Once a couple is asked to join our small/active group, the average time is about 18 months. I have had couples place in only two months and I have had couples waiting for several years. It is not exactly "First Come, First Served" because each adoption is different because every child is unique.
Some birth mothers are very specific about the characteristics of the couple with which their child is placed. Others trust this agency to simply find a good home and don't have particular requests. Either way, most birth mothers like to meet the couple face-to-face on one occasion in this office. Of course, we keep addresses, phone number and all such information confidential. We think this helps with the bonding process for the adoptive parents and with the healing process of the birth mother to have a high degree of privacy during and after the adoption.
Closed adoptions have their specific advantages, but we have done a few open adoptions when the situations were special and ideal for everyone involved. Either way we counsel the birth mother to be reasonable with her requests and try to negotiate and agreement that is fair. Usually all the birth mother request are to meet the couple once and get pictures about every six months. Sometimes the parents have relinquished the child (not a newborn) to the agency and are not interested or available to meet with the adoption parents.
If the adoption is straightforward in the sense that paternity is not a complicated issue and the adoption is not at all at risk, we can usually rely on an attorney associated with this agency who will help the adoptive parents by charging a very reasonable fee. Many agencies charge a huge amount for this service but we can usually provide this through an attorney who may charge about $1,500. You will be able to contact this attorney yourself and get a better idea of his tasks and estimated fee. You are, of course, allowed to use your own attorney if you like and we will be happy to provide them all the necessary documents to finalize. Either way, attorney fees will be paid directly to the attorney's office and not to Family Life Services.
Our ministry statement is "To save one life and change another through the gospel of Jesus Christ." We care deeply for the baby and the mother and believe that this service is a natural expression of our faith. As we meet physical needs, we are sensitive to the opportunities for discipleship at all times. With this vision in mind, our reputation is based on these principles: