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What Happens When An Adoption Agency Closes?

Independent Adoption Center (IAC) abruptly closed its doors on January 31, 2017 and notified adoptive families via email. IAC had been helping families adopt for 34 years and their closing was a shock to the adoption community.

The Agency was licensed in eight states – North Carolina, New York, Texas, Connecticut, Florida, California, Georgia and Indiana; and adoptive families were reeling from the abrupt announcement this week. The good news for these families is that they already have a head start on the adoption process! Each family that was waiting with IAC has a homestudy, profile, website and have been educated on the process.

Our hope is that these families will regroup quickly and reach out to other agencies and utilize resources to complete their adoption journey. The adoption tax credit should help those whose incomes are not over $201,920 recoup some of their losses.

A Child’s Hope of North Carolina, LLC’s Adoption Attorney and Director E. Parker Herring is offering a free consultation with any families that were waiting with IAC in North Carolina. The Agency is actively recruiting adoptive families at this time. In addition, IAC families that would like to with A Child’s Hope will receive credit for their completed homestudy, profile and website. We can use their existing profile/website to activate them in a relatively short period of time to begin receiving opportunities.

“The adoption journey often has setbacks, but I encourage North Carolina IAC families to give our Agency a call to discuss their options.” – E. Parker Herring

Birth Certificates and Adoption

You have done a lot of work to be recognized as your child’s “legal parents”  — a homestudy, post placement visits, matching with a birthmother, placement and then filing an adoption petition etc. The last step before you can apply for a social security card for your child is to obtain a birth certificate with the child’s formal name and your names listed as the parents. Let’s look at the formal process for obtaining a birth certificate and why it’s important.

In domestic adoptions, once your decree of adoption is entered by the court, then the Department of Vital Records in the state where your child was or will be born is directed to create a new birth certificate. In adoptions, the original birth certificate given at the hospital — often referred to as the “mother’s copy of the birth certificate” will be sealed. The new birth certificate will list you as the parents and use the name you have chosen for the baby. Unless you have an open adoption, you will not receive the mother’s copy of the birth certificate.

If your baby was born in North Carolina, it will normally take four to six months  for a new birth certificate to be prepared. You will need to get the birth certificate from the Department of Vital Records. Their contact information is 919-733-3000, extension 5886. The address is: N.C. Vital Records, Special Registration Unit, 1903 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-1903. As of 2016, there is a $24 fee for the first copy of the birth certificate and then an additional $15 for each additional copy requested on the initial application. There is also a one time $15 processing fee.

We recommend that you request three certified copies of your child’s birth certificate and keep the certificates in different safe places. You can request additional copies over time, but it is easiest to get multiple copies when you originally request them. Since many adoptees want information about their birth parents, we suggest that you store the birthmother’s copy of the birth certificate in the same location as the new formal birth certificate. We also recommend that if you are going to actually pick up your birth certificate that you call and make an appointment.

If your child was born out of state, then the North Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) will prepare a package to send to the state where the child was born to prepare a new birth certificate, listing you as the child’s parents. We recommend waiting several months and then calling the Department of Vital Records in the state where the child was born and check to see if they have received the package from North Carolina. The cost for the out of state birth certificate will depend on that state.

This article was originally posted at our sister website, Herring & Mills Family Law Firm.

Adopting & Raising a Child with Special Needs – Things to Know

There are many adoptive parents who have taken on the loving and demanding job of adopting and raising a child with special needs. In my mind, these parents are as special as the children they adopt.

What I hear frequently from adoptive parents who are offered the opportunity to adopt a child born with special needs is that if they had given birth to the child then they wouldn’t hesitate to jump right in, even though they know it’s going to be demanding. And even as adoptive parents, they think of the child as their own almost from the start and they become fierce advocates. For many, it’s a lifetime commitment.

One of my favorite memories as an adoption agency director is seeing a three year old named Matthew laughing at a local mall as he tried to run away from his parents, Jack and Peggy. His parents smiled broadly. They were so proud. He was a beautiful toddler, with black curls and a smile that was big and open. And he didn’t walk, he ran.

“And this is the child that we were told might never walk,” Peggy said. “And look at him now. We have to run to keep up.”

The family added another son by adoption, Michael, a few years later. Now the brothers are best friends. Michael was born with a life threatening physical condition called esophageal fistula. He was airlifted shortly after birth to a major medical center. Jack and Peggy were with him while he had seven operations, first to connect his esophagus to his stomach and then later to remove a finger that didn’t function and construct a thumb from his index finger. He still has challenges swallowing and has had four procedures in the last two years.

Jack and Peggy’s time and heart commitment has been enormous. But Michael is now thirteen years old and doing well!

“You have to take on what you feel you can handle,” Peggy said recently. “We feel blessed. “

Surrogacy Adoption and Twins

It’s always a very special holiday season for any family when there is a newborn in the house. But when there are two newborns as twins, and the twins were carried by a surrogate who is their aunt, well as you might expect there is even more magic and excitement in the air.

When 34-year-old Tiffany and her husband Will were not able to carry a second pregnancy to term, they consulted with the fertility specialists at Carolina Conceptions in Raleigh. Tiffany and Will have a six-year-old biological daughter, but they wanted a sibling for her and Tiffany was not able to conceive a second child. It was decided that the best way for Tiffany and Will to add to their family was through the surrogacy adoption process.

And what better surrogate than Tiffany’s own sister, Jennifer, who is 36 and lives only about one mile from Will and Tiffany. Jennifer volunteered to carry a child for her sister. The result was a twin pregnancy and a birth on November 18 of two healthy babies – a boy Liam and a girl Lee.

The pregnancy was high risk and Jennifer suffered through kidney stones, but all turned out well. The twins arrival was a bit more dramatic than hoped for when Jennifer had an emergency labor and had to go to a local emergency room due to some complications, but, the twins are healthy and Jennifer has recovered from the difficult pregnancy.

All has turned out well. It’s obvious when you see these two sisters together that there is a lot of love. Little Liam and Lee have a special aunt who helped her sister with the dream of having more children.

This article was originally posted at HerringandMillsLawfirm.com. E. Parker Herring is a Board Certified Family Law Specialist and has practiced family law for nearly 30 years.

Creating Family Through The Miracle of Adoption!

SantaWe feel like the luckiest people in the world to have created our family through the miracle of adoption! We have two children – Neva and Marco. We chose to work with A Child’s Hope because we liked the idea of having a North Carolina adoption and we felt like they could guide us through this complex process.

Six weeks after completing our adoption homestudy and paperwork, we were matched with a birth mom! Our son Marco was born on a gorgeous fall day. I remember thinking, “today would be a good day to be born,” and then we got the call from the agency. Ten fingers, ten toes, and a healthy baby boy was waiting for us!  He has been a delight.

When Marco was 18 months-old, we decided it was time to expand our family again. It was not long after completing our paperwork again that we got the call. This time, we did an independent match with a birth mom in Texas. She picked us because of Marco. She wanted a big brother for her baby!  A few weeks later, Neva was born and we were on an airplane to Texas to meet our angel!  We finalized Neva’s adoption with A Child’s Hope.

We send letters and pictures to Marco’s Birth mom twice a year. We have never met her, but we love her and know that she has given us the greatest gift possible. We have an open adoption with Neva’s Birth mom. We talk on the phone, visit her in Texas, and exchange letters and pictures. She is an important part of our lives. Adoption creates a bigger extended family. Our children are surrounded by love and we are certain that we were all meant to be together.  Adoption has made us a family.

A Big thank you to Neva and Marco’s family for sharing their adoption stories!

Do you have a story you’d like to tell? Email us at blog.ach@foryourlife.com. Visit us at www.achildshope.com, or call our Birth Mother Hotline at 1-877-890-HOPE (4976) so one of our adoption counselors can answer your questions confidentially.

Please remember that this is a public site open to anyone; therefore, anything you post can be seen by anyone.

The Journey to Becoming a Parent Through Adoption!

NewbornAs a child, I dreamed of becoming many things: a doctor, a ballerina, and a marine biologist, but, more than anything else in the world, I wanted to be a mom someday. However, as a teen, I realized that due to being born with heart defects, my dream of becoming a mom, at least biologically, may not be possible. At the time, I did not know anyone who was adopted, but, starting in college, I began to hear more and more about adoption and met both children and adults who were adopted. When I got married just after graduating, two family members and my best friend offered to be surrogates for my husband and me when we were ready to start a family, but by that time I knew that someday I was meant to become a mom through adoption!

My husband and I adopted our first child, Bella, seven and-a-half years ago through A Child’s Hope. Though the whole process took less than 6 months, it was not without its ups and downs. Just before we matched with Bella’s birth mother, we were matched with another birth mother whom we met but who ultimately chose to parent. It was hard to get past the pain of this revocation, but about a month later we became parents to our beautiful Bella, who does not look like us due to her Honduran heritage, but whose personality is a perfect combination of my husband’s and my own.

Two and-a-half years later, we adopted our son, Carter, again through A Child’s Hope. This time we knew we wanted a Hispanic child so that Bella could have a sibling that shared her wonderful heritage that we had learned so much about during the first few years of her life. Carter was born about 6 weeks early, less than a week after we matched with his birth mother. He had some health issues the few first years of his life but is now an always on the go, a super-ready for Kindergarten 5-year-old.

While Bella and Carter truly made my dream of becoming a mother come true, being one of four children, I felt that I had room for more children in my heart and we had more room in our house. Bella, while having a great bond with her brother, wished all the time for “a baby sister named Maia.” So when Carter turned 3, we decided to start the adoption process again, this time specifically with the goal of adopting a little girl. We decided to sign with an adoption referral service this time to find a birth mother in a different state with a shorter revocation period than NC and ended up matching with a birth mother in NV. Like her brother, Carter, Maia Jane could not wait to join our family and ended up being born at Thanksgiving instead of around Christmas when her birth mother was scheduled to have a C-section. We ended up spending about 2 weeks in NV with my mom, Bella, and Carter, the first week of which Maia was in the NICU. Since we had gotten to know everyone at A Child’s Hope so well, we had Bobby Mills finalize our adoption of Maia in NC.

Not a day goes by that I do not look at my kids and think how lucky I am to be their mother but also how it all really seems meant to be! There is no doubt that adoption is a roller coaster, and I am not a big fan of roller coasters, but, as I have been told about childbirth, once your child is in your arms, the joy you experience erases from your mind any pain you experienced.

Thank you to Lyla and her family for sharing their story with us!

Do you have a story you’d like to tell?  Email us at blog.ach@foryourlife.com.  Visit us at www.AChildsHope.com, or call our Birth Mother Hotline at 1-877-890-HOPE (4976) so one of our adoption counselors can answer your questions confidentially.

Please remember that this is a public site open to anyone; therefore, anything you post can be seen by anyone.

Adopting and Raising a Child with Special Needs Can Be a Blessing

DCP_0511

 Adopting and raising a child with special needs is not for everyone….

There are many adoptive parents who have taken on the loving and demanding job of adopting and raising a child with special needs. These parents in my mind are as special as the children they adopt.

What I hear frequently from adoptive parents who are offered the opportunity to adopt a child  born with special needs is that  if they had given birth to the child they wouldn’t hesitate.  They think of the child as their own almost from the start and they become fierce advocates.  For many its a lifetime commitment.

One of my favorite memories as an adoption agency director is seeing a three year old named Matthew laughing at a local mall as he tried to  run away from his parents, Jack and Peggy.  His parents smiled broadly, they were so proud.  He was a beautiful toddler , with black curls and a smile that was  big and open.  And he didn’t walk, he ran…

“And this is the child that we were told might never walk, “ Peggy said “And look at him now. We have to run to keep up.“  The family added another son by adoption, Michael,  # of years later. The brothers are best friends!

Michael  was born with a life threatening physical condition called esophageal fistula. He was airlifted shortly after birth to a major medical center. Jack and hospitalPeggy were with him while he had 7  operations, first to connect his esophagus to his stomach and then later to remove a finger that didn’t function and construct a thumb from his index finger.  He still has challenges swallowing and has had four procedures in the last two years.

Jack and Peggy’s  time and heart commitment has been enormous . Michael is now thirteen years old and doing well.  “You have to take on what you feel you can handle,” Peggy said recently. “We feel blessed. “

Thank you to Director Parker Herring and parents Jack and Peggy for allowing us to share their story.

Do you have a story you’d like to tell?  Email us at blog.ach@foryourlife.com.  Visit us at www.AChildsHope.com, or call our Birth Mother Hotline at 1-877-890-HOPE (4976) so one of our adoption counselors can answer your questions confidentially.

Please remember that this is a public site open to anyone; therefore, anything you post can be seen by anyone.

When a Long Adoption Wait Ends with Just a Few Days Notice!

Bill-Priscila-Baby

Bill and Priscila have been waiting for over three years to adopt a brother or sister for their son Thomas, who was placed with them five and a half years ago in the Agency’s offices.  Yesterday was the the end to their long adoption journey…

Bill and Priscila  were notified by the Agency on Tuesday and offered the opportunity to adopt a nine pound baby boy who was a last minute placement.  They got it together in two days time and came with smiles and a car seat!

Sometimes birth mothers make last minute decisions at the hospital to place their baby for adoption, and when they do, there is a lot of  hard work done by many people to make the last minute placement work. Social workers, attorneys and staff scramble to make birth mom’s situation and the baby’s transition go as smoothly as possible.

Today, this nine pound baby named Lucas was dressed for Christmas and handed over to the adoptive parents by his respite care provider. It was worth the wait his parents said. Big brother Thomas leaned down to his brother in the car seat before they left the agency and when asked what he thought about his new baby brother, Thomas grinned and  said “So far he’s been pretty good .”

A Big thank you to Bill, Priscila, Thomas and Lucas for allowing us to tell the story of their adoption journey!

Do you have a story you’d like to tell?  Email us at blog.ach@foryourlife.com.  Visit us at www.AChildsHope.com, or call if you are a birth mother, please call our Birth Mother Hotline at 1-877-890-HOPE (4976) so one of our adoption counselors can answer your questions confidentially.

Please remember that this is a public site open to anyone; therefore, anything you post can be seen by anyone.

Placement Day – The Best Gift of All!!

Placement Day Photo

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Hunter and Laura got the best Christmas gift that anyone could ask for at Christmas – a newborn boy placed lovingly in their arms by their birth mother!! The adoptive parents and the birthmother had agreed on a name – Hezekiah – to be called “Kiah” for short.

This was not the first time that the intended parents had seen the baby – they held their heart in their hands last Sunday when they visited him in the hospital. We took photographs then and marveled at how beautiful he was. During the seven day waiting period that North Carolina law requires, the birthmother was very emotional as one could expect and was counseled.

It was a difficult week for her, but she stayed firm in her decision to place the baby for adoption. On placement day, she lovingly held the baby again for an hour in the agency’s offices while the adoptive parents executed legal documents.

She kissed him tenderly as she held him and told him how much she loved him. He was very alert and would glace up at her while she was talking to him.

She selflessly and lovingly gave her baby and the adoptive parents the Best Gift of All!

The parts we play in helping our families create forever families through adoption is a rewarding one and we love to share their stories!!

Do you have a story you’d like to tell?  Email us at blog.ach@foryourlife.com.  Visit us at www.AChildsHope.com, or call our Birth Mother Hotline at 1-877-890-HOPE (4976) so one of our adoption counselors can answer your questions confidentially.

Please remember that this is a public site open to anyone; therefore, anything you post can be seen by anyone.

 

The Best Gift of All…

Baby hand on ornament

A birth mother placing a newborn into the intended adoptive parents arms for the first time  is an emotional moment any time of year. But when a newborn is placed for adoption at Christmas, emotions run high.

Last Sunday, I watched as a young  woman with an unplanned pregnancy visited in the hospital with the adoptive parents she chose as they met their baby.  She wanted them to share in the moment.  She had delivered him three days before  cuddling the baby on her chest and then watched the emotion as she handed the baby over to the new adoptive mom to be.  She said how much she loved him.

All in the hospital room tried to hold their emotions in check.  North Carolina law allows birth parents seven (7) days to revoke her consent. Even though the birth mother in this hospital room  had signed relinquishments the day before, all were mindful that despite all her best intentions that she could change her mind and the baby they were holding would not be theirs to raise.

Birth mother admitted that she was feeling very emotional, but she knew that she was giving the best gift of all to this couple who had struggled for years with infertility and had been waiting with an adoption agency.   She smiled to see how their eyes filled with tears as they held him for the very first time!

Thank you to Director Parker Herring for sharing her experience with us!

Do you have a story you’d like to tell?  Email us at blog.ach@foryourlife.com.  Visit us at www.AChildsHope.com, or call our Birth Mother Hotline at 1-877-890-HOPE (4976) so one of our adoption counselors can answer your questions confidentially.

Please remember that this is a public site open to anyone; therefore, anything you post can be seen by anyone.

 

Birthmother Hotline: (877) 890-4673

Se Habla Español: 1 (866) 805-2323 (BEBE)

Text: Pregnant to (919) 971-4396