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Put up for adoption stems from 1800's orphan trains. This language is outdated. Its not giving up or giving away its "making an adoption plan." It's placing a child for adoption.


Adoption Agency An organization that is licensed by a state to educate and prepare families to adoption children and to do all the necessary legal, administrative and social work to ensure that adoptions are in the best interest of the children.

Facilitator An individual that is not licensed as an adoption agency or licensed as an attorney. Facilitators offer minimal to no support other than matching an expectant mother and an adoptive family. Once an expectant mother selects a family, the adoption facilitator refers them to a licensed adoption professional to finish the adoption process.

Adoption Consultants are individuals or companies that help guide you through the adoption process (like us). They generally have years of experience in the field and share their knowledge and expertise with their clients. Their emphasis is on education and support for prospective Adopting Parents and in some cases assist in matching.

Foster Care Confusion: 

Orphanages do not exist in the US (only group homes and foster care). Foster care is completely separate from infant adoption and is done through our government. Infant adoption is done through attorneys and adoption agencies (private and can be for profit).

Over 438,000 children are in foster care and about 107,000 are available for adoption. The 300,000 children in foster care their biological families still have custody. The sole purpose of foster care is to be a temporary home and to keep the biological family together.


Home study A three-part process required before a child can be placed with a family for foster care or adoption: (1) Written portion includes autobiographies, references, medical reports, financial statements, child abuse and criminal clearances and other written materials; (2) Social work process includes a series of visits in the applicants’ home to discuss a variety of issues from the applicants’ backgrounds to their motivations to adopt and their understanding of adoption and parenting; (3) Educational process includes training in adoption and parenting issues. The end result of this process is a written document completed by a licensed agency giving a summary of the applicants’ family life. This document indicates approval of the applicants for adoption. In most states it must be updated annually. HSR means Home Study Ready


EM=Expecting Momma is a woman considering placing her baby for adoption

Birthmother is a woman who has made an adoption plan and terminated rights of her baby

*please do not use the abbreviation BM for birth mother and please do not use birth mom until after placement.


Here is a video that recaps these open-closed adoption options.

Open Adoption An open adoption involved the disclosure of identifying information between the biological parents and adoptive parents. Both the adoptive parents and biological parents agree upon amount of contact following the placement.

Semi-Open Adoption A semi-open adoption occurs when the potential biological mother or biologically families experience non-identifying interaction with the adoptive family. In most cases, the interaction is facilitated by a third party who is usually an adoption agency or adoption attorney.

Closed Adoption A closed adoption is an adoption in which no identifying information about the birth family or the adoptive family is shared, and there is no contact between birthparents and adoptive parents. The adoptive family usually receives non-identifying information about the child and the birth family before placement. In a closed adoption, after finalization, the records are sealed and typically are not available to the adopted child.


Profile An adoption profile is a document unlike anything you've ever written. Intended for expectant parents who are seeking to adopt, it's an autobiographical letter of about 1,500 words and pictures that describes your lifestyle, interests, and family, as well as your thoughts about parenting and adoption.

Presenting You and your spouse have seen an expecting mother scenario and would like her to view your profile and read a personal letter to potentially select you as the adoptive parents. Please only present to one expecting mom at a time and keep in mind many agencies require you to be home study ready to present.

Match or Matching The process of bringing together qualified prospective adoptive parents and willing biological parents, who by choice choose to explore the compatibility of each other and who can agree on the terms under which the adoptive parents can adopt the child.

Stork Drop These adoptions are when the baby is already born and the agency is looking to place the baby immediately with a family. 


Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) If a child is born in a state other than where the prospective adoptive parents reside, the Interstate Compact of both the baby’s home state and the prospective adoptive parents’ home state must give their approval before the child travels to the state where the prospective adoptive parents reside. In an interstate adoption, the agency with custody of the child is responsible for processing the interstate paperwork.

Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) is a court process which permanently ends all legal parental rights of a birthparent to a child. Termination of parental rights can be voluntary or involuntary.

Finalization The court hearing that results in the adoption order. This is the moment when the adoptee becomes the permanent, legally adopted child of the adoptive parents.

Disruption Sometimes called failed placement (or I'd like to say the birth parents decided to parent), disruption occurs when a child leaves the adoptive home prior to the finalization of the adoption. This can occur in three situations: (1) In a legal risk adoption, usually involving a newborn infant, the birth parents revoke their consent to the adoption, during the time period when this is still possible; (2) The adoptive parents choose not to continue with their plan to parent the child for reasons of their own; or (3) The agency disrupts the adoption if the adoptive parents are not complying with post-placement requirements or are endangering the child in some way.


Tax Credit (Adoption) A tax credit for qualifying expenses paid to adopt an eligible child. The adoption credit is an amount subtracted from the adoptive parents’ tax liability.

Adoption Terms 

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