Common Adoptive Parent Questions
How do I start the adoption process?
You begin by contacting our agency via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at (505) 821-7779 and requesting our application packet. This packet includes our agency brochure, fee sheet appropriate to your situation, application for adoption, and two questionnaires to be completed by you and your spouse which start the pre-placement study process. Once you receive these items, please complete them and return them to AAA to be processed. You will be notified whether or not your application is approved.
Is there a waiting list?
From time to time AAA does have a waiting list. You will need to contact our office to see if this is currently the case. Our typical time on the waiting list has been approximately two to three months. We create a waiting list in the event that our adoptive parent “pool” (the number of families with approved pre-placement studies who are waiting to be matched with a birthmother) reaches 20 families. This is our attempt to control your wait with AAA. Since we allow each birthmother to select a family that is right for her, we can not guarantee your wait time. However, by limiting the number of families that we have waiting we hope to keep families from waiting more than two years for a placement.
Can we get copies of all of our paperwork along the way?
We will send you a packet of paperwork after the placement of your child, which will include all of your documents you completed and your pre-placement study. If for any reason you would like copies of documents before that time, or need something specific, please call the office to have this done for you. If you need documents sent to another entity, we will need you to sign a release, but then we would be more than happy to do this for you.
Will we have to have more than one Pre-Placement Study completed during this adoption process?
Your pre-placement study (PPS), once completed and if it is approved, according to New Mexico State Law is good for one year from completion date on PPS. After this first year, you will need to have a pre-placement study update completed. This update is another document, but is significantly less time-intensive and less expensive than the first one. You will not have to attend our orientation again, but a caseworker will have to meet with you and do interviews to see that you are still on the same page as you were before, as far as the adoption goes. You will also have to update your criminal records checks, medicals, pet vaccinations, and child abuse screens as they expire. Our administrative assistant will be notifying you 2 months before anything expires to give you plenty of time to update your paperwork as well. Any documents that expire during that first year will also be addressed in your pre-placement study update.
How does a birthmother/father select our family?
Most of our birthparents want to select the family for their baby. For this reason, once you have an approved pre-placement study, we will request from you a photo album/scrap book that we will use to show your family to birthparents. We have guidelines for you when creating that album and they are provided for you at your adoptive parent orientation. At that time you are also allowed to look at other families albums to get a feel for what we are asking you for. It is important that your album represent your family. There is no formula for what you should put in your album to have a birthparent select your family. The best we can say is this: when it is your birthmother, only you will be the right family for her.
On occasion a birthmother will not want to select the family for her baby. In this case, AAA will choose the family using any criteria that the birthmother has provided for us and the information that we have on each of our families. We choose the family based on the best fit for both baby and adoptive family.
How long will we have to wait to be matched with a birthmother?
We tell families to expect to wait on average, 14 months. This is because we have found that it is much harder for adoptive parents to make it past their first update if they thought they were going to have a baby by then. It is impossible for us to know when a family will get chosen by a birthmother, but we can almost guarantee that it will happen if you are willing to wait. As long as a family stays listed with our agency, we feel certain that you will have a baby, we just can’t say how long it will be until it happens. We have families who have a birthmother select them within days of finishing their approved pre-placement study, and we have had a family who waited two years. Even if your wait is long, know that we are your advocates and are here for you throughout the entire process to support and encourage you all along the way!
Can we list with other agencies, besides AAA, to find a child?
Yes. We encourage adoptive families to look elsewhere as well if that is what they wish to do. AAA wants your family to get a child, and we are happy for you regardless of how it happens. You will have fees with each agency, so one thing you would need to consider would be the financial cost of doing this.
Will we have to obtain an attorney?
Yes. You will have to obtain an attorney around the time you receive placement of your baby. We would be happy to provide you with a list of attorneys that we would recommend that are very well versed in adoption law. Feel free to request this ahead of time, and be calling to see what prices are and what services are provided. The birthparents will also need an attorney, and according to New Mexico state law, this attorney cannot be the same one the adoptive parents are using. Please speak with your caseworker and let them know what attorney you are using, so as to avoid this problem.
Are our legal fees included in the adoption fees?
The answer would be no. It is our policy to not contract with attorneys, because we feel that the adoption will be more legally sound if the attorney is not working directly with AAA.)