Family

Adoption in North Carolina is Double the Fun with Twins

Adoption in North Carolina with KyleTypically, we talk to moms about their adoption experience. This Father’s Day, we sat down with Kyle for the dad’s perspective on adoption in North Carolina. Last year, Kyle and his wife Alyson were hoping to adopt an infant through A Child’s Hope. Instead of one child, they became the proud adoptive parents of precious TWINS! Ben and Julia turned one this June.

This is your second Father’s Day, tell me what you enjoy most about being a Dad?

I’ve only been alive 27 years, but in that time I have found nothing as rewarding or as uplifting as my kids smiling at me when I walk in the room. Every time they recognize me and burst out smiling it is like a punch to the heart. Being a child’s favorite person in the world has fundamentally changed me and inspires me to be the best version of myself. I would say that my absolute most favorite thing about being a father is how much better of a person I am because these children are in my life.

What was it like to suddenly become the father of twins right before Father’s Day last year?

When I first found out, I thought it would be somewhat overwhelming, but from the start, my heart was filled with love for these two little humans. I became the man and father they would need me to be simply because they needed me to be him. This past year has been crazy and I’ve grown a lot and I definitely wouldn’t have it any other way.

What do you want people to understand about adoption in North Carolina?

Remember the role you play in this birth mother’s life. These young women are making one of the hardest choices of their lives and sometimes they’re making that choice alone. As nervous and scared as you might feel in this situation they are probably even worse off. Be a stabilizing and positive force in this process. Remember that you and the birth mother are partners in finding a stable and loving home for the child. You are not enemies, you are allies.

How do you feel about open adoption in North Carolina?

I wholeheartedly support the movement towards a more open adoption process in North Carolina that creates partnerships between adoptive couples and birth mothers. I believe that assisting the birth mother, with both physical and mental health needs, is crucial for a successful adoption.

A young woman who feels supported and confident in and by the process is more likely to see it through and maintain a healthy relationship with the adoptive family and with the child.

If you are thinking about becoming a father for the first time or again, contact one of the counselors at A Child’s Hope to discuss whether adoption is the right choice for you and your family.

If you are a birth mother and are looking to place your child in a home with a hero dad like Kyle, contact our Birth Mother’s hotline to speak with an adoption counselor today at 877-890-4673. To see placement day videos of A Child’s Hope families, click here.

For more information on the legalities involved with adoption in North Carolina, visit parkerherringlawgroup.com.

Military Families May Qualify for Significant Benefits

Military families make excellent adoptive families. These families are accustomed to a structured lifestyle and are experienced in adjusting to new surroundings, building new connections and supporting each other. In addition, military installations have built-in support networks, including substantial health care and housing benefits, as well as “ready-made” communities.

Military Families Adopt

Patriotic Cannady Rose was Adopted by Jessica and Justin in March 2018.

For military families considering adoption, there are a variety of both support services and financial resources available before, during and after the adoption process:

  • Up to $2,000 reimbursement for qualified adoption expenses
  • Up to $13,570 in Adoption Tax Credit
  • Up to 21 days of adoption leave to bond with your new child
  • Health care benefits before the adoption is final
  • New Parent Support Programs on many installations
  • Exceptional Family Member Program for children with particular medical and/or educational needs
  • Military and Family Support Centers
  • Military-run and military-subsidized child care options
  • Affordable Child Development Programs
  • Military and Family Support Centers
  • Head Start and Sure Start
  • DoD child and youth programs, which can help your child make friends, stay active and develop new skills
  • Military Kids Connect offers engaging tools and games to help children prepare for the challenges around family transitions

Military families and their communities have many strengths including resilience, diversity, inclusiveness, social networks, and educational and health benefits which support them wherever they live.

If you, or someone you know, is in the military and is considering adoption call A Child’s Hope at 919-839-8800.

Additional information on adoption resources for military families can be found at the National Military Family Association, Military One Source and the DHSS Child Welfare Gateway.

Adoption support from the financial side include:

  • Adoption Grants: There are several grants for adoption available to waiting families who have completed the home study and meet certain Organizations like Abba Fund, National Adoption Foundationthe Goetz Foundation and many others may be able to help you fund your adoption.
  • Employer Assistance: Some employers provide financial assistance and leave from work. You should check with your employers’ Human Resource Department to see what adoption benefits exist.
  • Adoption Fundraisers: Many families turn to creative adoption fundraising ideas to help finance their adoption. Consider online adoption fundraising on websites like Go Fund Me, or host a traditional event, like a yard sale, bake sale or golf tournament.

Choosing a Child Guardian

Why Your Schnapps-Drinking Uncle Oscar Might Not Be the Best Choice as Guardian

By Angel Simpson, Attorney

Angel Simpson, Attorney

Angel Simpson, Attorney
Parker Herring Law Group, PLLC

You love him! I mean what is there not to love? He is delightfully eccentric, has never been married, wears lederhosen to family funerals and brings his own Peppermint Schnapps to holiday functions. But is he the best choice of guardian for your child/ren? No way!

Choosing a guardian and a backup guardian for your child/ren is critically important as this person will be raising your child/ren if something happens to you. Read the following blog authored by Angel Simpson, attorney with the Parker Herring Law Group, PLLC for tips on how to choose a guardian.

How to Choose Guardian

Most people assume that if something were to happen to them, their loved ones would care for their children. However, the best way to protect your child/ren is to have a plan in place in case of an emergency. Planning ahead allows you to decide who will care for your child/ren when you are no longer here or unable to care for them yourself.

Choosing a guardian for your child/ren may not be as easy as you think. So, how does a parent determine who is the right person to care for their child/ren if they are unable? The following are some important factors that all parents must consider before making this decision:

  • Discuss: Parents need to have a conversation about planning for the future and putting legal documents in place. Parents should at least have wills that name your guardian. If you already have estate planning documents, make sure to update them when necessary, especially when you experience major life changes (children, marriage, divorce).
  • Needs: Discuss your child’s needs now and through early adulthood. Start thinking about who you would want to take care of your child/ren if you were no longer here.
  • Religion, child rearing and family values: It is important to choose a person or couple that will raise your child/ren in an environment that is similar to the one you provide for them now.
  • Ability to parent and capacity to care for your child/ren for a long time: Steer away from people who have struggled with addictions and mental health issues. Although they may love your child/ren, they may not be able to provide a stable home life for them. Also, think about age and health factors – you want to choose a guardian who will most likely be around until your child/ren is at least 18 years old, but hopefully, even longer.
  • Financial ability to care for your child: Make sure the person you choose is financially stable. They do not have to be rich – as long as you know they are capable of managing finances, you can provide life insurance if the guardian will need financial assistance.
  • Familiar with your child and your family: If something happens to you, you want your child/ren to be close to other family members for support. Choosing someone who already lives close to your family will be beneficial to the child/ren, especially if they are grieving the loss of a parent. It also helps if the guardian already knows other family members.

Once you make a decision, talk to that person about your desire for them to fill the role of guardian of your child/ren. They will most likely be honored that you chose them. On the other hand, they may have issues going on in their life that you know nothing about or they may feel they do not have the ability to parent your child/ren. If not, you will need to choose someone else. Also, discuss your choice of guardian with your family so that there are no issues or disputes down the road.

Keep in mind that one of the biggest reasons that guardians fail is parents not providing funds to support their child/ren. Make sure that you set up a life insurance policy, or some other financial support, so that the guardian can adequately care for your child/ren.

So, although you want Uncle Oscar to have a permanent place in your child’s life, he should not be the one chosen to take care of your child/ren!

Angel Simpson is an attorney with Parker Herring Law Group, PLLC. Angel represents adoption clients all over the state of North Carolina and has experience guiding clients through the adoption process, both locally and when crossing state lines (interstate adoptions). She represents both birth parents and adoptive parents. In addition to handling all types of adoptions, Angel assists clients with estate planning and guardianship matters. Angel is a 2013 graduate of North Carolina Central University School of Law.

 

Considering adoption? A Child’s Hope has been helping families wiht adoption placement in NC since 2000, and we will be there to support you through every step. The first step for any hopeful parent or an expectant mother considering adoption is to contact A Child’s Hope. Keep up to date on all the waiting families, new placements and important adoption issues by following our Facebook page.

Adoption Placement Day with Ethan & Ellen

We are so thrilled to announce the first placement of 2018 through A Child’s Hope! Ethan and Ellen welcome Octavian Levi on adoption placement day! They are so excited as he is their first child and the first grandchild in the extended family.

We were touched by one of sentiments shared by this couple during their adoption journey:

You do not need to be a perfect person or come from a perfect situation, and neither does your child. Life is hard and we’re all imperfect.  Therefore, we need to take care of each other in this life and sometimes that takes a village.  We’re in this together.

As all adoption journeys are different, you might be surprised that Ethan and Ellen haven’t struggled with infertility.  Rather, Ellen has a neuromuscular condition that is genetic.  Although it is well treated and her life is expected to be long and healthy, some people can be more strongly affected by it.  She has decided she would prefer not to pass it on to a child.  Ethan and Ellen signed with A Child’s Hope in the summer of 2017.

A Child’s Hope has been helping families with adoption placement in NC since 2000, and we will be there to support you through every step. The first step for any hopeful parent or an expectant mother considering adoption is to contact A Child’s Hope. Keep up to date on all the waiting families, new placements and important adoption issues by following our Facebook page.

Happy Holidays 2017

We are excited to share with you our video that features the children adopted through A Child’s Hope this year. In 2017, we placed 18 children with North Carolina families.

Thank you for the privilege to be part of the dream of growing families through adoption. The meaningful work the agency does would not be possible without the willing adoptive parents, trusting birth parents, our excellent adoption counselors, and the many healthcare professionals who work with us across the state on a daily basis.

National Adoption Awareness Month Honors All Families

New Dads Spoil the Princess

By E. Parker Herring, executive director

 Two Dads with Their New Princess
On Placement Day with Hallie Grace
June 2017

I am fortunate to see a lot of happy, new fathers on placement day in our office. This adoption was especially touching because these two dads had been waiting to adopt for five years. Married in 2015, and domestic partners for more than 23 years, they felt the instant love with their daughter.

Their little girl is named Hallie Grace. Dwayne and Scott held her so tenderly. With her pink bow placed just so on her head, Hallie Grace smiled a bit as they went on about every feature in her tiny face.

Dwayne and Scott reached out to me in February 2017 when they learned that the adoption agency they had been signed with for five years had suddenly closed. The closing of Independent Adoption Centers left many prospective adoptive parents in shock and in despair. Dwayne and Scott had been matched with a birthmother just before IAC closed, and they needed help with counseling the birthmother and finalizing the adoption upon placement.

When we first met in our offices, the two of them joked about how they would be able to take good care of a little girl. “We figure that I can keep her hair always done just right,” said Scott, who owns his own hair salon. “And Dwayne, as a sheriff, can always keep her safe.”

Hallie Grace, 5 months old
Halloween 2017

Something tells me that this little girl will be a princess from the start. As the first Father’s Day and first Halloween will never be the same, there are lots of firsts still to come, including their first love.

Each November marks National Adoption Awareness Month, it gives us pause to still be looking at misconceptions in adoption. Every step is about understanding that not all families look the same. Some have one parent, others have two. In some cases, all the family members are from the same racial background, in others multiple races are represented. In some, there is a mom and a dad, in others there may be two moms or two dads. Some are in contact with the birthparents, many are not. None of this really makes a difference. Want does? The ability of the parent or parents to provide a happy, nurturing, safe home filled with love. I certainly saw that in Dwayne and Scott. 

A mother of three children, E. Parker Herring has a deep respect and understanding of family law and the adoption process (for which she’s adopted two children of her own). She is the founder and director of A Child’s Hope, a North Carolina licensed adoption agency located in Raleigh that focuses on helping birthmothers and families looking to adopt within the state. A Child’s Hope has placed more than 300 children since 2000, and is the only North Carolina domestic adoption agency directed by an attorney. Herring is a Board-Certified Family Law Specialist who has practiced family law for nearly 30 years in the Raleigh area. She’s a member of the NC Bar Association, the Wake County Bar Association, and the NC Collaborative Lawyers.

Raleigh Dad Enjoys 1st Father’s Day After Adopting a Child

Father's Day after IAC closing

Watch the video of this first Father’s Day on CBS North Carolina.

By AJ Janavel, Reporter, CBS North Carolina – After a two-year wait, one Raleigh dad celebrated his first Father’s Day as a dad with the help of a local group connecting families in North Carolina.

On Sunday, Rob celebrated his first Father’s Day as a dad with his wife Anna and their son Dylan.

Rob and Anna chose to adopt their son. Because of the sensitive nature of the adoption process, they did not want to use their last name.

Rob says he was adopted himself and that was part of the reason for his decision to adopt Dylan. But, it was a process Rob’s wife, Anne says definitely wore on her husband.

“Maybe this is it. And we feel like this is it. And it wasn’t us and we get so close. So that does get frustrating,” said Anne.

Through the entire two-year process, Rob and Anne had support from family and friends, but also from their adoption agency.

Parker Herring is the director of A Child’s Hope Adoptions, based out of Raleigh.

It’s an agency Herring created nearly two decades ago, while adopting a child herself, she ran into several road blocks.

“When people go out of state to adopt then (that) adds a great deal of cost,” she said.

From her experiences adopting out of state, Herring made a group where North Carolina families could find and adopt children within the state.

In the last 17 years, Herring has facilitated 343 adoptions.

“Today I thought about all the fathers who were dads for the first time,” said Herring.

And for people like Rob, and Anne they are grateful after the long wait.

“Looking forward to many more Father’s Days,” said Rob.

See the story on CBS North Carolina.

Every Child Deserves a Chance

Hudson, A Special Needs MiracleThree-year-old Hudson had a blast in school today. A bit of a miracle if you know his story.

After a normal pregnancy, full term and weighing in at 7 pounds and 11 ounces, Hudson’s difficulties began right after birth. Born on June 21, 2013, he immediately had trouble eating. Hudson was in the NICU for a total of 67 days as a newborn. He survived kidney and heart failure, had heart and GI surgery, and endured numerous procedures.

Hudson’s mother discussed her situation with her hair stylist. Subsequently, the stylist introduced her to another client, Marcy.

Marcy and her husband, Philip, have one child, Tyler, now 12. Since Tyler’s birth, Marcy had not been able to conceive again. She struggled with several miscarriages, and years of infertility. With the assistance of Parker Herring, on April 23, 2014, Hudson became the second child of Marcy and Phillip, and Tyler’s little brother.

Marcy, Phillip and Tyler’s journey with Hudson has been difficult at times, but he has been a joy. Hudson will be four this June. There have been many long days and times when his parents and his big brother did not think he would survive. But Hudson defies the odds. He works hard every day at physical, speech and occupational therapy. He also has feeding therapy, and his parents still take him to UNC for GI and ENT exams.

Hudson, a boy with special needsAt one point, physicians told Marcy and Phillip that Hudson would, most likely, never walk, talk or even hear speech. Nevertheless, today Hudson is walking. He can hear and understand what is said to him. Albeit slow, he is developing verbal skills. Hudson is a loving, sweet child. The journey has been difficult at times. Marcy says what is most special about Hudson is his personality.

There are many ways to show a child that you love and care for him/her as they grow. Sometimes it means admitting you need help. For Hudson, that help came in the form of an adoptive family.

Marcy, Phillip and Tyler are not the only family willing and able to care for a child with special needs.  If you need help, reach out for the help you need. If you know someone in need or want additional information, contact A Child’s Hope at (877) 890-4673

Learn more about adopting a child whit special needs.

 

parker-herring-raleigh-adoption-lawyer-attorneyParker Herring is a Board-Certified Family Law Attorney and Director of the NC-based adoption agency, A Childs Hope. In this blog, she shares a powerful story about how a special child can be the greatest blessing.

A mother of three children, E. Parker Herring has a deep respect and understanding of family law and the adoption process (for which she’s adopted two children of her own). She is the founder and director of A Child’s Hope, a North Carolina licensed adoption agency located in Raleigh that focuses on helping birthmothers and families looking to adopt. A Child’s Hope has placed 315 children since 2000, and is the only North Carolina domestic adoption agency directed by an attorney. Herring is a Board-Certified Family Law Specialist who has practiced family law for nearly 30 years in the Raleigh area. She’s a member of the NC Bar Association, the Wake County Bar Association, and the NC Collaborative Lawyers.

Birth mothers Can Show Love to Their Child Placed for Adoption

Parker Herring, is a Board-Certified Family Law Attorney and Director of the NC-based adoption agency, A Child’s Hope. In this blog, she discusses the most frequent asked questions about adoption that she gets from birth mothers. Plus, shares many of her firsthand experiences as she’s adopted two children of her own.

Parker Herring Answers Questions About AdoptionOne of the questions about adoption I often hear from birth mothers is:

“How can I let my child know how much I love him/her?”

I explain that although she will not be there physically to do the daily tasks that let a child know he/she is loved, there is a lot that can be done before and after the placement to help the child understand the difficult act of choosing adoption. Remember, a child can never have too many people loving him/her. These eight ideas are written as suggestions for birth mothers, but of course, birth fathers can follow the same protocol.

Letters — Write a letter to your child for the adoptive parents to read later. What is most important is that this letter be in your own words and from your heart. Explain why you made this decision, how much you love him/her and how he/she will always be in your heart. My middle son’s birth mother wrote a nicely worded letter on lined paper with a pen. It’s simple and beautiful.

Lifebooks — Consider doing a photo book. Known as a lifebook, these scrapbooks can include photographs of you, your family, and even the birth father. Over time the child can get to know you. For some ideas on photo books, Amazon has a nice selection.  

Make Something for the Child — Making a blanket or giving a stuffed animal to the adoptive family to give to the child is special. The child can keep it, it’s tangible and something you have gifted. If you are okay with parting with a stuffed animal or toy that you had as a child, this can make the gift even more meaningful.

Books About Adoption — Purchase a children’s book about adoption and inscribe inside a message from your heart. Maybe something like: “Never forget how much I love you!” For a list of children’s books, visit amazon and your local library.

Send Clothes and Toys.  Ask the adoptive parents to let you know about sizes for clothes and favorite toys to send to your child. Even something small, but sent on a regular basis honoring an important day or event, will let the child know that they continued to be loved.

Naming the Child — If you are in contact with the adoptive parents, ask them to work with you on choosing a name for the child that either has part of your name, or a name you chose for the baby. Ask the adoptive parents to share with the child how he/she got their name. Names are a sensitive subject. If you are uncomfortable bringing up the suggestion of being involved in the name process, consider asking a counselor for help. If you don’t have a counselor, email or ask the question in a note to the adoptive parents. My oldest son’s birth mother chose a name for him, but never told us. I didn’t know until after the mother’s birth certificate arrived. I’ve told him the name she chose, and he cherishes it. If I’d known of her choice, I would have honored it by using at least one of the names.

Stay in touch. Both with open and semi-open adoptions (hot link to web pages), you can send letters and pictures over the years. Birthday cards, Valentine’s cards, all holidays. Send in advance so the child receives on his/her holiday celebration. Your pictures can show the child how you are doing. I saw one birth mother hold up a sign in a photograph with the lettering “Forever in my Heart”. You can also set up SnapFish, Shutterfly or Flickr accounts to share pictures.

Visits – It is important to always follow through with plans to stay in touch. If you had agreed on visits, follow through. At the visit remember that your emotions may be difficult for the child to understand, so do your best to put the child’s needs first. It’s always good to give a small gift – whether it be a card, coloring book or some other small token. Physically demonstrate your affection for the child at the visit, but take cues from the child. You do not want to make the child feel uncomfortable. If there has been a long time between visits, it may take your child awhile to warm up. Don’t insist that the child call you “mom” – use your first name.

There are many ways show the child that you love and care for him/her as they grow. Determining which will be best for you, the child and the adoptive family is a partnership and should be planned for, as much as possible, before the adoption. Holding open and honest conversations with the adoption agency counselor and the adoptive parents will go a long way in providing you comfort that the child knows how loved they are, as well as providing the child the knowledge of who the birth parents are, where they come from and, most importantly, that they are loved dearly.

A mother of three children, E. Parker Herring has a deep respect and understanding of family law and the adoption process (for which she’s adopted two children of her own). She is the founder and director of A Child’s Hope, a North Carolina licensed adoption agency located in Raleigh that focuses on helping birth mothers and families looking to adopt and answer questions about adoption. A Child’s Hope has placed 332 children since 2000, and is the only North Carolina domestic adoption agency directed by an attorney. Herring is a Board-Certified Family Law Specialist who has practiced family law for nearly 30 years in the Raleigh area. She’s a member of the NC Bar Association, the Wake County Bar Association, and the NC Collaborative Lawyers.

Birthmother Hotline: (877) 890-4673

Envia Un Texto: (919) 218-6270

Text: Pregnant to (919) 971-4396