ve resolved any issues surrounding infertility. Ask yourselves this question: “do we want to be parents, or do we want to have a biological child?” Realize this: adoption is not “settling for second best.” Communicate openly and honestly so that you can be sure you’re both 100% committed to adoption and on the same page.
Also, resolve any extended family issues: are they supportive of your adoption plans? Will they be accepting of your adopted child?
2. Educate Yourself on Adoption
Learn all you can through reading books about adoption, speaking with others, and attending adoption webinars. Taking the time now to get educated on domestic adoption is a good way to find out what you’re open to. It’s important to know your adoption preferences: what you are (and are not!) open to in adoption.
3. Create a Good Adoption Profile
Many times, birth mothers will choose an adoptive family from looking at their profile (printed copy or on a website). Make sure that yours covers essential topics, like life in your home, people in your family, pets, and fun things you do. Photos should be clear, focused, and good quality, and show your interests and lifestyle. Your profile should present you honestly and accurately, showing a birth mom what her child’s life would be like in your family.
4. Locate a Qualified Adoption Professional
The key to choosing good professionals is research and learning more about what different professionals can do for your adoption. Ask them for references of past clients, then call or email these people. Check the professionals’ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Here are 4 questions you should ask before signing with any agency, facilitator, or attorney:
- How long have you been doing adoption work?
- How long is your average waiting period?
- How many adoptions do you complete per year?
- How much does an average adoption cost through your company?
5. Be Available
When you’re waiting to adopt, you need to be accessible at any time, whether by phone, page, email, or cell phone. If your professional can’t reach you for an urgent adoption situation, they will move on to the next family. You’ve got to be both reachable and ready: commitment and communication are vital in adoption.
6. Have Patience
If you’ve been battling infertility for years, embracing adoption will take some time. Use this time to prepare yourselves, your home, and your family to accept this child. Above all else, keep busy—volunteer, get the nursery ready, take up a new hobby, or take on a second job to help pay for adoption until your baby comes. Surround yourselves with positive people. Remember, there is a baby out there for you!
We encourage you to complete our application to adopt after which, if we feel we are a good fit for you, we will schedule a phone call with one of our adoption experts. You can ask questions during this free call and discover more about the various paths of adoption and preparing for adoption. After you join our program, we will walk with you through each step: preparing to be presented to birth mothers, your adoption match, and even the processes to finalize your adoption.
As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.