Ethical Adoption: How Lifetime Ensures Your Adoption is Safe, Legal, and Successful

by | Aug 30, 2023 | Adoptive Families Blog

Close up of a mother's hands holding her newborn daughterAdvocating for children is the heart and soul of what we do as adoption professionals at Lifetime Adoption. Our educated, knowledgeable, and compassionate adoption professionals provide a strong foundation for successful adoptions that benefit all in the adoption triad. We know that every child, birth parent, and adoptive family has the right to ethical adoption practice.
 
You’ve already taken the first step toward your ethical adoption by coming to this article. In learning about the choices and details that come with modern adoption, you’re getting ready to ensure a positive outcome for your future baby and their birth parents.
 
As one of the authentically ethical adoption agencies in the country, ethics are implicitly ingrained in nearly every aspect of a Lifetime adoption. They are at the heart of our professional practice. We ensure that every child is placed in a loving family that is best equipped to meet their specific needs.
 

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However, we recognize that adoption isn’t right for everyone, so we will never pressure an expectant mother or adoptive couple into a decision that’s not right for them. For those interested in adoption, Lifetime’s adoption professionals ensure to provide the information they need to make a clear-minded, objective decision. Keep reading to learn more about ethical issues in adoption and how Lifetime Adoption approaches them.
 

What Makes an Ethical Adoption?

You may be wondering how ethical adoptions are different from unethical ones. Above all, adoption is ethical when it is in the child’s best interests and when the birth parents are afforded due process before their rights are terminated. In addition, there are these important aspects of an ethical adoption:

  • The expectant mother is offered comprehensive information, education, and resources about her choices.
  • Adoptive parents go through intensive screening and education to prepare for the dynamics of adoption
  • Open adoption is encouraged and celebrated for the benefits it provides all in the adoption triad
  • Trained, caring adoption professionals are available 24/7 to help birth parents
  • Post-support is offered after placement to birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees
  • The adoption agency involved is licensed and accredited

In a truly ethical adoption, no one is pressured to move forward until they’re ready. When they are ready, our adoption professionals will work faithfully to protect not only their rights and interests but the rights and interests of the child involved too.
 
If you’ve just started exploring adoption, then the requirements of an ethical adoption can seem overwhelming. But these requirements are critical to creating an adoption where each member is respected and equal.
 
However, an ethical adoption can be difficult to complete on your own. Lifetime Adoption is here to make it easier and provide the reassurance you need to face the ethical issues of adoption.
 

Lifetime Adoption, a Top Ethical Adoption Agency in the U.S.

If you’re hoping to adopt a baby in the U.S., enlisting the help of an adoption agency may seem like the best way to do so. But be cautious because not every adoption agency works with the birth parent’s and adoptee’s best interest in mind. Rather, they focus on the one providing them money, the hopeful adoptive parents.
 
Lifetime Adoption is different. From our inception in 1986, Founder Mardie Caldwell has realized that birth mothers and birth fathers are the heart and soul of Lifetime Adoption. An ethical adoption starts with these amazing women and men who place their children for adoption out of great love, despite the pain they are causing themselves. We hold these parents in high regard, and our priority is to provide them with all the support and resources they need.
 
Everything that we do supports ethical adoptions. To ensure that we provide the best services regardless of where you are in your adoption journey, we’ve put a few critical services in place:
 

Comprehensive Information and Resources for Birth Mothers

We do not want a birth mother ever to feel pressured to place her baby for adoption. That’s why at Lifetime Adoption, a major part of our ethical adoption practices include support and education for birth parents.
 
Lifetime prepares and empowers expectant parents by:

  • Educating them about their rights
  • Avoiding the pressure of having to choose an adoptive family early in their pregnancy
  • Discussing the benefits of open adoption
  • Explaining what their child will need from them as they grow
  • Reassuring them they can change their minds without guilt
  • Offering post-placement counseling and support

We know that placement is not the end, but the beginning, because adoption is a lifelong experience. Ethical adoption practice means offering support all along that journey. And there is never a charge to birth parents at Lifetime.
 
We educate birth mothers to know they have the right to make their own choices about their adoption plans. These choices include her baby’s adoptive parents, how things are handled in the hospital when she gives birth, and how much she stays in contact with the adoptive family and her child.
 
As an adoption agency focusing on birth parents, we are proud of the services we offer pregnant women considering adoption. Our adoption professionals know that it’s important for birth parents to have the ability to choose adoptive parents for their child from a wide variety of couples nationwide. To create an ethical adoption, the birth mother should be able to choose any family she wants, including characteristics in families such as geographical location, interests, family size, and faith. They have the freedom to choose any family they wish, not be stuck with only the available families from the first professional they find.
 
Ethical adoption practice also means that a birth mother of color should have the option to place her baby with adoptive parents of the same racial identity. These children will have the opportunity to grow up in homes where they see themselves and their racial identity reflected in their adoptive families and communities.
 
Some ethical issues in adoption arise from birth parents who regret their adoption decision later in life because they were misled or misinformed about their choices. Lifetime Adoption works to prevent that before a birth mother signs adoption paperwork. Because of the care and attention we provide birth mothers, Lifetime has a low reclaim rate. When a woman can make a fully informed, well-thought-out decision about adoption, she is less likely to reclaim.
 
Birth parents have access to unbiased and non-coercive qualified counseling in order to receive comprehensive information on the full range of their options. Trained, caring adoption professionals are available 24/7 to help birth parents and answer their questions. Birth mothers can reach Lifetime any time of the day or night – they never get an answering machine, but can instead speak to a member of Lifetime’s caring staff.
 
Our adoption professionals make sure a birth mother knows that she has rights. She retains the right to change her mind about adoption at any time before giving consent. After placement, Lifetime continues to provide support and third-party counseling to birth parents as they move through the grieving process.
 
Due to this support, education, and information, any Lifetime birth mother who chooses you has worked with our adoption coordinators and been provided all the information and support needed to make the adoption decision. As a result, any birth mother you speak with will be more secure in choosing adoption for her baby.
 

Screening and Education for Adoptive Parents

Before hopeful parents can begin their adoption journey with Lifetime, our team of adoption professionals thoroughly screens each applicant to ensure they can provide a safe, healthy home environment to a child. At Lifetime Adoption, we prioritize the safety of the child, and to create ethical adoptions, our professionals take great care in ensuring they are only placed with safe, prepared families.
 
We know that not everyone should adopt, even couples who might be wonderful parents to children by birth. Adoptive parenting involves unique tasks like helping children understand the meaning of being adopted, supporting their curiosity about relationships with their birth family, and sustaining their child’s racial identity.
 
Our team of professionals carefully assesses all applicants, because we want to make sure we can help you adopt. Lifetime Adoption limits the number of families we work with monthly to ensure each family gets the personalized attention they need.
 
A big part of the adoption education process is completing an adoption home study. This typically involves a criminal background check, personal references, and a social worker’s visit to your home. There will also be a review of your financial situation and medical history.
 
An adoption home study evaluates the prospective adoptive parents for parenting fitness and preparedness and evaluates their home to ensure it is safe and appropriate for a child. Ideally, the home study should also be used to have an open conversation with prospective adoptive parents about the path that led them to adoption and their thoughts and feelings about expanding their family this way. It is also an opportunity to further educate families about adoption both generally and specific to the type of adoption the couple is pursuing.
 
Your Lifetime coordinator has referrals to qualified home study providers nationwide. If you are in Florida, we would be thrilled to complete your home study ourselves!
 
Since not just anyone can adopt successfully, Lifetime Adoption educates all of our adoptive parents ahead of time. In monthly adoption webinars, we talk about all the aspects of adoption and what to expect. Our adoption professionals discuss with hopeful parents their goals and ideals for adoption. We work together to create a plan for their adoption that follows ethical adoption standards and ensures they are fully ready to raise an adopted child.
 

Open Adoption is Encouraged

Lifetime Adoption was an early advocate of open adoption, encouraging it for the benefits it provides all involved in adoption before most adoption agencies. To that end, we educate our adoptive parents about ethical adoption contact with birth parents, including how to interact at the hospital, what to expect, and more.
 
Many of the ethical issues in adoption arise from closed adoptions, which are often harmful to all involved; adoptees don’t have access to their personal history, birth parents don’t get to select their baby’s parents or see their child grow up, and adoptive parents don’t have access to the medical information they need to keep their child safe.
 
Lifetime Adoption requires all adoptive couples to be open to contact with birth parents, both before and after placement. Since we know firsthand how valuable open adoption is, it would be unethical to allow an adoptive parent to enter into the process with antiquated preferences. Birth parents are the ones who decide the frequency and method of adoption contact, and our adoption professional will then ensure there is an available adoptive family who shares those same desires.
 

Professional Licensing

As a licensed adoption agency, Lifetime Adoption’s work is reviewed by government officials and must meet certain standards. This process holds us accountable for completing only ethical adoptions. We hold ourselves to a higher standard than other agencies which results in only the highest ethical adoption practices. You can rest assured that all of Lifetime’s work meets state adoption laws and regulations to best serve our birth parents, adoptive families, and adoptees.
 
If you’re looking for ethical adoption agencies, there’s no better choice than Lifetime Adoption. Our adoption professionals are dedicated to providing safe, legal, and successful adoption experiences for all members of the adoption triad, for a lifetime. To learn more about Lifetime’s ethical adoption practices, you can request information or call 727-493-0933 to speak with a qualified professional.
 

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Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.

Written by Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.

Founder of Lifetime Adoption, adoptive mom, adoption expert, and Certified Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P).

Since 1986, adoption expert Mardie Caldwell has been dedicated to bringing couples and birth parents together in order to fulfill their dreams.

“Many years ago, I was also searching for a child to adopt. We didn’t know where or how to get started. Through research, determination, and a prayer, our dream of a family became reality. I started with a plan, a notebook, assistance from a caring adoption consultant and a lot of hard work; this was my family I was building. We had a few heartaches along the way, but the pain of not having children was worse!

Within weeks we had three different birth mothers choose us. We were overwhelmed and delighted. Many unsettling events would take place before our adoption would be finalized, many months later. Little did I know that God was training and aligning me for the adoption work I now do today. It is my goal to share with our families the methods and plans which succeed and do not succeed. I believe adoption should be affordable and can be a wonderful “pregnancy” for the adoptive couple.

I have also been on both sides of infertility with the loss of seven pregnancies and then conceiving by new technology, giving birth to a healthy daughter. I have experienced first-hand the emotional pain of infertility and believe my experience allows me to serve your needs better.

It is my hope that for you, the prospective parents, your desire for a child will be fulfilled soon.”

Read More About Mardie Caldwell

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