Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Meet the Family Adoption Services

We met face-to-face with Susan and Rick and all of the social workers and staff at Family Adoption Services (FAS) yesterday while we were in town for Christmas, so we now have a little more information to share (although not the answer to the biggest question--"when?").  Basically the way it works at FAS is that when a birth mother comes to them and wants to give her baby up for adoption, they work very closely with this mother, making sure that she receives the care and support she needs during her pregnancy. The mother has the option to choose the adoptive parents or have FAS match the parents with her child. If the mother wants to choose the parents, she is given "dear birth mother" letters from families who the agency feels would be a good match for her child (which we have already written and turned in--I don't think I've had to write so much, since I was in school). They don't tell you if you are chosen, a due date or even an approximate due date.When the baby is born, since, in Alabama, the birth mother has five days after the baby is born to change her mind, FAS cares for the babies during those five days. Once that period has passed, we will get a phone call saying that their baby is here and we can come pick him/her up. So basically, we know nothing until the day before the baby is placed with us. They do this to spare the adoptive families the traumatic experience and loss that happens when a birth mother changes her mind. So, we have to be prepared to get that phone call at any time. This is going to be VERY hard for me, because I am a planner and I like to know WHEN things are going to happen. I like deadlines and checklists so I can manage my time and budget for all of this. We have decided to go ahead and get a nursery together so that we will be prepared and not have to worry about that, at least. The other challenge that is presented is the cost. We had budgeted for a cost of $14,000, which is what it would have cost to have a placement through AGAPE. However, the placement fee at FAS is $22,000, significantly more than we had budgeted for. So, let the saving and fundraising begin, again!

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