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Nightlight is licensed to provide the following services:
• Domestic and International Adoption Home studies and Post-Placement/Adoption Supervision and Reports
• Domestic Adoptions: Agency Adoptions or Independent or Designated Adoptions (more information below)
• International Adoptions: Direct programs in Bulgaria, China, Haiti, Hong Kong, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Nicaragua, Panama, Romania, Taiwan, Uganda, Ukraine, and United Kingdom.
• Snowflakes® Embryo Adoptions
• Birthparent counseling
Yes, we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency. Fees paid by adoptive parents as well as any fundraising efforts throughout the year cover agency expenses.
Nightlight Christian Adoptions has been licensed by the California State Department of Social Services since 1959. Nightlight’s Home study services are available to families California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas.
We believe that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary. We believe He died on the cross a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures and arose bodily from the dead, and that He ascended into heaven, where at the right hand of God He is now our Lord and Savior. We believe that the Scriptures, the Old and New Testaments, are the inspired Word of God and the final authority for all Christian faith and life.
The “Christian” in our name explains who we are. We work with families from various backgrounds. Many of the birth mothers who seek our services are interested in placing their child with a Christian family. Because we want our families to be successful, we can let you know if we believe the wait for a birth mother to match may be longer based on your background (which may include a variety of factors that birth mothers may deem important, such as age, religion, income, number of marriages, number of children, etc). We often pray with birth parents and adoptive parents, and share the Gospel when there is an appropriate opportunity.
Christians are utterly convinced of the unwavering love and goodness of God. We believe that God is for us, and that His love endures forever. God’s love is self-evident in the fact that He created the universe, gave us life and continues to bless us with all good things.
Christians have come to grips with our own wretchedness. We recognize our thoughts are sometimes evil, our intentions can be selfish and our actions are often hurtful. We neither deny our corrupt nature, nor do we try to overcome it with self-improvement. Instead, we embrace or wretchedness and admit with resignation that there is nothing we can do on our own to escape it.
The Bible teaches that because God is perfectly just, He cannot overlook wrong-doing. God’s justice demands punishment or payment for sin. Christians accept the fact that even our own death could not right all of the wrongs we have committed. We affirm every new day is a gift from God which exceeds the grace we deserve.
God knew the sinfulness of humankind was of such a great degree that He could never expect people to pay the price on their own. And God’s love is so great that he could not expect all his people to endure the consequences. But His justice is so great that he could not overlook our sin. So God took drastic measures. Sin demanded a sacrifice, for without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness of sins. The sacrifice had to be human, in order to serve in our place. And the sacrifice had to be of infinite value, in order to pay the price for an infinite number of people who have sinned countless times. The only solution, therefore, was for God to pay the price himself, in human form. God became a man, in the form of Jesus. When Jesus died on the cross, he paid the price for the sins of all people: past, present, and future.
Christians have asked Jesus to forgive their sin. They ask God to change their hearts and help them to sin no more. But this is not just a form of self-determination or self-improvement. Christians recognize that the only hope of true repentance is for our “old self” to die, just as Jesus died on the cross. And a “new self” must come to life, just as Jesus did at the resurrection. This death of the old self, and life of the new self, is symbolized in baptism. That is why the Bible says “we have been crucified with Christ.”
If you want to become a Christian, think and pray about this verse, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10.9 NIV).
We typically place newborns in our domestic program. It is rare for an older child to be placed through private adoption.
A few of the concerns you might have when selecting an adoptive family who will love and parent your child are:
If you would like to look at the profiles of couples who have already completed a home study and are ready to provide a loving home to a child, view our Adopting Parent Profiles.
Notify our office and your social worker immediately. Depending upon the situation, you may be eligible for counseling services as a modified adoption.
California- A birthmother can sign the relinquishment anytime after she has been medically discharged from the hospital. Colorado-A birthmother can sign the relinquishment anytime after the baby has been born. Missouri-A birth mother can sign the Termination of Parental Rights & Consent to Adoption 48 hours after the child is born. South Carolina- A birthmother can sign the relinquishment 24 hours after the baby has been born.
Oklahoma-A birthmother must give her relinquishment in court. That typically happens two to four days after discharge from the hospital.
Missouri-Consents are considered final upon a birth parent’s signature. However, there may be circumstances whereby a judge may rescind this document. Oklahoma-A relinquishment is considered irrevocable upon signing in court. A birth father’s consent executed outside of court is irrevocable 15 days after signing. Laws regarding withdrawing consents/relinquishments vary from state to state. Contact us for more information.
When a baby has been born and the mother has not yet decided if she will parent or place the child for adoption, we have certified families who will temporarily care for the child.
In most states, the child’s father will generally fall into one of two categories: presumed or alleged. A presumed father is a man who is married to the mother or who has actively exercised his parental rights though the pregnancy. His rights are the same as the mother.
An alleged father has fewer rights, but must be notified of the adoption plan. It is important to discuss the rights of a birthfather with the agency or your attorney.
Missouri-All birth fathers must be contacted and informed of the pregnancy and adoption plan. If no identifying information is available, the birth father is considered a putative or unknown person. Even though contact may not be possible, his rights still can be terminated.
Oklahoma – All birth fathers must be contacted and informed of the pregnancy and adoption. A hearing is held to terminate his rights and he is given notice either personally or through publication if the Court is satisfied that he cannot be found.
Laws regarding the rights of birth fathers vary from state to state. Please contact us for more details.
We believe it is the healthiest situation for all members of the adoption triad. The purpose of open adoption is to comfort and encourage you with the knowledge of your child’s well-being, to provide answers for the child and to empower the adoptive parents in raising their child.
The adoption triad is a term used to describe the three-sided relationship that exists in an adoption between birth parents, adoptive parents and the adopted child.
Open adoption encompasses a broad spectrum of contact between the birth and adoptive family. It can be as little as exchanging pictures and letters through the agency a few times a year to ongoing direct contact and visitation.
The mandatory adoption home study is an evaluation and education tool to help us, as an agency, and you, as adopting parents, to determine your preparedness to parent through adoption. It is not a psychological analysis; our intent is to prepare you for the special needs of an adoptee and to help you build important parenting skills. The home study is different for each adoption as everyone has different histories and experiences that they bring into the process. It consists of paperwork, education, and interviews. If you live in California, Colorado, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, Georgia, or South Carolina, Nightlight Christian Adoptions will perform your home study.
If you live in California, Colorado, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, Georgia, and South Carolina, Nightlight Christian Adoptions will perform your home study. If you are not in these areas and are unfamiliar with agencies in your area, you may contact our office and we will provide you with a list of agencies in your state (if available) that other families have worked with. You may have difficulty finding an agency to do a home study for embryo adoption, as some agencies are unaware of it or do not yet feel comfortable educating parents about adopting embryos. For purposes of the Snowflakes Program, we require the same home study you would have for a traditional, domestic adoption, including an open adoption and adoptive parenting education component. Most state agencies/social services departments do not complete pre-placement home studies, and the ones who do most often will not provide a copy to an outside agency. For these reasons we ask you to work with a private, licensed adoption agency. If an agency you are working with would like more information on the program, please contact your adoption worker and we will be happy to provide them with information.
Yes! It is imperative that the adoption agency with whom you are working provide a formal educational component regarding raising adopted children. Generally speaking, if you are working with a licensed agency, they will usually have some type of educational component incorporated into their home study process (i.e. adoption classes, required reading, etc.). You should check with your social worker prior to beginning your home study to ensure that he or she is familiar with the guidelines listed below. Regardless of with whom you are working, the educational component should address those lifelong issues involved with raising adopted children, the level of desired communication between genetic and adoptive parents, and how to explain to your child the complex nature of his or her conception in age-appropriate terms. You should also ask your social worker to help you explore how the embryo adoption home study may be different from a traditional domestic adoption. Nightlight does provide Snowflakes Family Evaluation home studies for our embryo adopting parents. It is only valid for embryo adoption and is available in all 50 states and internationally.
Yes. You should be free to call your agency and ask them to send an original signed copy of your current valid home study to our office. We have not had problems with private adoption agencies sending your home study. State Social Services usually will not send an original copy to another agency.
If you have a completed an international home study you will need to update it for a domestic adoption. If your domestic home study is over one year old and/or you have had a child placed in your home since its completion, you will need to update your home study.
Yes, Nightlight is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency. Fees are paid by adoptive parents as well as any fundraising efforts throughout the year cover agency expenses.
Yes and yes! We are fully Hague accredited by COA.
Nightlight provides Post-Adoption and Birthparent counseling services, as well as Adoption Home Studies in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas.
We can assist you with an interstate adoption either originating or finalizing in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas. You may also engage Nightlight’s services for birthmother screening and matching. Please contact our office to discuss the specific details of your situation. Nightlight can also assist out-of-state families in completing an Embryo Adoption or International Adoption.
Domestic adoption is the permanent, legal transfer of parental rights and responsibilities for control and custody of a child from the birthparents to the adoptive parents within the United States.
There are basically two different types of domestic adoption:
• Agency – Nightlight matches a family with a birth mother, provides counseling to the birth parents and case management to the adoptive family, assists with the relinquishments of parental rights for the birth parents, places the child in the home, provides post-placement supervision, and prepares the court report.
• Designated Adoption – In a designated adoption, the same services as an Agency adoption are provided with the exception being that an adoptive family is matched with a birth mother from a source outside of the agency, such as an attorney, church members, or friends.
• Independent Adoption – describes an adoption situation where a family is matched through another resource and does not need full agency services in order to complete their adoption. In an independent adoption Nightlight only prepares the home study; works with the placing agency and consultant to coordinate ICPC and the required documentation for ICPC; provides post-placement support and supervision; and prepares the court report to finalize the adoption if necessary. In some states, this service also includes a birth parent background report be prepared for the court.
In an agency adoption, Nightlight is working to match you with a birth mother, while in a designated or independent adoption you are matched outside of the agency. Nightlight Christian Adoptions’ Pregnancy Counselor also provides support to the birthparents as needed throughout the pregnancy and the adoption process.
You can be matched with a birthparent anywhere between a few months to a few years after the completion of your home study. It depends on the criteria an adoptive family has established for a birth family, as well as the criteria the birthparents we are currently working with have established for an adoptive family. On average, most families will wait 1-2 years.
We recognize that sometimes it is difficult to decide what type of adoption you are being called to pursue in building your family. If you feel that you are open to a domestic adoption while pursuing an international adoption, please let us know.
While you are in the initial phase of an international adoption, you could be presented to a birthmother. If you are considering this option, you will complete an international adoption home study as well as a domestic home study. It is a relatively simple process to convert an international home study into a domestic home study.
Domestic adoption consists of five parts:
Adoption Home study: The home study is an evaluation and education process required by the State to determine your preparedness to parent through adoption. A home study consists of three components: paperwork, education and interviews with a social worker.
Match/Identification of birthparent: Once your home study is complete and you have been approved to adopt, your profile will be shown to birthparents. Our social worker will work with both the birthparents and the adopting parents to find the best possible match for everyone involved.
Relinquishment and Placement: Details are specific to the state in which your child is born. Refer to the Domestic Adoption Information Packet for California, Colorado, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, Georgia, or South Carolina for details specific to those states.
Post Placement: Details are specific to the state where you choose to finalize the adoption.
Finalization: Details are specific to the state where you choose to finalize the adoption.
If you are matched with a birth mother who is living in another state, you may not be required to travel to the birth mother’s state prior to the birth. However, some birth mothers request a face-to-face meeting with the adoptive parents prior to placement, if possible. We also believe it is best practice for the adoptive family and the birth family to meet prior to birth in order to build a bond and reassure the birth mother that she has made the right choice. This will help her in following through in her adoption plan. You will be required to travel to your child’s birth state for the placement, and must remain in your child’s birth state until the interstate compact coordinators in both your state of residence and your child’s birth state have approved the placement (usually up to 14 business days). After approval, you will then be allowed to take your child home with you and in most cases, finalize your adoption in your home state.
In South Carolina, families may be asked to travel to South Carolina up to 3 times. 1) To meet your birth mother and possibly to attend the “Unusual and Exceptional” hearing. Legally in SC, when a child is placed outside the state, a judge
must grant the adoption at this hearing. This is usually just a formality as a birth mother has the right to choose the family
that she wishes to adopt her child. This hearing typically occurs prior to the birth of your child, but in the case of a very
fast match and birth, this could occur after placement. 2) You will be required to travel to SC for the birth and placement
of your child. 3) South Carolina requires that finalization must occur in SC, therefore, you will travel again for your
No. To be healthy adoptive parents, you need to have completed all your infertility treatments and given yourself the time necessary to grieve for the biological children you have dreamed of.
Only after this important step can are you ready to begin the adoption process. Please talk to your social worker if you have any concerns about this requirement.
If you become pregnant, please let us know immediately. We can put your file on hold if you will be adopting in the next year or so. If you already are matched with a child and have been emotionally connected to that child, we are not going to stop the adoption. Our goal is that every child be in a fully functional family in which the family has the resources to care for each child.
If you do become pregnant and you do not have a referral of a child, please contact us after the birth of your child and we can discuss your adoption plans. We believe it is best if each child enters the family at least one year after the other.
The Christian in our name explains who we are. We work with families from all religious backgrounds. We need all types of families to meet the various criteria of our birthparents.
If you have any additional questions that were not addressed, please send us a message using our contact form or give us a call.
Open Adoption encompasses a broad spectrum of contact between the birth and adoptive family. The Child Welfare Information Gateway, http://www.childwelfare.gov/, has articles on open adoption that we suggest you read as you begin praying about what level of openness you are comfortable with. You may also want to look into adoption support groups in your area or go online to talk to families who have open adoptions, as most couples are apprehensive in the beginning when considering open adoption and become more comfortable as they become educated about what it means to your child, your family and your birthparents.
Our agency will only complete adoptions for adoptive families who are open to openness in adoption, as we believe it is usually the healthiest situation for all members of the adoption triad (i.e., birthparents, adoptee, and adoptive parents). We are open to creating a dialog and educating families who are apprehensive about open adoption. However, we understand that not every birth mother is interested in an open relationship and in some instances having a very open relationship
may not be appropriate. If after discussing the possibility of open adoption, you strongly feel that you would like to have a closed adoption, you may want to work with another agency.
The purpose of open adoption is to comfort and encourage the birthparent with the knowledge of her child’s well-being. It provides answers for your child, minimizing their loss of relationships by maintaining and celebrating the child’s connections with all the important people in his or her life. Open adoption also empowers you in raising your child, by providing knowledge about your child’s birth family and their family medical history. During the home study, you will learn of the many positive aspects of open adoption and your social worker will discuss with you the contact arrangement you are most comfortable with. It is very important that you be honest and open with your social worker about the type of relationship you envision with your child’s birthparents before birth, after you bring your child home and throughout your child’s life. This article is a helpful starting point for learning what open adoption looks like over time.
Once all your paperwork has been received, your Social Worker has completed all your visits and approved your home study, and we have received your “Dear birth mother” letters and photo albums we can begin showing your profile to birth mothers.
When selecting an adoptive family who will love and parent her child a birth mother considers: ethnicity, religion, marital status and length of marriage, any previous marriages, age of parents, any other children in home, employment status of parents, financial stability, compatible personalities, and openness to ongoing contact with the birth family before and after the child’s birth.
During the home study your social worker will ask you what factors you are willing to accept in a child’s history. These factors include: ethnicity, exposure to drugs/alcohol/tobacco, disabilities, gender, birth mother expenses, birth father participation, and requests for ongoing contact with the birth mother throughout the child’s life.
At this time, Nightlight is not able to accept applications from families who want to specify gender. Expectant parents want to know that their child will be accepted regardless of gender, and in some cases the sex of the baby is undetermined.
Generally we do not notify you when we are showing your profile as the wait to be matched is often a roller coaster of emotions and we do not want to cause further distress in the event that you are not chosen. If we have a question as to whether you would like us to show your profile to a birthparent with a unique situation we will notify you so you can determine if you would like to be presented.
We will do our best to help a birthparent get to know you through e-mail or phone calls; however you will need to be prepared to travel to her state of residence if she would like to meet you before the baby is born.
If a birth mother would like to meet you, a pregnancy counselor will contact you to schedule a face-to-face meeting or conference call (depending on the distance between the two parties). This allows both parties to have an opportunity to meet and get to know a little bit about each other. After the meeting, the social worker will check in with both parties to see how they felt the meeting went and it will then be determined if it is a match.
Notify our office and your Social Worker immediately. Depending upon the specific situation, you may qualify for a modified adoption in which we can provide your birthparent counseling services. If the situation is one in which our agency will no longer be involved in your adoption, we will place your file on hold until we receive notification that your adoption is finalized. Once the child has been in your home one year, contact our office to discuss your future adoption plans.
Most of our birth mothers are referred to us by Pregnancy Resource Centers, Crisis Pregnancy Centers, Maternity Homes, Hospital Social Workers, Attorneys and Churches with whom we have established relationships. Other birth mothers may find us through referrals from friends, the internet or phone book.
The birth mother will have a pregnancy advocate as long as she is involved in an agency adoption, whether it is an agency, modified, or interstate adoption. If it is determined that the birth mother would benefit from professional counseling, Nightlight will seek to find an outside resource for this service.
It depends upon the stage of pregnancy she is in when she comes to work with our agency and what her needs are. The earlier in her pregnancy, the more opportunity her social worker will have to provide counseling. These visits may occur weekly, bi-monthly or monthly depending upon her needs.
No. This is something that the birthparent generally discusses with her social worker. If you are not open to a birth mother with a history of substance abuse you would not be matched with a birth mother who had used drugs/alcohol during the pregnancy. However, please keep in mind that a birth mother’s circumstances can change at any point during her pregnancy and that all information received regarding her health prior to receiving medical records is based solely on her word. We encourage all families to be well educated and prepared for all possible outcomes.
Birthparents are given an information form to fill out that includes social and medical history information. They will also sign an authorization to allow the agency to share medical information with you. Nightlight will provide you with a copy of what has been provided to our agency. When we receive the copies of the hospital records , we will provide you with copies for your child’s pediatrician.
Your birthparent will create a Hospital Plan with her social worker which indicates her wishes for her time in the hospital. She will decide if she wants you at the hospital when the baby is born and/or, depending on the relationship you develop, whether she would like either of you in the delivery room. You will know what her plan is prior to birth. Please remember this plan can change, as it often does. Birth mothers may choose more or less contact with the baby than what was originally stated.
You must remember that the hospital stay is your birthparent’s time with the baby. It serves as her time to confirm she is making the right decision to place the baby for adoption and gives her, the birthfather and their family an opportunity to say good-bye. You need to be respectful of the emotions she is going through and her wishes for her time in the hospital. Her social worker will help guide you through this.
Yes. birthparents give the greatest gift a person can give and there is nothing you can give your birthparent that can compare to the gift she is giving you. Generally, we encourage you to give her something that signifies the relationship that has been established between all members of the triad. You will learn more about what this means from your social worker. Such gifts often range from something like a spa package to a more sentimental gift of a token like a charm or key chain with a discreet inscription of the child’s date of birth. Once you get to know the birth mother more personally, if possible, you will likely be able to determine what type of gift would be most meaningful to her.
For most in state adoptions, once the baby has been medically discharged and the birth mother has given consent for the child to be released into our agency’s custody, you can take your baby home. It is important to remember that in many states, until parental rights are terminated the potential adoptive family is providing foster parent services only. Most birth mothers have great comfort in knowing that the baby is going home with you. When doing an out of state adoption, you will still be able to bring the baby to your hotel room as stated above, but you will not be able to leave the state until both the sending state and the receiving state have given ICPC approval (See below for more details). Please note that there are some courts in some states that will not allow a direct placement until after parental rights are terminated. In those situations, the baby must be placed in cradle care for a few days to a few weeks before he can be placed with you. Should you be matched with a birth mother in one of these court jurisdictions, you will be informed prior to the birth of the child.
Depending upon the state where you reside, the fees for our services range as low as from $1,500 for a home study to $25,000 for an agency adoption (see the Agreement for Adoption Services). With the exception of a finalization in CA, you will also need to hire an attorney for the finalization of your adoption. An attorney for finalizing will typically cost between $1,500 and $3,000. In general, depending upon the individual characteristics of your adoption, your total cost will probably be between $25,000 and $30,000.
Nightlight establishes a budget for costs each year based on the number of adoptions it estimates completing in each of its programs (domestic, international and embryo) during the year. Based on these estimates, we establish program fees for adoptions in the various programs, taking into consideration the amount of staff time and expenses which will be involved in maintaining the program for the year. Of course it would be prohibitive to allocate all of the costs (payroll, rent, insurance, supplies, etc.) to one adoption in one program. Nevertheless, we will incur those costs even if the number of adoptions is less than we estimate. Therefore, we establish program fees for each adoption program which we believe closely relates to our actual costs in running the program – not the actual time in completing or working on a specific adoption.
Our program fees are paid in phases to enable families to budget their costs and to minimize the financial risk in the event that an adoption is not completed, or in the event that you, the adoptive parent, withdraw from the program. The enclosed fee schedule provides for the majority of the costs to be paid close to the time when the adoptive placement occurs. As explained above, the program fees are established based on the costs to maintain a program, not on the time spent on each individual adoption.
Nightlight does not cover any medical expenses incurred by an individual birth mother. It also does not cover all legal fees, but does cover some birth mother legal fees depending on the state that the birth mother lives in. You will need to review your signed fee schedule for any variations in birth mother legal fees paid by the prospective adoptive parent.
Nightlight’s program fees do not cover the cost of retaining an attorney to finalize your adoption. Most attorneys will typically charge between $1,500 and $3,000 to handle the finalization. If you finalize in another state, you will need to research the attorney’s fees in that state. Also, in the event that you are matched with a birth mother in another state, there may be additional attorney or agency fees to represent the birth mother in that state. Please refer to the enclosed “Agreement for Domestic Adoption Services” for further information regarding different fee plans.
Listed below are some common sources of financial help for families that adopt:
Great news: An adoption tax credit is available. For details regarding this year’s tax credit please follow the link below. https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc607.htmlEmployee Benefits
Many companies are beginning to offer adoption benefits to their employees. The company may reimburse some of the adoption expenses paid by the employee, or they may offer paid adoption leave. Check with your Human Resources department to see if your company provides adoption benefits.
– Adoption Friendly Workplace, www.adoptionfriendlyworkplace.org, part of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption provides a free tool kit to help companies/employees establish an adoption friendly workplace at their current place of employment.Crowd FundingAdoption Bridge, www.adoptonbridge.org, is a crowd funding site where you can put up a family profile and then share it with friends and family who want to donate toward your adoption. Adoption Bridge has the lowest fee to you the adoptive parent which allows you to keep more of the funds raised for your adoption. Adoption Grants, Loans or other forms of assistance various organizations offer financial assistance to adoptive families via adoption grants, loans or other assistance. Please contact each organization to find out about their services and what their qualifications and requirements are.GRANTS:
– Cade Foundation, www.cadefoundation.org, provides up to $10,000 to needy infertile families to assist with the costs associated with infertility treatment or domestic adoption.
– Gift of Adoption Fund, www.giftofadoption.org, awards grants based upon the needs of the waiting child and to pre-approved adopting parents who demonstrate an unusual degree of financial hardship.
– God’s Grace Adoption Ministry, www.ggam.org, provides grants or assistance in fundraising to Christian families adopting orphaned children.
– Kingdom Kids Adoption Ministries’ Adoption Fundraising Program, www.kingdomkidsadoption.org, helps families raise finances for adoption through our adoption fundraising/grant program.
– America’s Christian Credit Union, https://www.americaschristiancu.com/personal/loans/adoption-loans.html, offers adoption loans.
– National Adoption Foundation, www.nafadopt.org, provides direct grants, loans and a National Adoption Foundation Credit Card.
– Show Hope, www.showhope.org, provides grants to Christian families adopting domestically or internationally and encourages involvement from your church family in your adoption.
– Lifesong for Orphans, http://www.lifesongfororphans.org/adGrantLoans.html, is also a Christian organization that provides both grants and no interest loans to adoptive families.LOANS
– A Child Waits Foundation, www.achildwaits.org, provides low interest loans to parents who might not otherwise be able to afford to adopt.
– The ABBA Fund,www.abbafund.org, provides interest-free covenant loans to Christian couples who are called by God to expand their families through adoption, often including embryo adoption.
– Hebrew Free Loan Association, www.hflasf.org, provides interest free loans to Jewish families living in Northern California who are adopting domestically or internationally.OTHER RESOURCES FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE– A Mother’s Love, www.amotherslovefundraising.com, assists families in fundraising for adoption and infertility costs.
– Child Welfare Information Gateway has information on funding adoption, www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/adoptive/funding.cfm.
– National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), has a guide called “How to Make Adoption an Affordable Option” which can be accessed at www.nefe.org/adoption.
– National Military Family Association, http://www.nmfa.org/site/PageServer?pagename=reus_adoptionintro, provides information and links to Adoption Resources for Military Families, including the Adoption Reimbursement Program.
Many families who truly seek to make a difference in the life of an orphan find it challenging to decide on a country program. Some of the questions you need to ask yourself are the following:
Please talk to us and download the educational resources we provide to get more information to make the best decision.
If you are seeking a very young child and want to adopt within the next year or so, then you will want to consider special needs waiting children from Bulgaria or India. If you are open to a couple year’s wait, but insist on a child under 6 years old, we suggest Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Albania, or Samoa. Older children are available from all of our country programs.
It depends on the country you choose to adopt from as well as the time it takes you to complete your home study and dossier. Typically an international adoption will take 8-24 months from the start of the home study to finalization. Please refer to the country descriptions for more detailed information.
We recognize that sometimes it is difficult to decide what type of adoption you are being called to pursue in building your family. If you feel that you are open to a domestic adoption while pursuing an international adoption, please let us know. While you are in the initial phase of an international adoption, you could be presented to a birthmother. If you are considering this option, you will complete an international adoption home study as well as a domestic home study. It is a relatively simple process to convert an international home study into a domestic home study.
This option is usually for those who may be waiting a longer time for a referral of a child. Such a situation may include a family who is gathering their paperwork for Ukraine while having their portfolio shown to birthmothers.
The further along you are in the international adoption process, the less practical and more emotionally and financially difficult it is to be matched with a birthmother. Once you receive a referral of your child from overseas, we cannot allow you to be matched with a birthmother, as we want you to have plenty of time to bond with the child you are adopting.
If you are client in one of our international programs, for a fee of $2,000, we can assist to have your current international home study formatted to a domestic home study, provide you with domestic adoption education, guide you in completing a portfolio to show to a birthmother, and place your profile on our domestic website.
We cannot guarantee that you will be matched with a birthmother, but you can know that while you are working on the paperwork and awaiting a referral of a child, you could possibly be matched with a birthmother. If you are matched with a birthmother, your file in the other country will need to be put on hold.
Learn your child’s language (or at least a few basic words and phrases) to make your child’s transition into your family easier and help you communicate with your child during the first few months as he/she is learning English. Learn about your child’s country and culture so that you can ensure they do not lose their rich cultural heritage. Attend support groups and events through the agency or in your area and talk with other families who have adopted children internationally.
You may want to begin your child’s Lifebook; please refer to our Seminars & Events page for information on upcoming classes.
Nightlight Christian Adoptions makes available the following information, upon request by clients or prospective clients:
In accordance with Hague Standard 96.36 (a), Nightlight Christian Adoptions confirms that it prohibits its employees and agency from giving money or other consideration, directly or indirectly to a child’s parent(s), other individual(s) or an entity as payment for the child or as an inducement to release the child.
If permitted or required by the child’s country of origin, an agency may remit reasonable payments for activities related to the adoption proceedings, pre-birth and birth medical costs, the care of the child, the care of the birthmother while pregnant and immediately following birth of the child, or the provision of child welfare and child protection services generally. Permitted or required contributions shall not be remitted as payment for the child or as an inducement to release the child.
Yes, Nightlight is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency. Fees paid by adoptive parents as well as any fundraising efforts throughout the year cover agency expenses.
Yes and yes! We are fully Hague accredited by COA. Additionally, Nightlight Christian Adoptions has been licensed by the California State Department of Social Services since 1959 and is also licensed by the states Colorado, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, Georgia, and South Carolina. Nightlight provides Post-Adoption and Birthparent counseling services, as well as Adoption Home Studies in California, Colorado, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, Georgia, and South Carolina.
Yes, we can assist you in completing an International, Embryo or an Interstate domestic adoption either to or from California, Colorado, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, Georgia, and South Carolina. You would just need to work with an agency licensed in your state to provide Home study and Post-Adoption Services. If you are adopting internationally, your adoption homestudy agency must have a Supervised Provider Contract on file with our office and must be in the process of obtaining their Hague accreditation.
The “Christian” in our name explains who we are. We work with families from all religious backgrounds.
Depending on the country you are adopting from, and the number of required trips, your total estimated costs for an adoption can range from $25,000 – $43,000.
Clients are only asked to carry the cash that is necessary for their expenses while in the country. Whenever possible, fees are wired in advance of your travel.
Many companies are beginning to offer Adoption Benefits to their employees. The company may reimburse some of the adoption expenses paid by the employee, or they may offer paid adoption leave. Check with your Human Resources department to see if your company provides adoption benefits.
This Act provides a refundable tax credit (not a deduction) of up to $13,170 per adopted child and applies to both domestic and international adoptions. Adopting families with combined incomes of $182,520 or less can qualify for the full credit. Families earning a combined income of $222,520 or more do not qualify for the credit. Additional information on the tax benefit is available from CCAI, In Focus: The Adoption Tax Credit. If you have questions as to what fees and expenses can be applied towards the tax benefit, please contact your tax preparer or the IRS directly.
Those would be the majority of your other expenses. Also included in your out of pocket expenses would be your apostilles, gifts to the orphanage staff and children and driver/translator fee.
Snowflakes Embryo Adoption is uniquely child-centered. The program was established in 1997 to address the problem created by medical science of remaining frozen embryos in storage. There are now over 1,000,000 embryos in frozen storage in the U.S. Of course, some of those embryos remain frozen to help the families who created them have more children in their own family. Some will be donated to science and some will simply be thawed and discarded. But as more couples with remaining embryos are made aware of their ability to choose a family for their remaining embryos, through an adoption model, they are excited for the opportunity to give their embryos a chance to live in an adoptive family.
Donated Embryos are not Disbursed Among Multiple Families
We are child-centered and we do our best to keep siblings together. Adoption professionals agree that keeping siblings together is a paramount value. Whether children are adopted from another country, through foster care, or domestic placement, we always work diligently to place all siblings into one adopting family. Nightlight extends this family value to embryo child adoption. Our Snowflakes team provides matching services that take into consideration the preferences of both the donor and the adopting families and then places all of the donor’s embryos into that adoptive family’s care.
Since our program encourages open adoption, communication between matched families will be mutually agreed upon between them. Clearly, limiting the number of families in which full genetic siblings exist is a benefit to all. The more families involved, the more difficult it becomes to establish and maintain relationships. It should be noted that some programs charge additional fees to keep the sibling set of embryos together or even charge individual fees for each embryo received. Nightlight values keeping a single donor’s embryos together and charges no additional fees.
Fertility Clinics – working with clinics throughout the United States
Snowflakes has partnered with clinics in the U.S. for adopting families to have their Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) treatment. This covers the majority of regional areas in the U.S. making travel simple and fast. Most adopters choose to work with the Snowflakes preferred partner clinic that is nearest to them for convenience, but you may also have the opportunity to travel to the clinic that created the embryos. The majority of our partner clinics are comfortable allowing patients to complete medical prep at another clinic if they are a significant distance from the family. This can include ultrasounds, medications, blood work, and follow up visits.
While we understand you may already have a relationship with a specific clinic, our team has found that by working with specific clinics we are able to get you to your goal of pregnancy and childbirth more quickly. You may still be able to work with your current doctor for medical preparation.
The placing family wants to select who will adopt their embryos and know the outcome of the adoption and transfer. They are reassured that Snowflakes provides the same safeguards that the traditional adoption process offers. The placing family knows the adoptive family has been screened for a criminal history and child abuse record, and received education about how to parent an adopted child. They have the peace of mind of having handpicked a family for these children. They also have the opportunity to have contact with the adopting family to whatever extent both families are comfortable.
You would have a chance to have knowledge regarding your child’s genetic history. Whether you exchange pictures and letters, have telephone conversations, or choose to meet the placing family, you will know that you have access to information about your child’s history. Nightlight is available to facilitate communication between the families and is also available to educate and work with you about how to talk to your child(ren) about their unique conception and adoption-related issues.
The most obvious difference between an embryo adoption and a traditional domestic adoption is the pregnancy experience.
Adoptive moms are able to experience the joys (and challenges!) of pregnancy and labor. You also have the peace of mind of knowing you control the pre-natal environment of your baby.
Although an embryo adoption allows more control in some ways, it provides less in other ways. You cannot choose the gender of the child as you might in an international or older child adoption, and you cannot change your mind and choose not accept the baby for whatever reason after he or she is born. In addition, because up to three embryos are transferred at once, you might have twins or triplets. Embryo adoption can also be more difficult emotionally than traditional adoption, since there is no guarantee that in the end you will have a child.
Since 1997, Nightlight has completed over 1000 embryo adoptions. Nightlight completes about 80-100 embryo adoptions each year and with ongoing embryo transfers there are always 25-35 babies due at any given time.
No, we are trying to provide a loving option to the families of the over 1,000,000 remaining embryos frozen in clinics throughout the United States. As people (and clinics) have become more aware of all their available options in regards to the disposition of their embryos following in-vitro fertilization and become more attentive to the possibility of having remaining embryos, we have noticed an increased effort to limit the number of embryos that are created and to have plans in place for the disposition of their embryos following IVF. We would really prefer to work ourselves out of a job!
The Snowflake program offers embryo adoption to people worldwide, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. However, the frozen embryo transfer for international families must happen in the U.S. All embryos being placed for adoption are located in U.S. clinic or storage facilities.
You must have a completed home study. This is the same home study used to evaluate and educate adopting parents in traditional domestic adoptions. The adopting mother must also be able to carry a child to term. Your doctor will be asked to complete a form stating there are no contraindications to pregnancy. If the adopting mother is unable to carry a pregnancy, the adopting parents may secure a gestational carrier through a licensed provider. For additional requirements please contact a Snowflakes representative for our most current information packet.
Most placing families prefer matching with a married couple where the mother is 44 years or younger and the father is no older than 55. The age requirement of the Snowflakes program reflects this desire.
Yes. We can work with adopting families living in any state. You would just need to complete a Snowflakes Family Evaluation (SFE) [offered in ALL states and internationally] or work with a local adoption agency to complete your home study.
Yes, we can work with families internationally for the Snowflakes program. Please call our office and ask to speak with someone in the Snowflakes Program, or email us at email@example.com, to discuss your specific situation. We have helped many families adopt embryos while living internationally, but you would still need to travel to the U.S. for the frozen embryo transfer and complete a home study. If you are living in a country where English is not the primary language you may need to have your home study professionally translated.
Yes, single women under the age of 44 are eligible to apply. However, we feel it only fair to tell you that in our experience genetic families prefer placement with a married couple. As a single woman, you will likely have to wait longer for embryos and perhaps will not be matched within the time period you hope to become pregnant. Please contact our office if you are interested in adopting as a single mother to discuss your specific situation.
The adoption agreement and relinquishment forms are legal contracts between the two families. Currently, applicable law is property law, not adoption law. Snowflakes contracts have been successfully used for over 20 years and are updated regularly to reflect current laws and circumstances. The contract covers the transfer of property and includes additional adoption language. These legal forms are signed and executed prior to the embryos being shipped to your clinic and before the embryos are transferred into the adoptive mother’s womb. Once the adoptive mother gives birth, her name and her husband’s names will be listed on the birth certificate as the mother and father. If the adoptive family has chosen to use a gestational carrier, their assisted reproductive technology (ART) attorney will assist them in completing any additional legal requirements to ensure they are recognized as the child’s parents.
Placing parents and traditional birthparents are in very different situations. A woman placing her born child for adoption may be unprepared for the emotions she will feel upon her child’s birth and therefore may change her mind and choose to parent her baby. In embryo adoption, the placing parents are typically more mature, have an established family with children born from this set of embryos, understand the demands of parenting a child or children and are purposefully choosing to give their remaining embryos the opportunity to be born through placement with an adopting family.
Our experience indicates that if the placing family has doubts about placing their embryos, they will place their file on hold before ever being matched with an adoptive family. Once they are matched, the placing family transfers their ownership rights by signing a relinquishment prior to the embryos being shipped to your clinic. The placing parents have 3 business days from the date they sign the relinquishment in which to change their minds and notify the agency. In our years of placing embryos, this has never happened.
Absolutely not. The law in the U.S. states the woman who gives birth to a child is the legal mother and the man to whom she is married is the legal father. Your names are placed on the birth certificate as the legal parents. We have never in the history of the program had a placing family take action to gain custody of a child born as a result of their embryo donation.
In the application phase you will complete your application, agency agreements, a home study, and your family profile. You will also provide paperwork completed by your doctor verifying your ability to carry. It is at this time you will also establish care with the Snowflakes preferred partner clinic of your choice.
If you completed a Snowflakes Family Evaluation you will have to complete a new Domestic home study through a licensed agency, like Nightlight, in your state of residence. The SFE is only valid for embryo adoption. You may want to discuss your thoughts regarding switching from Snowflakes to Domestic with your social worker before you begin the home study process.
It is a mutual selection matching process. Both placing and adopting families provide Nightlight with information about themselves and indicate what type of family they are looking for. The placing family indicates their preferences for the following: adoptive family’s age, length of marriage, number of children, income, work/childcare plans, religion, prior marriages, and ethnicity as well as their desire for future contact. When we have an adopting family on file who matches those criteria, their Family Profile is sent to the placing family for consideration/selection. If the adopting family is selected by the placing family, the placing family’s Family Profile and medical information are sent to the adopting family for consideration/selection.
Adoptive parents receive a Family Profile including some autobiographical information and generally a few pictures. You also receive three generations of medical health history on the placing family, as well as information about the embryos. If an egg donor or sperm donor was used, you will receive any information the placing parents received when they selected their donor. This may include autobiographical information, health information, and possibly pictures. While doctors may suggest you seek a certain grade/stage of embryo to adopt, we have seen embryos deemed “excellent” not achieve pregnancy, and embryos deemed “poor quality” born nine months later as healthy babies. The embryo grade and quality cannot guarantee or prevent a pregnancy. Your doctor and embryologist will receive the information about the embryos and their stage of development so they know how to adequately culture and care for them during your frozen embryo transfer.
The purpose of open adoption is to provide security for your child as they grow and begin to ask questions about their heritage and genetic origins. It provides answers for them, minimizing their loss of relationships by maintaining and celebrating their connections with all the important people in his or her life (especially in an embryo adoption where your child likely has full genetic siblings). It also serves to provide comfort and encourage the placing family with the knowledge that they have chosen a family for their embryos and will know the outcome of the adoption, including the peace that comes with knowing the child is happy and thriving; enjoying the life they hoped and prayed for.
Open adoption also empowers you in raising your child, by providing knowledge about your child’s genetic family and their family medical history. During the home study, you will learn of the many positive aspects of open adoption and your social worker will discuss with you the contact arrangement you are most comfortable with. It is very important that you be honest and open with your social worker about the type of relationship you envision with your placing family throughout the adoption and transfer process, after your child is born and throughout your child’s life.
No. While we understand your desire to bring home a baby as soon as possible, once you are ready to be matched with a genetic family, we require that you work with only one adoption program. At that point, you need to be ready to commit to the placing family with whom you are matched.
Placing parents differ from a “typical” traditional birthparent in several ways. A woman placing her born child for adoption may be unprepared for the emotions she will feel upon her child’s birth and therefore may choose to parent her baby. In an embryo adoption the placing parents are typically older, have a family, have been through the infertility process, understand the demands of parenting a child or children and fully understand that they cannot emotionally and/or financially add additional children to their family. Most placing families have had time to contemplate their options while their embryos are in storage before they contact us.
You will adopt all of the embryos that the placing family you are matched with has remaining. You might be matched with a placing family who has two or three embryos, or you might be matched with a family who has ten or twelve. Most frequently placing families have three, or four embryos to place for adoption. These may sound like small numbers, but with increased technology for freezing and thawing, more embryos are surviving the thaw process to be transferred. There is no maximum number of embryos a couple can adopt; you will adopt all the embryos a placing family has to place. When a baby is born, the adoption is complete. For example, if you are matched with a family with three embryos, become pregnant and deliver a baby (or two or three) your adoption would be complete and you would be able to adopt more embryos through a new adoption after your baby was home with you for nine months. (See Post Adoption section) Re-matching for $2,000 is an option for couples who do not have a baby through their initial match. Please note: You must notify us that you want to be matched with your next placing family within 12 months of your last frozen embryo transfer or your file will be closed due to inactivity.
No. Each of the embryos in our program is equally important and therefore we do not require that they undergo the genetic testing necessary to determine the sex of the embryo. Therefore just like in other pregnancies you will be “surprised” with the sex of the baby. You may even want to plan a gender reveal party!
No. We are not an embryo storage facility; we are an adoption agency. The embryos never come to our office but are sent directly to our partner clinics from your placing family’s clinic or storage facility.
We require that our families limit the number of embryos transferred to the number that they are willing to carry to term in the event that all the embryos attach. Generally, we encourage families to transfer no more than 1 or 2 embryos per transfer. This is a discussion you will have with your physician.
We hope your intentions will be to thaw and transfer all the embryos you adopt, over a reasonable period of time, to allow the genetic siblings to stay together if at all possible. However, if unforeseen circumstances result in your inability to carry more children or undergo further transfers, the embryos can be replaced for adoption through Snowflakes with a new family. Per the contract you signed, the ownership of the embryos will either revert back to the placing family and they choose another adopting family or you maintain ownership of the embryos and find a new adopting family. If it is agreed that you maintain ownership of the embryos, you are obligated to continuing paying for embryo storage until you find a secondary match.
Snowflakes Program fee: $9,000
Home study agency fee: $1,500-3,500
Fertility clinic frozen embryo transfer fees: $3,500-6,000
TOTAL FEES: $13,500-17,000
What additional out-of-pocket expenses can we expect?
You may also have additional expenses involved in completing your homestudy (approx. $500, for fingerprinting, medicals, DMV records, CPR/First Aid classes, etc.) and clinic fees for any subsequent FETs. Check with your home study agency and clinic for an estimate of these fees.