Adoption Tax Credit Resources

Tax Credit Resources for Funding an Adoption Funding Resources After You Adopt

tax credit

DATED MATERIAL
We at Nightlight are neither accountants, nor are we financial or tax experts. The material in this document can change as new laws are implemented or organizations change policies. All information, especially related to taxes and benefits, should be discussed with your CPA or other tax expert. This information is provided as general information and is not a guide in completing tax forms, etc.

FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENT

FEDERAL TAX CREDIT: $12,970 FOR ADOPTIONS OCCURRING IN 2013

Great news: The adoption tax credit has been permanently extended!!

The Adoption Tax Credit is $12,970 for 2013. For a thorough overview of the tax credit read the FAQs on the tax credit AdoptionTaxCredit.org. For adoptions occurring in 2014, the tax credit will be $13,190.

What this means to, you, the adoptive families:

You may apply up to $12,970 of your adoption expenses toward your federal taxes when you file your 2013 taxes, depending upon the year that your adoption was finalized.

If you adopted in 2012, the Joint Tax Committee says that for 2012, the maximum benefit will be $12,170 (indexed for inflation after 2010).

When the adoption tax credit is only a credit, you can only get back what you have paid in taxes. This amount can be carried forward for up to 5 years. So if you only pay $4,000 in federal income tax per year, and you adopted in 2012, it will take you 3 years in filing taxes before you can recoup all of the tax credit due you.

What if I adopt 2 children? Do I get double the tax credit/refund?

If you adopt two children in 2013, you could have a tax credit up to $25,940 and your total expenses come to $25,940 or more. It is important to note that if your income is too high, you could be phased out of the tax credit. Also, if your income is lower and you receive many tax breaks, you may not be able get the tax credit if you are not paying Federal Income Tax. If you adopt three children, the credit/refund could be about $37,000, as long as your adoption-related expenses are that high.

This means that if you adopted two children and the adoption fees and expenses came to $30,000, and your federal tax liability was $7,000, you would receive the $7,000 as a credit against your liability. Because the full tax credit applies only to families earning an income of $194,540 or less, most families will need to carry their tax-credit forward at least one more years if they adopt more than one child.

If I apply for the Adoption Tax Credit, am I likely to be audited?

69% of all adoption tax credit claims in the 2012 filing season were selected for audit. This means you can reasonably expect your credit application to be audited. Track your adoption expenses and keep all receipts from the day your adoption journey begins.

What if my employer provides adoption benefits?

If your company has employer-provided adoption assistance, you can receive up to $10,100 in tax-free income. Also, your employer can reduce your salary to pay the adoption benefit so that you can receive tax-free income.

So if your adoption expenses, including all agency/attorney fees, come to $30,000, and your employer gives you $12,970 as an employee benefit, which is tax-free, and you pay $3,000 in federal income tax, then your total expenses related to the adoption the first year would be only $17,000. You can continue to take the tax credit each year for five years until you reach $12,970 in tax credit. Your overall net cost for the adoption could be as low as $12,970 for such an adoption.

We encourage you to talk with your employer, who may not normally offer adoption benefits, to consider providing this benefit to you. You are permitted to reduce your salary by up to $12,970 and instead be given this benefit as non-taxable income. So if your adoption fees and expenses come to $28,000, and your employer gives you $12,970 in tax-free income, you will most likely save in taxes owed overall to the State, to Social Security, and Medicaid as well as to the federal government. If you are adopting siblings, the employer-provided benefits can double or triple, based on the number of children you are adopting as long as your adoption related expenses are also this high.

If your company is the rare employer that provides more than $12,970 in adoption benefits, then the remaining benefit over $12,970 is taxable. So if you receive $15,000 in adoption benefits from your employer, you will have to pay taxes on the $2,030.

Read more about employer benefits go to http://adoptivefamilies.com/articles.php?aid=832

Here is what someone said about Wheaton College of Illinois “The model chosen by the college is to provide an equivalent benefit to parents by adoption as they do for biological parents. A parent is a parent and a family is a family! In dollars and cents the adoption benefit is an approximation of the insurance costs for a normal and healthy delivery. That works out to be just $10,320. An additional benefit of the financial benefit is the growing number of adoptive families within the college community.”

See information on page 4 regarding employer benefits

When is a family’s income too high to get the tax credit?

The tax credit is phased out for families with a gross adjusted income (AGI) of $194.540 or more, and is completely phased out for those with an AGI of $234,580 or more.

What about failed adoptions?

If you adopt domestically and the adoption fails, then you can take the adoption tax-credit the year after your adoption has failed. (No credit can be taken for failed international adoptions.) So if you were in the process of adopting domestically, and spent $7,000 on adoption related fees and birth mother living expenses and the birthmother changed her mind in 2012, you can take the tax credit of $7,000 when you file your 2013 taxes in 2014. Of course, you have to wait until 2014 to receive those funds. Likewise, if you were to enter an adoption in 2013 and the birth mother changes her mind, then you cannot claim the lost funds as a tax credit until you file your taxes for 2014.

What about adopting children with special needs?

The special provisions for those adopting children with special needs who pay minimal or no adoption related fees may still be eligible for the tax credit if the adopted children are placed through social services or an agency with a contract with social services.

(Nightlight cannot provide tax advice to your specific situation. This information has been provided in conjunction with attorney John Hine for Greenville, SC. As with all tax matters, consult with a tax attorney or CPA.)

For more information on filing for the adoption tax and other information go to: ABBA Fund: Everything You Want to Know and More About the Adoption Tax Credit by Jason Kovacs. This document has up to the minute information.

State Tax Credits

Some states provide a tax credit. For example, in South Carolina families may be eligible for a $2,000 income deduction on their SC Individual Income Tax return if they have adopted a child with special needs or one who is at risk for special needs. The deduction can begin in the year the adoption was made final. A letter from the adoption agency certifying that their adopted child had a special need or was at risk, should be attached to the family’s tax return. Consult the instructions accompanying state tax returns or a tax advisor.

SC NON-RECURRING COSTS SUBSIDY

Many South Carolina families adopting domestically or adopting an international child who came to the US on a guardianship program are approved to receive $1,500 from the State of SC when adopting. The information regarding this is included in the Nightlight home study packet.

EMPLOYER ADOPTION BENEFITS

 

DAVE THOMAS FOUNDATION

www.davethomasfoundation.org

This program provides information about adoption benefits to employers and employees in both the public and private sectors. Funded by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, the project maintains a database of employers with adoption benefits—financial reimbursement, paid and/or unpaid leave time, and resource and referral services. This list is updated regularly. As a result of this program, more than 250 employers have implemented or improved adoption benefits, impacting 1.5 million employees nationwide.

CALIFORNIA EMPLOYERS

AC Vroman Inc.
Acrometal Companies Inc.
Adaptec, Inc.
ADC Telecommunications
ADP Foundation
Advantis
AES Corporation
AGIA, Inc.
See a full list of CA Employers in the Tax Credit PDF Document

COLORADO EMPLOYERS

CoBank $3,500
CSG Systems, Inc. $5,000
McKesson Corporation $2,000
Merlin International, Inc. $10,000
Molson Coors Brewing Company $3,000
Verizon Business $10,000

SOUTH CAROLINA EMPLOYERS

Listed are employers who provide adoption benefits. The information can change as employers decide to modify their benefits package.

STATE OF SC EMPLOYEES

State of SC employees can receive up to $5,000 in benefits and $12,970 if the child has special needs. There is a pool of money that is divided out among the adoptive families. There is also a specific time frame in which you can submit the request for benefits. Check the Employee Insurance Program website for details on their Adoption Assistance Programs.

Blackbaud, Inc. $3,000
BMW $5,000
First Reliance Bank $5,000 8 12 weeks
First Sun Management Corporation $7,000 3
FiJi $7,000

FEDERAL EMPLOYEES

www.opm.gov/employment_and_benefits/worklife/officialdocuments/handbooksguides/adoption/index.asp
Federal employees can check the Office of Personnel Management website for detail on adoption benefits.Federal Family Medical Leave Act

Unpaid leave under the Federal Family Medical Leave Act is also an option. This act allows individuals to take up to 12 weeks off, unpaid with benefits without jeopardizing employment. The leave can provide valuable time for newly adoptive families to bond with their new child.

Adoption Fundraising

Adoption Bridge_logo_final_4-24-15

 

Adoption Fundraising Crowdfunding

AdoptionBridge

 

 

Adoption Bridge

www.AdoptionBridge.org
AdoptionBridge is a website where you can tell your adoption story, post pictures, videos, and keep people informed about what’s going on. You can accept donations from your friends and family, and these funds are sent to Nightlight (or your adoption agency). Set up a page for your adoption, and then send the link to all your friends, church members, family, etc.

Other ways to Fund Adoption

Grants for adoptive families.

Loans  Zero or low interest loans just for adoption.

Fund Raising Crowd funding has become very common.

Tax Credit  Receive up to $13,500 back on taxes!

AAP $Monthly payments to you from the state!

Download all the above material in one PDF

Additional Information

www.zoefoundation.org
This organization assists families who are adopting children with Down syndrome.

MAKING DONATIONS TOWARD AN ADOPTION

Family and friends can make a donation toward an adoption by donating to a non-profit organization, which, in turn, will contribute to your adoption. For donors to receive a tax deduction, they must make their checks payable to the non-profit organization. DONORS MUST NOT WRITE the adoptive family’s name on the check. The donor can place the adoptive family or child’s name on a sticky note and then place it on the check. Adoptive families CANNOT donate toward their own expenses. However, ask your agency if any part of the agency’s fees is tax-deductible donations.

As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the organization or agency collecting the funds must have complete control over the funds and is in no way obligated to place the donated funds toward the adoptive parents’ adoption expenses. If the family for some reason does not proceed with an adoption, then the donations cannot be returned to the donor.

If a family member is 70 ½ or older, there is a further incentive for that relative to make a donation: Congress has reinstated the IRA Charitable Rollover for 2010 and 2011. Those 70 ½ and older can distribute funds directly from their IRAs to a tax-exempt entity. The transfer will count toward the person’s minimum required distribution and will not count as taxable income. The person will receive the equivalent of a charitable deduction even if that person does not itemize deductions on the donor’s tax return. The extension of the IRA Charitable Rollover allows gifts made by January 31, 2011, to be treated as 2010 donations.

Recommended Fundraising Reading Resources

Adopt Without Debt: Creative Ways to Cover the Cost of Adoption
by Julie Gumm

Passionate about helping others achieve their adoption dream, author and adoptive parent Julie Gumm shares how to find extra money in your household budget, apply for grants, and fundraise in order to build your family without saddling it with debt.

Juliegumm.com

Support Nightlight Christian Adoptions

 

Adoptions are expensive and most people do not understand why. When there are orphans around the world needing families, why is it so expensive to give them a forever family?

We wish it weren’t so. At Nightlight, we try very hard to keep the costs of adoptions as low as possible while providing our clients with trustworthy and competent services. Adopting families generally cover the costs of their own adoptions. The cost of the supporting personnel necessary to maintain domestic and international programs cannot be born entirely by families using the agency’s services. Nightlight’s mission is to help children and they certainly are in no position to pay their own way. So we ask you to help Nightlight continue to serve children and families and advocate for life from conception.

When you make a donation to Nightlight, you will be helping us with these vital programs:

  • Expanding our outreach to women with unplanned pregnancies — did you know less than 2% of single women who give birth, place their child for adoption?
  • Helping fund our orphan care ministries staff – both U.S. and abroad.
  • Funding our reserve to maintain long-tern financial stability – in the face of a challenging world.
  • Providing advance funding to begin new international programs.
  • Supporting our post adoption services to help children and families through those rough patches.
  • Donating for special activities and events that raise funds and provide great fellowship opportunities.
Support Nightlight Christian Adoptions

You can designate the area of interest or just select General Donation in the drop down menu.

General Donation
Domestic Program
International Program
Snowflakes Program
Year-End Fundraiser
Orphan Tour
Gala

Nightlight Christian Adoptions Announces Launch of Newly Re-designed Website

Nightlight® Christian Adoptions is pleased to announce the launch of their newly re-designed website, https://nightlight.org/. The website provides detailed information about the comprehensive adoptive services they provide to hopeful parents and pregnant women, fulfilling their mission to provide every child with a loving family.

Determined to provide hopeful parents with more adoption choices, Nightlight offers domestic adoption, international adoption, and pioneered embryo adoption services through their Snowflakes® Embryo Adoption Program. Families can evaluate all of the options available to them for bringing children into their home.

Nightlight is known for providing all-inclusive information on the Internet about their adoption programs, educational resources for birthparents and parents and funding resources. The website was specifically redesigned to make it easier for visitors to find the information of interest to them. With a new layout, easier navigation, better organization, and an overall pleasing appearance, Nightlight’s website offers a wealth of information for parents looking to adopt, or pregnant women looking for options.

Kimberly Tyson, Marketing & Program Director at Nightlight says, “It was time for us to redesign the website and make it brighter and better organized for our clients. With so many excellent adoption programs to choose from, information needs to be presented clearly so people just beginning to explore their adoption choices are not overwhelmed! On our new website, it is easy to explore only the sections of interest to the client.”

In addition, Nightlight is introducing a new program to their website called Orphan Galaxy. Nightlight has had a commitment to providing worldwide orphan care assistance since 1959. The Orphan Galaxy is a section of the website where visitors can make recurring donations and regularly see how their donations are impacting the lives of children.

Nightlight Christian Adoptions provides adoption services as a permanent response for children without parents through child advocacy, parent education and lifelong support… because every child deserves a loving family. Serving children and families throughout the world for more than 50 years, Nightlight has been bringing parents and children together through adoption to form loving and supportive families. Visit the new website at https://nightlight.org for more information.

Children in His Image – Special Needs Adoptions

special needs adoptionEducation and Advocacy for Special Needs Adoption

Recognizing the great need to place more children with special needs for adoption, in 2009 Nightlight began “Children in His Image,” a program with the following goals:

  • Inform the public about the plight of orphans with special physical, mental and emotional needs.
  • Share the availability of orphans with special needs with prospective families.
  • Educate families how to best serve these children.
  • Highlight adoption programs that place children with special needs.

Sign up for the Waiting Children Email List

Babushka Scholarship Fund Information & Application

Adoption Programs

The following Nightlight programs have many special needs children available for adoption:

China Adoption Program
Orphans with a variety of special needs are waiting in Chinese orphanages for adoption — some with very minor special needs. While China’s regular adoption program can now take in excess of 8 years from start to finish, the wait for a child with special needs is between 6 and 15 months.

Ukraine Adoption Program
A majority of children available for adoption from Ukraine are older or have special needs.

Hong Kong Adoption Program

Latvia Adoption Program

Bulgaria Adoption Program

Adoption Resource Library

adoption resource

Nightlight Christian Adoptions has compiled lists of websites and print resources to help our families become better educated about their pending adoption or foster care placement, and the child you hope to bring home! These resources include information regarding all stages of the adoption process and touch on all types of adoptions. You may also want to read through our comprehensive FAQs for helpful answers to questions.
Locating the information you need regarding adoption can be overwhelming. We have evaluated the resources below and wish to provide you the most helpful information. Please email us your feedback or questions regarding these resources.

Other Services Nightlight Provides

In addition to adoptions and home studies, Nightlight provides other services to adoptive families, such as:

Adoption Fundraising – Can it be affordable?

Adoption Fundraising

Adoption Fundraising

It is possible to make your adoption affordable. Nightlight will partner with you to explore all options, and help make it happen. Some Nightlight clients have fully funded their adoption through no-interest loans, grants, tax credits, and fundraising!

Why Is Adoption So Expensive?

How in the World Do You Afford Adoption?

Fund Your Adoption PDF

 

Below is an example of how a typical couple could fund an adoption from Russia, which could cost about $42,000, but may only require $9,000 out of pocket expenses. Click on the links below to learn more about each source of funding.

____________________________________

Total Expenses $42,000

Grants $5,000

Loans $10,000

Fund Raising $4,500

Tax Credit $13,500

AAP $Monthly payments to you from the state!

Out of Pocket $9,000
____________________________________

Keep in mind that adoptions from foster care are generally free, or minimal cost.  In fact, families who provide foster care or who adopt from foster care are eligible for a monthly stipend from the state, free medical care, and other subsidies.

Adoption Fundraising

Adoption Fundraising

Fundraising Resources through Nightlight

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Adoption Bridge

AdoptionBridge is a website where you can tell your adoption story, post pictures, videos, and keep people informed about what’s going on. You can accept donations from your friends and family, and these funds are sent to Nightlight (or your adoption agency). Set up a page for your adoption, and then send the link to all your friends, church members, family, etc.
www.AdoptionBridge.org

Nightlight Foundation (formerly “Babushka Fund”) Scholarship Program

This need-based fund supports the adoption of hard to place or special needs children through domestic adoption or international adoption. Our scholarship committee reviews applications and awards available money to prospective adopting families.

Nightlight Foundation Scholarship Information & Application

Frequently Asked Adoption Questions – FAQs

Frequently Asked QuestionsClick on the title of the section you wish to learn more about to jump to that section.

GENERAL FAQs
BIRTHPARENT FAQs
HOME STUDY FAQs
DOMESTIC ADOPTION FAQs
INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION FAQs
EMBRYO/SNOWFLAKES ADOPTION FAQs
FOSTER CARE AND FOST-ADOPT FAQs


General FAQs

Click on the question to read the answer.

What services does Nightlight(NCA) offer?

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

 

Is Nightlight a non-profit agency?

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.

What is your licensure information?

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, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, Georgia, and South Carolina.

What is Nightlight’s Statement of Faith?

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.

What if we are not Christians; will you still work with us?

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).

What does it mean to be a Christian?

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).


Birthparent FAQs

Click on the question to read the answer.

What are the ages of children that you place through Nightlight?

We typically place newborns in our domestic program. It is rare for an older child to be placed through private adoption.

What kind of criteria should I consider when selecting a family for my child?

A few of the concerns you might have when selecting an adoptive family who will love and parent your child are:

  • marital status and length of marriage
  • any previous marriages
  • age of parents
  • any other children in home
  • employment status of parents
  • financial stability
  • religion
  • compatible personalities and arrangement for ongoing contact

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.

What if I’m matched with an adoptive family through another source?

Notify our office and your social worker immediately. Depending upon the situation, you may be eligible for counseling services as a modified adoption.

When does California, Colorado, Missouri, South Carolina and Oklahoma law say the relinquishment can be signed?

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.

How long do birthparents have to change their mind?

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.

What is Special Baby Care?

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.

What rights does the child’s father have under California, Colorado, Missouri, South Carolina and Oklahoma law?

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.

Why choose open adoption?

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.

What is the adoption triad?

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.

What varying degrees of contact are available in open adoption?

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.

Home Study FAQs

Click on the question to read the answer.

What is an adoption home study?

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.

How can we find a local agency to do our 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.

Is there anything specific the home study needs to include in order to fulfill your requirements?

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 embryo adoption may be different from a traditional domestic adoption. Nightlight can provide you with an Embryo Adoption Education outline of issues for you to discuss with your social worker.

Your social worker should make note of the embryo adoption education discussion in your home study, in addition to the formal general adoption education classes that are also required. If your social worker has any questions, have them contact Nightlight for further clarification. Once your home study is complete please have your social worker forward an original signed copy to our office.

We have a completed home study; can we ask our home study agency to forward you a copy?

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.

Will our home study need to be updated?

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.

Domestic Adoption FAQs

Click on the question to read the answer.

Is Nightlight Christian Adoptions a non-profit agency?

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.

Is Nightlight Hague Accredited? State Licensed?

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, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas.

Does Nightlight assist with out-of-state adoptions?

We can assist you with an interstate adoption either originating or finalizing in California, Colorado, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, Georgia, 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.

What is domestic 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.

What are the different types of domestic adoption?

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.

What is the benefit of an agency adoption versus a designated or independent adoption?

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.

Approximately how long does it usually take to adopt domestically?

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.

Will Nightlight allow us to pursue a domestic and international adoption simultaneously?

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.

What is the adoption process?

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 we are matched with a birth mother from out of state, how many times will we be required to travel to our child’s birth state?

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
finalization hearing

Can we be undergoing fertility treatments while in the adoption process?

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.

What if we become pregnant during the adoption process?

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.

What if we are not Christians?

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

What varying degrees of contact are available in open adoption?

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.

What is your agency’s philosophy about open and closed adoptions?

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.

Why choose open adoption?

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.

The Matching Process for Domestic Adoption

When does Nightlight begin matching us with a birth mother?

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.

What criteria is a birth mother considering when selecting a family for her child?

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.

What parameters may an adoptive couple set before their profile is shown to a birth mother?

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.

Do you allow adoptive couples to specify the sex of the infant they wish to adopt?

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.

Will you notify us when you are showing our profile?

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.

What happens when a birthparent chooses to meet us?

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.

What if we are matched with a birth mother through another source?

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.

Questions about the Birthparents

How do birth mothers come to Nightlight?

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.

What age are the children placed for adoption?

We typically place newborns in our domestic program. It is rare for an older child to be placed through private adoption.

Does the birth mother have a counselor that she works with?

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.

How much counseling does the birth mother receive prior to and following the child’s birth?

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.

Are birth mothers drug/alcohol tested before they are matched with prospective adoptive parents?

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.

Are we given the birthparent’s medical/general background information? If so, when do we receive it?

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.

Will we be at the hospital when the baby is born?

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.

What is expected of us at the hospital?

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.

Do we bring our birthparent a gift?

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.

At what point can we bring the baby home?

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.

If we are completing an Interstate Adoption how long will we need to stay in the receiving state?

You will need to stay in your child’s birth state generally up to 14 business days from the time of your child’s placement until the Interstate Compact paperwork has been approved by both states (your child’s birth state and your state of residence). During this time, if your family does not meet the foster care requirements of your child’s birth state, your baby may be placed in an approved home for cradle care, where you will be able to visit and care for your baby on a daily basis. Cradle care expenses will be the responsibility of the adoptive parents. If your family meets the foster care requirements of your child’s birth state, then your child will remain with you at your hotel. When the approval is received from the Interstate Compact Coordinators from both states, you are then able to take your baby with you and return home

How long does the birth mother/ birth father have to decided to parent the child/ “change their mind”?

This time frame depends upon the state laws where your child is born and the birth mother resides. Please see previous

state-by-state explanation. In most states once the birth mother/birth father has signed the voluntary petition to terminate parental rights, they can decide to parent the child/”change their mind” any time before those rights are officially terminated by a judge in court. This time period can vary depending upon the court system, but typically ranges from between one and four months. During this time period, if the birth parent decides to withdraw the petition to terminate their rights, our agency would consider the birth parents’ situation and discuss with the adoptive parents before determining what is in the best interest of the child, and whether it would be appropriate to pursue an involuntary termination of parental rights. In the event that the decision is made to pursue an involuntary termination of parental rights, the additional legal costs are the responsibility of the adoptive family. In a situation where the birth parent decides to parent, and the agency and adoptive family are pursuing an involuntary termination of parental rights, it is the decision of the judge to determine what is in the best interest of the child.

What are our responsibilities after we take the baby home?

If you live in one of Nightlight’s licensed areas, our agency will be completing post-placement visits and reports according to the schedule dictated by your state of residence and your child’s birth state. If you live out of Nightlight’s licensed area, these will be completed by your home study provide. In addition, we require all families to submit to our agency several photos of the baby, along with a letter to the birthparents updating how the baby is doing, quarterly for the first year, and then annually until the child turns 18 years old.

Expenses and Financing

What would you estimate the cost for the adoption to be?

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.

If we are completing an Interstate Adoption how long will we need to stay in the receiving state?

You will need to stay in your child’s birth state generally up to 14 business days from the time of your child’s placement until the Interstate Compact paperwork has been approved by both states (your child’s birth state and your state of residence). During this time, if your family does not meet the foster care requirements of your child’s birth state, your baby may be placed in an approved home for cradle care, where you will be able to visit and care for your baby on a daily basis. Cradle care expenses will be the responsibility of the adoptive parents. If your family meets the foster care requirements of your child’s birth state, then your child will remain with you at your hotel. When the approval is received from the Interstate Compact Coordinators from both states, you are then able to take your baby with you and return home

What are “Program Fees”?

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.

Why are fees non refundable once paid?

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.

What birth mother expenses are not covered by Nightlight?

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.

Do my program fees cover attorney expenses?

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.

Is there financial assistance available?

Listed below are some common sources of financial help for families that adopt:
Tax Credit
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 assistanceVarious 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.

International Adoption FAQs

What are the basic steps in the international adoption process?

  • 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. Nightlight requires that any family adopting through one of our international programs have their home study completed by a Hague accredited agency, even if the adoption is from a non-Hague country. If there is no Hague accredited agency in your area, please contact Nightlight to discuss your options.
  • Dossier: The documents required by the foreign government to allow you to adopt a child from the country. These documents typically must be notarized and finalized with an apostille.
  • Referral: Based on the information you submit in your dossier, the foreign government will issue you an official referral of a child(ren) for adoption. Depending upon the country you are adopting from, you will either travel to the country to receive the referral and meet the child or you will receive information on the child including pictures and medicals prior to travel.
  • Post-Adoption: You will register your child’s passport with the embassy and provide Post-Adoption reports completed by your social worker along with pictures of your child for a period of time after your adoption, as specified by each individual country.

How much does it cost to adopt?

Each country program has its own fee schedule, and this is all outlined in our International Adoption Programs Booklet. Nightlight has established a special scholarship program for those seeking to adopt a child with special needs or an older child. Please contact us to find out more about financial resources and how we can help reduce the cost of your adoption.

What other services does Nightlight provide for families adopting internationally?

We provide pre-adoption education and post-adoption services. In the event of a disruption or dissolution of an adoption, we will help you in making the best choice for your family and the child. The policy regarding this situation is in our International Adoption Programs Booklet. (Contact Us to request a copy)

What if we have not decided which country we will adopt from?

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:

  • From what programs are we qualified to adopt?
  • Age of child desired?
  • Race/ethnicity of child considered?
  • Other factors we are considering? (e.g., special needs, orphan status of child)
  • Financing an adoption: What can we afford?
  • Timeframe to adopt?
  • Support systems and resources we have?

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 China special needs, Kazakhstan, or Russia. If you are looking to adopt a child over two years old, you want to consider Taiwan or Ukraine. Older children are available from all of our country programs.

How long does it usually take to adopt internationally?

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.

Will Nightlight allow us to pursue a domestic and international adoption simultaneously?

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.

What do you recommend we do to help prepare ourselves for an international adoption?

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.

What type of information on number of placements and children waiting is available to us?

Nightlight Christian Adoptions makes available the following information, upon request by clients or prospective clients:

  • The number of international adoptive placements by Nightlight Christian Adoptions, listed by country for each of the prior three calendar years; and the number of those adoptions which have been disrupted or dissolved.
  • The number of families who applied to adopt internationally through Nightlight Christian Adoptions for each of the three prior calendar years.
  • The number of children eligible for adoption and awaiting an adoptive placement referral through Nightlight Christian Adoptions.

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.

Is Nightlight Christian Adoptions a non-profit agency?

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.

Is Nightlight Hague Accredited? State Licensed?

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.

Does Nightlight assist with out-of-state adoptions?

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.

What if we are not Christians?

The “Christian” in our name explains who we are. We work with families from all religious backgrounds.

What are the different countries you work with?

Please visit our International adoption section for a complete list of countries Nightlight is able to assist you with adoption services.

Can we be undergoing fertility treatments while in the adoption process?

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 you be truly ready to begin the adoption process. Please talk to your social worker if you have any concerns about this requirement.

What if we become pregnant during the adoption process?

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. Of course, 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.

What do you recommend we do to help prepare ourselves for an international adoption?

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 after your adoption 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 either through the agency or in your area and talk with other families who have adopted children internationally. You may also want to begin your child’s Lifebook; please refer to our Seminars & Events page for information on upcoming classes.

What type of information on number of placements and children waiting is available to us?

Nightlight Christian Adoptions makes available the following information, upon request by clients or prospective clients:

  • Adoptions, listed by country for each of the prior three calendar years; and the number of those adoptions which have been disrupted or dissolved.
  • The number of families who applied to adopt internationally through Nightlight Christian Adoptions for each of the three prior calendar years.
  • The number of children eligible for adoption and awaiting an adoptive placement referral through Nightlight Christian Adoptions.

International Adoption Expenses

What would you estimate the cost for international adoption to be?

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.

Is any portion of my fees tax deductible?

Yes. A $3,000 orphanage donation is also included in the program fees (Kazakhstan and Taiwan). This donation is used for humanitarian aid and to improve the conditions of the orphanages.

What is the cost to adopt a second child?

Biological siblings may be adopted from Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and possibly may be available in Taiwan. Please refer to the Sibling Fee Structure which is located in the Agreement for International Adoption Services. In addition, you will have additional out of pocket expenses for the child’s airfare, visas, etc.

Are we required to take large sums of American currency with us or does Nightlight wire the money?

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.

Do companies offer Employee 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.

What is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act(2010)?

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.

Are my only other expenses my travel, accommodations, home study, CIS, Embassy fees?

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.

Embryo Adoption FAQs

Why Choose the Snowflakes® Program?

Snowflakes Embryo Adoption is uniquely child-centered. Open Adoption is Encouraged

We are a child-centered adoption agency and we believe in open adoption when placing kids for adoption. One important lesson our society has learned over the last century is that open adoption is healthier for the children. Adoption professionals agree that adopted children should know the identity of their biological parents, and should have information regarding their heritage. Nightlight extends this invaluable lesson to our Snowflakes Embryo Adoption program, and provides a safe environment for both the donor and adopting families. Some embryo donation/adoption programs require anonymity, or charge additional fees for services enabling open adoption. Because Nightlight believes strongly in advocating and facilitating open adoption, there is no additional fee.

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 over 30 clinics in the United States

Snowflakes has partnered with over 30 different clinics in the U.S. for the shipment and Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET). 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 at a faster pace. You may still be able to work with your current doctor for medical preparation.

How is “embryo adoption” through Nightlight different from “embryo donation” that clinics offer?

Most clinic embryo donation programs will not provide any personal information about the donor family, only their medical background. There is no contact between the families before or after the birth, even through an intermediary. The clinic is only required to keep records of the donation for seven years and additional information about the donor family is typically not released, even in the event of a medical emergency. Embryos are be donated directly to the clinic and the clinic determines who receives them. If a donor family has a large number of embryos, they may be given to multiple families [e.g.: If 10 embryos are donated anonymously, 4 are given to family A; 3 are given to family B; and 3 are given to family C]. This means that there could be fully related genetic siblings in several families, living within a reasonably close geographic proximity and none of them would be known by the other.

Snowflakes provides the same safeguards that the traditional adoption process offers, allowing you access to important information about the genetic family that can help your child answer their questions about their origins. You also have the opportunity to have a relationship with your child’s genetic family. Whether you exchange pictures and letters, have telephone conversations, or choose to meet the genetic 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. While this isn’t the solution for everyone, we believe that families who prefer an adoption model should have access to it.

Who would want to participate in this program?

Snowflakes can help create families for couples whose infertility does not allow them to create their own biological families, specifically couples considering egg or sperm donation, or couples who want to build their family through adoption and be able to experience pregnancy and control the pre-natal environment of their child.

Why would genetic parents choose embryo adoption instead of donation?

The genetic 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 genetic 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.

Why would we choose embryo adoption instead of donation?

You would have a chance to have a relationship with your child’s genetic family. Whether you exchange pictures and letters, have telephone conversations, or choose to meet the genetic 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.

Why would we choose embryo adoption instead of traditional adoption of a newborn?

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 what your child was exposed to during pregnancy.

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.

How many embryo adoptions has Nightlight completed?

Since 1997, Nightlight has completed over 800 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.

Does Nightlight encourage the creation and freezing of embryos?

No, we are trying to provide a loving option to the families of the over 600,000 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!

What countries do you work with?

The Snowflake program offers embryo adoption to people worldwide, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. However, the medical process for international families must happen in the U.S.

Program Criteria for Embryo Adoption

What are the basic requirements for an adopting family?

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.

Is there an age limit?

Most placing families prefer matching with a married couple under the age of 45. The age requirement of the Snowflakes program reflects this desire.

Can couples who do not have an infertility diagnosis adopt embryos?

Yes. Some genetic families prefer to place their embryos with families who already have children so the children born from the embryos are sure to have siblings. However, most genetic families prefer to place with families who do not yet have children. Adoptive parents who do not struggle with infertility should anticipate waiting longer than our average matching time frame.

Does Snowflakes handle out-of-state embryo adoptions?

Yes. We can work with adopting families living in any state. You would just need to complete a Snowflakes Family Evaluation (SFE) or work with a local adoption agency to complete your home study.

Can you work with families living in another country?

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 info@snowflakes.org, 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 medical process and complete a home study. If you are living in a country where English is not a main language you may need to have your home study professionally translated.

Can single women adopt through Snowflakes?

Yes, single women under the age of 45 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 Legality of Embryo Adoption

What legal processes are followed with embryo adoption?

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 nearly 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.

How is embryo adoption different from traditional adoption concerning risk?

Genetic 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 an embryo adoption, the genetic 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 genetic 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.

Under what circumstances can the placing family’s relinquishment be revoked?

When you sign the contract to adopt the embryos, you become their legal owners with the understanding that you will use those embryos for attempts at family building. If after one year, your family has not scheduled your first frozen embryo transfer (FET), or had any transfers performed, the genetic family has the option to revoke the contract and place their embryos with a different adopting family who plans to transfer the embryos in a timelier manner. If unforeseen life or medical circumstances cause a delay in your ability to schedule a transfer, this period of one year may be extended with the genetic family’s approval.

If you have remaining embryos which you do not plan to use in a frozen embryo transfer pregnancy attempt, the ownership of the embryos will be returned to Snowflakes for placement with another adopting family.

After a child is born through this process, can the placing family ever change their mind and get legal custody?

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.

The Embryo Adoption Process

What are the basic steps involved in adopting embryos?

Application Phase
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.

Matching Consultation
One of our staff contacts you to discuss your preferences for the match.
Matching Phase
We set to work to find a match for you based on both your criteria and the criteria of the genetic family. Your profile is sent to a genetic family. If they select you, you receive their Family Profile, medical health history, and embryo information for consideration. We will also send the embryology report to your fertility doctor for review.
Contract Phase
The Embryo Adoption Agreement is signed and notarized designating the adoption of the embryos from the family you have selected.
Shipping Phase
Snowflakes schedules a travel date for your embryos and they will be sent to the Snowflakes partner clinic of your choice. Alternatively, if you are traveling to your embryos, your travel arrangements can be made at this time.
Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)
Once the embryos arrive at your clinic you will begin preparing for the frozen embryo transfer. If all goes well about 9 months later you will be giving birth to your adopted child.

May our home study be used for a domestic adoption if we determine that we are not going to become pregnant?

Yes, with the completed home study you are in the position to look at domestic adoption once you determine that you have completed the embryo adoption process. To adopt a child domestically or internationally you will likely need an additional educational component. Discuss this option with your social worker while you are in the home study process.

The Matching Process

How are genetic and adopting families matched?

It is a mutual selection matching process. Both genetic and adopting families provide Nightlight with information about themselves and indicate what type of family they are looking for. The genetic 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 genetic family for consideration/selection. If the adopting family is selected by the genetic family, the genetic family’s Family Profile and medical information are sent to the adopting family for consideration/selection.

What information do we receive on the genetic family?

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 genetic family, as well as information about the embryos. If an egg donor or sperm donor was used, you will receive any information the genetic 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.

Does this type of adoption have to be open adoption?

Open adoption encompasses a wide spectrum of contact. It does not mean that you meet, exchange last names or other identifying information, but does mean that generally families select each other through a letter, biographies, and photos. In most cases you will know each other’s first names and state of residence. This information is shared at a minimum to give you enough information to protect children from meeting and marrying. By virtue of having this information about the other family, all our adoptions are considered open. Whether you want more contact (via e-mail, phone, photos or letters, sent either directly or through the agency) or less contact, we will match you with a like-minded family. If a genetic family elects for Nightlight to choose the adoptive family for them and does not want any contact we will match them with an adoptive family who will be comfortable handling that type of situation. You may also want to look into adoption support groups in your area or go online to talk to families who are currently in an open adoption, as most couples are apprehensive when considering open adoption and become more comfortable as they become educated about what it means to your child, your family and your child’s genetic family. You may also choose to be connected with someone who has been through embryo adoption and is willing to talk with other families about their experiences. If you are interested in this option, please contact our office.

Why choose open adoption?

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 genetic 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 genetic family throughout the adoption and transfer process, after your child is born and throughout your child’s life.

May we be on a traditional adoption list AND work with embryo adoption?

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 genetic family (or birthparents) with whom you are matched.

How is embryo adoption different from traditional adoption concerning risk?

Genetic 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 genetic 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 genetic families have had time to contemplate their options while their embryos are in storage before they contact us.

Is there any risk that the genetic parents might change their minds?

There is no more risk than with any other adoption. In fact, our experience indicates that if they have doubts they will place their file on hold before ever being matched with an adoptive family. Once they are matched, the genetic family transfers their ownership rights by signing a relinquishment prior to the embryos being shipped to your clinic. The genetic family has three 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.

Approximately how long does it take to get matched and get to the travel stage?

  • The Application phase usually takes 1-4 months to complete and submit, depending on time required for your home study. Matching is usually 1-4 months. The more open you are, the less time you will wait.
  • Legal document notarization and embryo travel coordination usually takes 2-4 months.
  • In total, it can be between 5-13 months before the embryos travel to your clinic. Each adoption is unique! You will have a special story to share with your child or children!

How many embryos will we be matched with in total?

You will adopt all of the embryos that a genetic family has. You might be matched with a genetic family who has two or three embryos, or you might be matched with a family who has ten or twelve. Most frequently genetic families have two, 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 genetic 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 genetic family within at least 12 months of your last frozen embryo transfer or your file will be closed due to inactivity.

Can the Adoptive Family specify an embryo gender to adopt?

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!

Shipment of the Embryos

Are the embryos stored at and shipped from your facility?

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 genetic family’s clinic or storage facility.

When are the embryos shipped to our clinic?

Embryos are shipped to your clinic after you are matched, the adoption agreement and relinquishment is signed, and the clinic gives approval. Snowflakes will set up the shipment once requirements from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and of the state into which they are being transferred have been met.

Can we travel to our embryos?

You may be able to! If you are interested in traveling to your embryos we can help you explore that option. Some placing families will have already moved their embryos to a long term storage facility. If the embryos have already moved from their original clinic you will need to have them shipped to a preferred Snowflakes partner clinic.

How are the embryos shipped?

The embryos will be shipped via Federal Express in a dry shipper. A dry shipper is a tank cooled with liquid Nitrogen that keeps the embryos safe while traveling.

What if neither clinic has a dry shipper?

Nightlight will arrange for a rental shipper.

Are there any states that place restrictions on the shipping of embryos?

Yes. New York does not allow embryos to be shipped into the state without specific approval, due to their strict human tissue laws. If you live in New York, we do have a Snowflakes partner clinic that is familiar with getting approval for embryo shipment. Please contact our office for more information as to how this may affect your adoption.

Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)

How many embryos may be transferred per cycle?

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 three (3) embryos.

If we become pregnant with multiples, may we selectively reduce the pregnancy?

No. We specifically require that our adopting families agree not to selectively reduce the number of fetuses that have begun developing. For this reason we recommend not transferring more than three embryos at a time. If our prohibition against selective reduction at any stage, for any reason, makes you uncomfortable, Snowflakes may not be right for you.

What is the success rate for thawing and viability of embryos?

Through Snowflakes, 61% of embryos thawed were viable. However, the success rate for frozen embryo transfer varies by each clinic. The national average overall thaw success rate is 51%. With better freezing and thawing techniques, this percentage is likely to increase.

What is the likelihood of a multiple pregnancy with frozen embryo transfer?

Our understanding is that multiple births are much rarer with frozen embryo cycles than with “fresh” embryo transfers. But this is in no way a guarantee that you will not have multiples. Recent studies have indicated that about 25% of women who transfer more than one embryo will become pregnant with multiples. About 1/4th of the Snowflakes moms who have achieved a pregnancy have carried multiples. Please consult ASRM and your Snowflakes partner clinic for statistics.

What is the success rate of pregnancies among Snowflakes families who have had embryo transfers?

According to the CDC, 49.5% of frozen embryo transfers in the US become pregnancies and 39% are live births. To date, over 610 children have been born through Snowflakes and there are usually 15-30 babies due at any time. There are always families with recent transfers awaiting pregnancy test results and more families scheduling transfers.

Post Adoption

What if we become pregnant and we still have embryos remaining?

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.

How can we adopt more embryos after we have our first baby?

After you have a baby (or babies) and you want to continue building your family through embryo adoption you can update your home study and your family profile to include your new child(ren) and send in a new application. Please wait nine months after the birth of your child(ren) before updating your home study and profile. This is to give adequate time for bonding and family adjustment before putting your energies into a new adoption. A $500 discount will be given to returning clients.

What if we do not become pregnant?

If you have do not achieve a pregnancy and give birth to your child(ren) after thawing and/or transferring all of the embryos you adopted from your match you can choose to be matched with a new genetic family for $2,000. If none of your embryos survive after being thawed, Snowflakes will rematch you without additional fees. Alternatively, you may use/update your home study to pursue a domestic or international adoption. If you choose to work with another Nightlight program for your adoption, 25% of your Snowflakes fees can be transferred to the new program.

How many post adoption reports are required after the birth of our child(ren)?

We require that your home study agency complete one post adoption report six weeks after your baby comes home. In addition, we require a self reported update at 12 months. This correspondence should be separate from the information you share with your genetic family and serves as our way of knowing your child is healthy and happy, and can help us identify and provide you with any additional services or referrals, as needed.

How do we tell our child(ren) of his/her unique conception, adoption and birth?

“We adopted you as an embryo, which is a teeny baby, and the doctor put you in mommy’s womb!” is a pretty good start. There are two great books available: Our Wish for A Baby by Janice Grimes and Hope and Will Have A Baby by Iréné Celcer. Be sure to get the embryo donation/adoption versions! Snowflakes also has two versions of an embryo adoption “lifebook” which you can customize to reflect your child’s unique story. Additionally, one of our Snowflakes families has created a book and ordered through Pint Size Productions. There are versions for one child or two children. Let Snowflakes know if you are interested in ordering one! When your child is born we will send you information about how to talk with your children about how they came to be a part of your family. Overall, honesty and openness with your children from the very beginning is the best approach, as it helps create trust and a positive, comfortable atmosphere around their adoption. It also allows you to begin open communication with your child so s/he will feel comfortable directly talking to you and asking you questions about anything in life, not only adoption. If at any time you have questions about your child’s genetic family, and you are not in direct contact with them, we are always here to be a liaison for you.

Program Fees

What would you estimate the entire cost for the adoption to be?

Snowflakes Program fee: $8,000

Home study agency fee: $2,000-3,000

Fertility clinic frozen embryo transfer fees: $3,500-6,000

TOTAL FEES: $13,500-17,000

A full accounting of the program expenses for Snowflakes will be provided each month there is activity.

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. If re-matching is requested, the fee is $2,000.

What does the Snowflakes program fee cover?

Genetic parent outreach and screening, providing counseling for all parties (and outside counseling referrals, if requested), matching services between genetic and adoptive parents, facilitating communication between genetic and adopting families, preparing contracts, relinquishments and other legal paperwork, facilitating consent and release forms if required by clinics prior to releasing embryos, facilitating communication between clinics and doctors to ensure that requirements are met for the transfer of the embryos between states, obtaining necessary laboratory tests for the genetic family, coordinating travel of the embryos, shipping fees, maintaining files, providing post-adoption support and supervision and cooperation in the court finalization process (if required by your state). Medical expenses involved in the FET are not included.

Does the Snowflakes program fee include any of our medical expenses?

No. You will need to pay the fertility clinic to thaw and transfer the embryos. Since medical expenses vary by provider, we encourage you to contact the Snowflakes partner clinics that are nearest to you for a detailed overview. We have heard recent quotes from $3,000-6,000 for a frozen embryo transfer attempt. This may or may not include any necessary medications needed to prepare the adoptive mother’s body for the embryo transfer and the costs of any subsequent transfers.

Is the frozen embryo transfer (FET) covered by medical insurance?

If your insurance covers infertility treatments, many of the expenses such as medications, hormone treatments and the transfer may be covered. We strongly encourage you to contact your insurance provider and find out what specific expenses, if any, they may cover.

What are the costs to the genetic parents?

There are no agency or program fees for the genetic parents to place their embryos for adoption.

Is the genetic family reimbursed any of their infertility treatment costs?

No. You do not pick up any costs prior to being matched with a genetic family. As with a traditional domestic adoption, where only expenses directly related to the pregnancy may be covered, in embryo adoption only expenses related to the adoption and transport of the embryos may be covered. You are only responsible for the cost of any blood work the genetic family must have performed which is necessary to ship the embryos to your clinic and shipping fees and these will be covered by your program fees.

Do we help pay for any of the storage fees owed by the genetic parents?

No.

Does Embryo Adoption qualify for the Adoption Tax Credit?

The Hope for Children Act provides a tax credit per adopted child for families with combined incomes less than a certain amount. Since embryo adoption is not specifically included, we advise you to contact your tax preparer or the Internal Revenue Service directly to find out what expenses may qualify. Please see funding your adoption for more information.

Is there any financial assistance available for Embryo Adoption?

We suggest you look into the following adoption assistance programs:

  • Adoption Bridge AdoptionBridge is a crowd-funding website where you can tell your adoption story, post pictures, videos, and keep people informed about your adoption journey. All donations from your friends and family are tax deductible and funds raised are sent to Nightlight towards your adoption process.
  • Employee Benefits
  • Adoption Grants, Loans and other forms of financial 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. For more details about these types of financial assistance, please visit the Funding section of our website.

Questions Regarding Clinics

How do I find a clinic that will work within the parameters of Snowflakes?

Snowflakes has a list of over 30 preferred partner clinics that we work with for shipment and the Frozen Embryo Transfer for our adoptive families. You can find a list of states where we have preferred partners here. You may also reach out to your Snowflakes inquiry specialist for specific details of the closest clinics to your home by calling 970-663-6799 or emailing info@nightlight.org.

What should we ask when we are deciding which Snowflakes partner clinic to work with?

Ask the clinic how much it would cost for an “FET,” or frozen embryo transfer. They may also have costs for medication that you will want to keep in mind. Each of our partner clinics have already provided their requirements for staging, freezing method, and paperwork needed for them to receive embryos from our program. These details will be included in your matching preferences as we work to find the right set of embryos for your family. If you are more than an hour away from a clinic you may want to check if you can do remote monitoring through another fertility clinic that is closer to you. The majority of our Snowflakes partners will allow for this.

Does Nightlight handle the coordination of FDA Regulations?

Yes. We will communicate with your fertility clinic to ensure FDA regulations for lab work and donor screening are met by the genetic parents.

What are the current requirements of the FDA for blood tests?

The current FDA required blood tests include:
1. HIV 1 and 2
2. HTLV I/II
3. Hepatitis B surface antigen
4. Hepatitis B Core Antibody (IgG/IgM)
5. Hepatitis C Antibody
6. RPR (Syphilis)
7. CMV IgG/IgM
8. HIV/HCV/HBV NAT
9. Gonorrhea/Chlamydia culture
10. Blood typing
11. Rh factor

Questions for Donors

Why would we donate through an embryo adoption program instead of a clinic embryo donation program?

Snowflakes® provides the same safeguards that the traditional adoption process offers. You will know that the family you have chosen to parent your pre-born child(ren) has been screened for a criminal history and child abuse record, as well as received education about how to parent an adoptee. You have the peace of mind of having handpicked a family to raise your genetic child. You also have the opportunity to have contact with your adopting family to whatever extent you both are comfortable.

Does Nightlight encourage the creation and freezing of embryos?

No, we are trying to provide a loving option to the families of the over 600,000 (estimated) embryos frozen in clinics throughout the United States.

What are the legal issues with embryo adoption?

The adoption agreement and relinquishment forms are legal contracts between the two families. As there are no laws regarding adoption of embryos, we have created the contract to match the current position of the courts that the embryos are property. The contract covers the transfer of property and also includes additional adoption language. These legal forms are signed and executed prior to the embryos being shipped to the adoptive parents’ clinic and before the embryos are implanted in the adoptive mother.

Does the age of the embryos (date frozen) affect our ability to place them for adoption?

No, there have been no definitive studies proving how long embryos can stay frozen and remain viable. We have had successful pregnancies with embryos frozen for 10 years. We believe each embryo, no matter its age, is a precious life that should be given the opportunity to grow.

If we used Donor Egg or Sperm in the creation of our embryos can we place them through Snowflakes®?

Yes, we just need to obtain copies of your donor profile, egg donor consent and donor infectious disease screen results. We will provide a copy of the donor profile to the adopting family along with the family health history that you provide. We need a copy of the egg donor consent to verify that you have the legal authority to place the embryos for adoption with another couple and they are not specifically for your use only. The infectious disease results are part of the FDA requirements for the adopting family’s clinic to accept the embryos into their facility.

Isn’t this just surrogacy?

No. In surrogacy, an agreement is made for a woman to carry a pregnancy for the benefit of the intended parents. In our program the genetic parents relinquish all rights to the child prior to implantation. The child that the adoptive mother carries is the child that the adoptive couple will parent. The questions and answers above are just a few from our Donor Information Packet. Download the entire booklet for more information about Embryo Adoption.

Questions for Medical Professionals

Does Snowflakes comply with FDA regulations?

Yes, once a genetic/donor family is matched with an adoptive family, we work directly with the genetic/donor family to ensure all FDA required testing and screening is completed.

Who pays for the genetic/donor family’s required testing and screening?

The Snowflakes Program pays for routine FDA required testing and screening after a genetic/donor family has been matched with an adoptive family.

Where are the embryos stored while the genetic/donor family is finding an adoptive couple? Who pays for that storage?

The embryos remain stored at their original IVF clinic or at a long term storage facility designated by the genetic/donor family during the adoption process. The genetic family pays for storage during this time.

Are the genetic/donor parents reimbursed after they place their embryos for adoption?

Genetic/donor parents are not reimbursed for the cost of their IVF treatment or the cost of the storage fees during their adoption.

Who handles the legal contracts between the families?

Snowflakes provides a legal contract for both families to sign. The genetic/donor family relinquishes the rights to the embryos and the adoptive family assumes ownership and rights to embryos. A copy of this contact can be provided to the fertility specialist at his or her request.

I’ve heard you only do open adoptions, what does that mean?

Almost all of Snowflakes’ adoptions are considered open because the genetic/donor family and the adoptive family both choose each other via pictures and letters sent through the mail. Any ongoing correspondence between the families after that is up to each individual family. We work hard to match families together according to their desire to remain in contact with one another. If a genetic/donor family wishes to remain anonymous, we will tailor or program to meet their needs.

Foster Care and Fost-Adopt FAQs

Click on the question to read the answer.

 

Foster Care and Fost-Adopt FAQs

How do children enter foster care?Children are placed in foster care because they have suffered from abuse, neglect, or abandonment by their families. The average age of a child in foster care is 8 years old. The average age that Nightlight places in adoptive homes is 5 years old, though we can work with children from birth-18 years old. These children come from every social, economic, and ethnic background. While in foster care, these children may live temporarily with a foster family, with extended family members, or in a Residential foster home. Simultaneously, a social worker works with the birth families in order to reunify children with their biological family. If the biological family cannot make progress on or completed a state-mandated treatment plan, it is determined that the biological parents cannot maintain a safe home for their children, the parental rights are legally terminated. From that point on, the social worker tries to find a loving and safe adoptive family for the child.Is there a likelihood the child will be removed from my home?

The parental right’s of many children in foster care are terminated before the child is even placed in a foster adoptive home.  Termination of parental rights means that the biological parents do not have the ability to “pull a child back” by deciding to parent again. Caseworkers make a decision to place a child in an adoptive home because from everything they can foresee regarding this case over time, an adoptive home will be needed. Once the adoption of a child in foster care is finalized with a family, their adoptive parents are given the same rights and responsibilities to that child as if the child had been naturally born to them.

Approximately how long does it usually take to adopt through foster care?

The adoption process on average takes about one year. However the process is unique to each child and family and depends on a number of variables.

What is the adoption process?

Foster adoption consists of the following:

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 paperwork, education and interviews with a social worker. During this time, you also start training, as a certain number of hours are required before placement can occur.

Matching: Once your home study is complete and you have been approved to adopt, we will work with counties to find the best possible match based on the child’s needs and the family’s ability to meet those needs.

Transition: Your family will meet with the child for a period of time outside of your home. If these visits are running smoothly, then the child will be placed in your home.

Placement: The child is placed in your home for a minimum of six months before adoption can be finalized.

Finalization: The legal parental rights are transferred to you and you become the legal guardian of the child(s).

Will Nightlight allow us to pursue foster adoption and another adoption (domestic or international) simultaneously?

We recognize that sometimes it is difficult to decide what type of adoption you are being called to pursue in building your family, but in order to ensure that we are able to provide you with excellent support we ask that a decision regarding program is made before the home study is completed.

Can I only adopt children from Colorado?

No, Nightlight works with all 64 counties in Colorado and all counties in the United States. We are actively communicating with county workers and other states who share profiles of children needing placements with us. In turn, we share your family profile with them and by working collaboratively, we find a match.

What is the benefit of using a private agency such as Nightlight?

Nightlight is a licensed agency and our caseworkers have smaller caseloads which allow us to offer more individualized attention and support to each family we work with. Nightlight has been completing adoptions for over 50 years and we work with every county in the United States, including all 64 counties in Colorado. We have experience in utilizing Trust Based Relational Intervention, an evidence-based training developed by Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross at the Texas Christian University Institute of Child Development. This family-based intervention is designed to meet the basic relationship and developmental needs of children and youth from “hard places,” as well as the needs of the adults who seek to help them heal, learn, and grow.

What would you estimate the cost of adoption to be?

In general, the cost of an agency foster adoption through Nightlight will be approximately $6,500-7,500. Please contact us for a breakdown of the program fees and for information on financial resources available to help reduce the cost of your adoption. Training costs are in addition to the foundational $6,500.

Is financial assistance available?

During the six months in which you are fostering the child before finalization, you may be eligible for a foster subsidy. This subsidy varies depending on the needs of the child and is used to cover the child’s expenses, which may include therapy, tutoring, lessons, etc. There is also a federal subsidy that can be applied before finalization of an adoption, which is based off of the needs of each specific child. Many companies are beginning to offer Adoption Benefits to their employees as well. Your 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. Please contact Nightlight for more information on available financial assistance.

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Getting Started with Adoption

Congratulations on taking the best ‘first step’ in determining if adoption is the right choice for you. The Internet is a great resource and tool for discovery and education regarding this important decision for you and your family. Nightlight provides adoption services as a permanent response for children without parents.

Our programs are focused on what is best for the child and we work diligently on each child’s behalf. We believe that parent education is the most important service we provide to help both you and the child you adopt settle into a lifelong loving relationship.

Nightlight has been providing adoption services for over 50 years. We provide parents with support long after you have brought your child home. You are not alone! You don’t have to figure out all the answers. Our experts are available both before and after your adoption to help you be the best parent you can be and know how to communicate appropriately with your child – especially when difficulties arise.

Nightlight offers domestic, Hague accredited international and embryo adoption programs. More than 2,000 domestic, 1,700 international and 550 embryo adoptions have been completed through our agency. We are committed to children in all stages of their development: from pre-birth to the teenaged years.

Learn more about your adoption options

The mission of Nightlight Christian Adoptions is to share God’s love by recognizing and advocating the personhood of pre-born children; helping children, both born domestically and abroad, to find loving families; assisting birth parents in making wise and loving plans for their children’s future; aiding couples in experiencing the joy of childbirth through embryo adoption; and preparing couples and assisting them after the adoption to be committed and effective parents.

Start Your Adoption Inquiry Today

Do you have questions about which adoption program is right for you? We have answers. Complete this brief inquiry form. It’s the first step in getting started with your adoption today!
Get Started

Our professional staff will be here to assist you in your adoption journey. Many of the families who have adopted their children using Nightlight services are available to speak with you too. We invite you to explore our website and call one of our adoption experts to help answer the many questions associated with the process of adoption.

Explore Adoption Choices

Complete an Inquiry Form

Apply to Place Embryos for Adoption

FAQs

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Contact Us

Nightlight was the first adoption agency in the world to establish an embryo adoption program in 1997. Since that time more than 300 children have been born into their forever families through the Snowflakes® Embryo Adoption Program and thousands more through other embryo adoption programs established since that time. In Loveland, CO the agency manages the Embryo Adoption Awareness Center with funding from the Department of Health and Human Services to increase awareness regarding embryo donation and adoption nationwide.

In 1995 Nightlight was the first adoption agency in the U.S. to bring a group of orphan children from Russia to the United States on a cultural tour to help raise awareness regarding the needs of older children living in orphanages. Nightlight has placed over 750 children (aged infant to 16) from Russia and other countries into their forever families. Nightlight places children located in orphanages from Bulgaria, China, China special-needs, Haiti, Kazakhstan, Nicaragua, Panama, Romania, Taiwan, Ukraine, Uganda and the United Kingdom.

In 2010 Nightlight assisted with the opening of the Tender Hearts Baby Home in Kampala, Uganda as a humanitarian outreach with the hope of placing orphans into loving families. We are hopeful many children will meet their forever families through this new program.

Adoption and HIV, Part 1: Know the Facts

AfricaAIDsRibbonMany families are now choosing to adopt children who are HIV positive. The children can come from any country, but the majority of HIV positive children come from Africa.  About 3 million children in sub-Saharan Africa are infected with the HIV virus, and 90% of all children with HIV come from this region.

Because of parents dying from AIDS there are an estimated 25 million more children who are orphaned. [1] In Uganda, there are about 2 million orphans. Of those, 1.2 million have lost one or both parents to AIDS. [2] There are millions more who will become orphans.

In the U.S. and Western Europe, the incidence of HIV infection in children has been drastically reduced due to pregnant women taking what are called antiretroviral drugs, which lower the rate substantially of a mother’s passing on the infection to her unborn child.

Even in poorer countries, such as Uganda, this medication is available. However, many people, especially those in rural areas, do not have access to the medication.  Unlike children in Western countries, those in sub-Saharan Africa are much more likely to die from the infection. For these children who do become HIV infected, 50% will die before they reach their second birthday. In fact, the mortality rate due to HIV/AIDS in children under 5 years old has increased by 20-40%. [3] Continue reading