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American Adoptions (AZ) FAQ

  1. Tell us a little about the founding and development of your organization?

    Scott Mars, founder of American Adoptions along with his mother, Susan, understands the love and joy that is experienced by building a family. Scott was adopted when he was 10 days old, and the Mars were so touched that they proceeded to give back by providing foster-care services to more than 140 children.

    Later in Scott’s life, he and his mother co-founded American Adoptions, an agency dedicated to providing the best and most timely adoption services to both adoptive families and birth mothers. Today, American Adoptions is one of the largest domestic adoption agencies in the United States, working with adoptive families in 47 states and birth mothers in all 50 states.

  2. How are your adoption home study and your organization unique?

    American Adoptions is unique in many ways, but the trait we are perhaps most proud of is how much of our staff is composed of adoptees, birth mothers and adoptive parents who have been personally touched by the adoption process. This gives American Adoptions an added layer of expertise that many prospective adoptive families and birth mothers find comforting.

    The standards our adoption agency is held to also applies to our adoption home study providers. Because we work with families from 48 of the 50 states, we prepare each family’s home study so that it complies with all 50 state’s regulations. This may mean we need to collect more documents or ask for additional clearances, but it is in the best interest of families as it limits potential complications in the adoption finalization process. For example, some states require FBI clearances to complete a home study; therefore, we require all adoptive families to complete this clearance in case the birth mother is from a state that does require an FBI clearance of the adoptive parents for the finalization of the adoption.

  3. Why are you passionate about adoption and the home study process?

    As previously noted, many of American Adoptions’ staff members joined the agency because they wanted to give back to the industry that positively changed their lives forever. We are passionate about adoption because we are passionate about our families that were built through adoption.

    The home study process is very important to our agency because we appreciate the opportunity to get to know the family, and therefore understand the family’s wants and needs during their adoption process. We believe it is necessary to understand the unique aspects of every family’s life in order to help them become matched with the right birth mother. We also are dedicated to making sure that a family is ready to welcome a child into their home.

  4. How long is an adoption home study valid?
    American Adoptions’ home studies are valid for one year. They may need to be updated, however, if you move to a new home, change your employment or have a new member added to your household.
  5. Approximately how much time is necessary to complete an adoption home study by your organization?
    American Adoptions can usually complete your home study within 4 to 6 weeks. The timeframe will largely depend on the state in which you live and how quickly your background clearances can be processed.
  6. If you complete my home study, do you also have to complete my post-placement visits?
    American Adoptions does require that we complete your post-placement visits. We recommend that all families complete their post-placement visits with the same provider who approved their home study because your home study social worker will be able to accurately observe how the family is adjusting to the placement of the child.
  7. What is some advice you can give to potential adoptive families about the home study process? What should they be prepared for?

    The home study can be an anxious time for families because of the invasive nature of the process; however, once the home study is underway, families quickly understand why their social worker needs to collect certain documents, ask particular questions and observe certain areas of the home. Home study social workers are very transparent and open in the home study, educating families throughout each stage of the process.

    The home study’s purpose is not only to ensure the child-placing agency that the child will be placed in a safe environment; it is also a chance for families to ask their home study social worker any additional questions they have about the adoption process. Families should think of the social worker as a teammate in their adoption, whom the family can seek advice from throughout the adoption.

    Inconsistent with common beliefs, families do not need to childproof or tirelessly clean their homes prior to the in-home visit. The childproofing will be recommended during the post-placement visits or when the child begins to crawl. There is no reason for a family to stress themselves out by cleaning their home three times in a week. That is not what the home tour is about, although many families do think that way.

    Finally, throughout the entire home study, the main thing to remember is to be open-minded and honest. The social worker will educate the family on each stage of the process and why certain items are required. The family must be honest with all information to ensure the home study goes smoothly.

  8. Are you Hague accredited, and if not, does your international home study comply with Hague International Standards?
    American Adoptions is a Hague-accredited child-placing agency. American Adoptions provides child-placing services for families who wish to adopt a child from China, Burundi, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine. We also complete international home studies for families who wish to adopt a child from many other countries.
  9. Do you have experience in completing the home study and working with international placement companies?
    American Adoptions has completed thousands of adoption home studies and has worked with many international child-placing agencies in order to help a family complete their adoption. We understand the complex country regulations and state mandates that affect your adoption, and we will help prepare you to adopt from any country. We are a Hague-accredited agency and are therefore able to complete international home studies that comply with Hague Convention standards.
  10. Are there other services and benefits you would like to share about your company?
    American Adoptions is a non-profit, national adoption agency that provides both domestic and international child-placing services and home studies. We complete over 300 adoptions each year in a confidential and caring manner. We complete all our adoptions as low risk adoptions, which means that if a birth mother decides to parent, your family won’t lose any funds related to living, medical and counseling expenses. In most cases, you also won’t lose legal expenses. With other professionals, your financial losses during an adoption disruption can be between $10,000 and $20,000. Finally, American Adoptions is among the top agencies offering adoptive families the shortest wait times and the lowest disruption rates in the United States.

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