Domestic Infant Adoption
Home Study and
Families adopting an infant will pay a standard home study fee and a placement fee which is based on their gross annual income. If the social worker is required to travel to complete the home study, mileage will be assessed and, if necessary, other travel expenses including lodging.
The placement fee is used to help the birthmother with services including clothing, food, transportation, options counseling and support. In addition, a portion of the placement fee is used to cover agency expenses. In the event private health insurance or Medicaid does not pay the birthmother’s medical expenses, the adoptive family will be asked to cover medical costs. A schedule of fees is included in the application packet.
The Family Profile
During the home study process the applicant(s) will be creating a family profile which will be shared with birth parents as they decide which family is best suited to parent their baby. Birth parents often have an idea of the type of family they would feel comfortable placing their child with, and the profile allows the birth parents to learn about the family and their desire to parent a child. Based on the desired criteria of the birth parents the agency will provide the birth parents with several family profiles. Birth parents will then select the family they would like to meet and consider as adoptive parents for their child.
This book gives adoptive families the opportunity to share with potential birth parents more about their family. These books can highlight personalities, hobbies, interests, traditions and histories. Your family profile should be original and creative, and provide a good representation of your family. Your profile should include your first names, but no other identifying information such as surnames, addresses or telephone numbers. Please do not begin the profile book until you have begun the home study process.
Please be sure to include:
- a collection of recent, casual, close-up, and colorful family photographs
- a ‘Dear Birthparent’ letter
- short, written passages related to photos or family experiences
Please provide our office with five (5) bound booklets that do not exceed 9 x 12 inches in size. We are happy to assist you in preparing or reviewing your family profile book. We have several examples of effective profiles we can share with you to guide you in creating your unique profile.
Closed, Semi-Open, and Open Adoption
The amount of contact between the birth parents and the adoptive family is a decision made by the two parties. The agency helps draft an agreement, which the adoptive family and birth parents both sign. It is common for birth parents to want to exchange letters and pictures and some choose to have visits facilitated by Wyoming Children’s Society’s staff.
Adoptions can be open, semi-open or closed. A closed adoption is where the birth parent has requested to not meet the adoptive parent of their baby. A semi-open adoption is when the birth parent desires to meet the adoptive family selected and continue to receive photographs and letters; however, limited identifying information is shared. In some instances, visits after placement may occur if all parties agree. An open adoption is where the birth parent has an expectation of ongoing direct contact and visits with the adoptive family and the child. The majority of Wyoming Children’s Society adoptions are semi-open, although the number of open adoptions is increasing.
Agreements regarding contact after placement are not legal documents. They are considered to be moral and ethical agreements freely developed jointly by the birth parents and the adoptive parents. Adherence to this agreement is expected unless and until the agreement is no longer in the best interests of the child. The agency will assist you in resolving any issues that arise regarding the agreement.
The Birth Parents
Wyoming Children’s Society requests that birth parents fill out a social/medical history form to provide any known social and/or medical information to the adoptive parents. In most cases, the birth parents meet the selected family prior to the birth.
Wyoming Children’s Society provides options counseling and support to all birth parents in our program. In the event the birth parents need more in-depth professional counseling, appropriate referrals will be made. Other assistance birth parents may need such as transportation, groceries, housing, and living expenses are provided by the agency.
Birthparents retain all legal rights to the child until the voluntary relinquishment and consent for adoption form is signed.
The Legal Process
Once the baby is born, Wyoming Children’s Society will again review the adoption decision with the birth parents. The voluntary relinquishment and consent is signed approximately 24 hours after birth and is irrevocable by Wyoming law. Wyoming law states a voluntary relinquishment of parental rights is permanent and irrevocable once signed and can only be overturned due to proven fraud, coercion or duress.
The adoption will be finalized once post placement supervision is complete, which generally occurs six months after placement. You will need to hire an attorney to represent you in court to finalize your adoption. The agency and your attorney will assist you with this process. Following finalization of your adoption, your attorney will help you obtain an amended birth certificate for your child.
Wyoming Children’s Society strictly observes all applicable state and federal adoption statutes, including the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC).
Agency Support Post-Placement
Post-placement supervision and support is critical to the success of every placement. Wyoming Children’s Society will require post-placement supervision of all adoptive placements regardless of state or country requirements. Post-placement requirements and fees are noted on the current Statement of Fees.
Post-placement supervision will be provided by the agency. The primary purpose of this service is to support the adoptive family with the transition following placement and in the adjustment of becoming an adoptive family. Additionally, Wyoming requires regular post placement visits and contact with the adoptive family to provide the court with information on the stability and progress of the placement. During these first six months the child remains in the legal custody of Wyoming Children’s Society and physical custody is placed with the adoptive family. The agency will also provide ongoing support to the birth parents as they move forward with their lives post-placement.
We are committed to helping our birth parents and adoptive families for a lifetime. Once an adoption is finalized in court, we are still available for support services at any time for birth parents and adoptive families. This includes a request for support, information and referral, or guidance concerning the lifelong process of adoption.