Act of Love provides two programs to adoptive parents looking for a child to adopt. Many adoptive parents choose to be part of the “Applied Full Service Program.” But for some, the Applied Full Service Program is not what they are looking for. For these families, the Outreach Program may be just what they are looking for.
There is a big difference between these two programs. Both are good programs for adoptive families, but they have two different goals and purposes.
The Applied Full Service Program is for adoptive families who want Act of Love to more actively promote them with birth parents and are willing to pay Act of Love’s fees up-front in order to enjoy this preference. In this program, Act of Love will require both the adoptive family and the birth parents to identify the criteria they would like to consider when making the decision to either place or receive a child for adoption. These criteria will include the level of “openness” and post-adoption contact in the adoption each adoptive family and each birth parent desires. Act of Love will compare the criteria of adoptive families in the Applied Full Service Program against the criteria of every birth parent working with Act of Love. If the criteria are similar, Act of Love will show the family’s profile to the birth parents in the hope that the birth parent will want to learn more. Thus, families in the Applied Full Service Program have the opportunity to be shown to every birth parent AOL is assisting that meets the birth parent’s criteria. Furthermore, adoptive families in the Applied Full Service Program who meet the birth parent’s criteria will be shown to that birth parent before he or she will be shown any families who are part of the Outreach Program. In order to be part of the Applied Full Service Program, adoptive families must pay a portion of the Agency Fee up-front.
The Outreach Program fills a specific need. From time to time, there is a birth parent for whom AOL is not able to find a suitable family from within the Applied Full Service Program. When this happens, AOL then turns to the families in the Outreach Program. In other words, if a birth parent cannot find a suitable family from the Applied Full Service Program, AOL then presents the birth parent with information about adoptive families in the Outreach Program. What this means is that Outreach families will most likely not have the opportunity to be shown to all of AOL’s birth parents; the birth parents may choose an adoptive family from the Applied Full Service Program before any adoptive parents from the Outreach Program are shown to the birth parents. Although the chances of finding a child through the Outreach Program are lower, there is one decided benefit to the Outreach Program: There is no application fee to join this program.
In short, when Act of Love has an adoption situation, it first presents it to adoptive families in the Applied Full Service Program. If AOL is unable to find a suitable match, then it notifies Outreach families. If AOL cannot find adoptive parents in either the Applied or the Outreach programs, it will use other methods to search for suitable families.
Most often, the Outreach Program is used by adoptive families who have obtained all required home studies and background clearances, are now simply looking for a child to adopt, and who are working with multiple adoption service providers to locate a child for adoption.
Why should I apply to the Outreach Program?
If you are ready to adopt right now, and would like the opportunity to receive more exposure to actual adoption situations with no strings attached this is the program for you. By getting pre-approved to adopt in your home state, you can save precious time when an adoption opportunity presents itself in the Outreach Program. Many times AOL may be able to send your family profile to a birth mother the same day she tells Act of Love that she would like to look at Outreach families.
Is there an application fee?
No. Unlike enrollment in the Applied Full Service Program, you do not need to pay Act of Love any up-front fees to be included in the Outreach Program. If you are matched with a child, however, you will ultimately upon match be obligated to pay an “Agency Fee” and the same expenses those families in the Applied Full Service Program pay for a successful adoption upon match. The total cost that any adoptive family pays, whether in the Applied Full Service Program or the Outreach Program, depends largely upon the unique circumstances of each adoption situation.
What is the wait time?
Wait times vary. Adoptive families in the Outreach Program may wait only days before being chosen by a birth mother, or they may wait in excess of one year or more. Some families don’t place through the Outreach Program because, for example, they may receive a child through another source.
Wait times can be shorter and your chances of getting chosen increase if you are pre-approved to adopt in your home state. On average, a birth mom looking at Outreach families can receive fewer than ten profiles from pre-approved Outreach families before she decides to contact a family.
What kind of adoptions are these?
Outreach adoptions are based on individual birth parent needs. The majority of the Outreach adoptions will require some form of openness. “Openness” refers to the level of contact that the birth parents want to have with the child and the adoptive parents. There are three general categories of openness:
A. Closed – no contact after placement with adoptive parents.
B. Semi Open – requiring letters and pictures at least once a year.
C. Open Adoption – requiring actual contact with the birth parent(s) after placement, such as visits or phone calls.
Most birth parents involved in the Outreach Program will only desire letters and pictures for a predetermined time. Act of Love can assist you with this post-placement contact.
Can I continue to work with my adoption professional during this process?
Yes. Act of Love encourages you to continue to work with your current adoption professionals.
What does the Outreach Program cost?
Although there are no up-front fees in the Outreach Program, an adoptive family that adopts a child through the Outreach Program will ultimately pay the same Agency Fee paid by adoptive families in the Applied Full Service Program. The total cost of any adoption, however, ultimately depends upon the unique circumstances of each adoption situation. Total adoption expenses range between approximately $22,000.00 and $45,000.00, depending on each adoption’s unique circumstances (This may or may not include medical/legal expenses). Aside from the Agency Fee, which is fixed, factors affecting the total costs include, but are not limited to, birth parent expenses, medical expenses, legal expenses, etc.
How and when is the Agency Fee paid?
Most birth mothers who look into placing their children with adoptive families in the Outreach Program are due to give birth within six months, at the latest. Half of the Agency Fee is due when you are matched with a birth mother. The remaining balance is due 30 days before the child’s expected due date. Thus, if you are matched when there are fewer than 30 days before the expected due date, the entire Agency Fee will be due at that time. Please see below for a more detailed description of the Agency Fee.
For Further Information?
For more information on Act of Love programs, contact the AOL office through email at adoptions@aactofloveadoptions or call the office at 801-572-1696. Act of Love offers a free informational Adoption Orientation the first Tuesday of every month to answer adoption questions in a casual, no-obligation setting. Private informational meetings can also be scheduled by contacting Act of Love.