My child needs a driver’s license, but we never got a birth certificate.  What should we do?

Driver license

In California, only ONE document proving identity and birthdate is required.  Acceptable documents include:

  1. A passport
  2. A US birth certificate
  3. Certificate of Citizenship
  4. Permanent Resident card
  5. Foreign passport with unexpired visa I-94

There are several ways to obtaining the first 3 documents.  For most adoptees, the easiest form of ID to obtain is a passport.  And that’s the easiest document to provide for the driver’s license.  See here for California requirements.

Passport

For a passport, you will need a Certificate of Citizenship (mailed to you by USCIS after the adoption).  In addition, you can provide any ONE of the following

  1. Original passport (which you used to bring your child home)
  2. Original birth certificate (which your adoption agency may have a copy of)
  3. Driver’s license

See here for passport identification documents.

Certificate of Citizenship

When your child was adopted, they were most likely also declared a citizen.  As a result, you would have received a certificate of citizenship in the mail.  If you did not save this document, you can contact USCIS and ask for a copy.  In addition, you can ask USCIS for copies of all the original documents provided for your adoption (your child’s original birth certificate, original passport).

Click here to apply for replacement certificate of citizenship

Birth Certificate

You can get a US birth certificate by any of these 2 methods

  1. Do a “re-adopt” where you finalize your adoption in the US. Contact a local adoption attorney or agency to learn about the readopt process in your state.
  2. Bring the child home on guardianship, and finalize the adoption in a US court. In this case, the you will be issued a new birth certificate.  This is only applicable to certain countries (Hong Kong, Philippines).

New model of foster care launches in Adams County

From https://co4kids.org/community/new-model-foster-care-launches-adams-county

Thornton, Colorado –  Adams County Human Services and Nightlight Christian Adoptions have opened two homes designed to provide safety, comfort and security to children in foster care at a time when they are most vulnerable: immediately after being removed from their home. This new model of foster care, called Homes for Hope, is designed to provide temporary foster care for children in emergency situations within Adams County.

“We are absolutely thrilled to partner with Adams County for this project. We feel this is a perfect opportunity for children to have a safe haven – a warm smile and warm bed at a time when they are most vulnerable. It’s not enough for children to be safe, they must also feel safe,” Meaghan Nally, foster care program manager for Nightlight Christian Adoptions, said. “It is an absolutely new model, and we hope it can become a national model for emergency foster care.”

Two single-family homes have been renovated specifically for the program, accommodating eight to 10 children at a time. The program will allow the children to stay in their current school and community and ensure sibling sets are kept together. The program allows Adams County time to find suitable long-term treatment options.

Homes for Hope is the first of its kind in the country and could serve as a model to support children and families in all communities. Prioritization will be given to children from birth to 10 years old, but will serve children up to 18 years old to keep sibling sets together. One of the homes is set up to accommodate teen mothers.

Nightlight Christian Adoption is currently looking for interested families who would be willing to become foster parents and live in the homes full-time. “There is a shortage of foster parents across Colorado, and we need the community to provide the safety and care children and teens in Adams County need,” Nally said. “The ideal Homes for Hope foster parent is trauma-informed, has parenting experience, and is willing to move into one of the two homes. They are teachable, flexible and tenacious.”

Nightlight Christian Adoptions is a child placement agency located in Loveland, Colorado. The agency has provided foster care and adoption services since 1959 with licensed offices in nine states. Nightlight is currently recruiting for two families to move into the homes and families interested in becoming foster parents. To learn more, contact Meaghan Nally at [email protected], call (970)663-6799 or visit www.nightlight.org.

What is an Open Adoption Plan?

Is contact with placing families important in an embryo adoption match? How do you establish an open adoption? The Hendersons and Gassmans are embryo placing and adopting families who were matched through the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program. Listen as the two couples tell their open adoption story and the steps they purposefully made to build trust and love into their new family tree.

There is much fear and uncertainty regarding choosing an open adoption plan. These two families share with you their determination to overcome fear, resulting in great relationships for their children and for themselves.

18 Year Old Embryo Becomes a “Snowflake Baby” for Colorado Couple

There are few things more difficult emotionally than the inability to conceive a child.

For a couple in Parker, they had nearly given up hope of having a second baby after a reproductive health complication made it too difficult for them to conceive naturally.

That discouragement faded when Elizabeth and Marty Wilson learned about the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption program. 

The program, established in 1997 by Nightlight Christian Adoptions, works to help couples donating their embryos find the right match.

“A couple in California had a few embryos left over after doing IVF and instead of discarding them, they chose to donate them,” Elizabeth said, “And we are so grateful we were a match.”

That embryo was kept frozen for nearly 18 years in a plastic tube before being matched with the couple.

The Wilson’s fertility doctors assured them that the frozen embryo had the same chance at life as a new embryo.

“Baby Marley has quite the birth story with a twist” Elizabeth said “She was FedEx’d to us!”

About 9 months after a successful embryo transfer, Elizabeth gave birth to Marley Jade on June 3, 2016.

Read the original 9News KUSA story here.

The Joy of Adoption. The Miracle of Life.

Heartwarming stories for the Holiday Season…

Best of Greeley Article
by Kimberly Tyson

Hannah Strege is like most American teenagers. She likes to hang out with her friends. She listens to music and watches funny YouTube videos. She’s planning where she will go to college and hopes to become a physician’s assistant. She likes to eat pizza and go to movies. Yes, Hannah is an American girl.
Hannah’s parents, Marlene and John Strege, are delighted to have their American girl!

Back in the 90’s, the Streges were wondering if they would ever have a girl or a boy as they faced the stresses of an infertility diagnosis. As they discussed treatment options with their physician. Since the advent of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART), fertility clinics have been assisting patients achieve pregnancy through a treatment known as in vitro fertilization (IVF). Often, more embryos are created for the IVF treatment than are eventually used by the patient, thus creating a surplus of cryo-preserved embryos. Marlene asked her clinic if they had available embryos in frozen storage.

Marlene and John had already determined that they were not comfortable with creating more embryos through IVF, especially if it meant using donated human eggs. But this idea of using embryos that were waiting in frozen storage was intriguing. Marlene decided to seek out advice from life-long friend and experienced adoption attorney, Ron Stoddart and from several spiritual advisors, including Dr. James Dobson, to determine if using donated human embryos should be considered at all.

Simply being assigned anonymously donated embryos from a fertility clinic was not the procedure John and Marlene wanted to follow. They worked with Mr. Stoddart to develop the first embryo adoption program in the world, now known as the Snowflakes® Embryo Adoption Program. The Streges and Stoddart decided to name the program Snowflakes because like a delicate snowflake each embryo is frozen, unique and a gift from God. The program was officially established in 1997 as a division of Nightlight® Christian Adoptions.
Using the best practices of adoption, the Snowflakes program helps couples who have completed their family select another couple to donate their remaining embryos to in order to give those embryos a chance to be born. Hannah is Snowflake baby #1! She was born on January 31, 1998 and placed into the wondrous and grateful arms of her parents.

Fast forward to June 3, 2017. On this day, baby Marley was born to her parents Marty and Elizabeth, a healthy 8lb, 1.3oz, 20.5” girl. While Hannah (Snowflake baby #1) was born in 1998, Marley’s embryo was created in a petri dish and frozen in 1998. She was born nearly 18 years later after her parents adopted her and gave birth to her. Marley is Snowflake baby #470.

Experiencing pregnancy and childbirth is the primary motivation of most families who choose embryo adoption over other forms of adoption. It’s also an economical alternative, often costing much less than IVF or the domestic adoption of an infant. There are over 1,000,000 embryos in frozen storage in the U.S.; not all will be donated for reproduction, but Snowflakes provides potential donors with a life-giving choice for their remaining embryos.

The Snowflakes program is managed right here in Loveland, CO, serving clients throughout the country and the world. In 2017, Snowflakes will celebrate its 20th anniversary and the birth of the 500th Snowflake baby!

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Embryo Quality: Choosing Life

How important is embryo quality? There are a variety of methods used by medical professionals to grade frozen human embryos, projecting the likelihood of pregnancy success. However, many healthy children have been born from embryos given a poor quality rating by the medical community. Dr. Jeffrey Nelson of HRC Fertility helps us gain some understanding about this frequently misunderstood topic.

These videos were produced by Nightlight Christian Adoptions and supported by grant #1EAAPA151027 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Department.

Webinar: Embryo Adoption: Dispelling the Myths

Webinar: Embryo Adoption: Dispelling the Myths

Couples who have been unsuccessful at IVF will also not have success if they try to adopt an embryo. True or False? Parents don’t need to tell their children that they came from a donor conception. Adoption agencies charge exorbitant fees for embryo adoption services, the same cost as IVF. What is the truth? Let’s uncover the facts about these questions and more – ranging from the cost of an embryo adoption to the quality of embryos required by clinics assisting embryo adoptions around the country.

Webinar: The Affordable and Accessible Adoption Choice

Webinar: The Affordable and Accessible Adoption Choice

Is it possible that embryo adoption will be the solution that brings a sweet baby into your loving arms? Are you frustrated by the high cost of in vitro fertilization? Heartbroken by your IVF treatment failures? Embryo donation and adoption is a proven successful process allowing families with remaining embryos to donate them to another family that is desiring to experience pregnancy and childbirth. We invite you to come and learn more about this amazing adoption choice which has allowed over 10,000 babies to be born. This presentation was highlighted during the 2017 American Fertility Expo.

Snowflakes Pages

Nightlight Christian Adoptions is in the process of building some new pages to highlight our Snowflakes embryo adoption and donation processes. Stay tuned for easy to access information.