Act of Love provides two programs for adoptive parents looking to grow their family through adoption. 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 difference between these two programs. Both are great programs for adoptive families, but they have two different goals and purposes for families searching for their child. The main focus in both programs is bring families and birth parents together in the best interest of the child.
AOL Applied Full-Service Program
The Applied Full Service Program is for adoptive families who want Act of Love to actively search and promote them in their search for a match with a birth parent. Adoptive families will apply for services and complete the necessary paperwork and home study process to be considered for adoption approval with the adoption agency.
AAOL Outreach Program
The Outreach Program fills a specific need for home study ready adoptive families and birth parents searching for an adoptive family. From time to time, there is a birth parent for whom AOL is not able to find a match within the Applied Full Service Program. When this happens, we are able to turn to the families in our Outreach Program to possibly find the right match.
“We recently adopted a sweet little baby through A Act of Love Adoptions. From day one the agency was forward and honest about what the fees and other expenses would be. There were no surprises. They are professional and really do care. These people have big hearts! They understand how difficult the experience can be for an adoptive family and do their best to provide education and support. The Act of Love family has changed our lives. We are incredibly grateful for their help. We highly recommend them!”
- Adoptive Family Milo & Kimmy
Act of Love went outside their normal profile base with their normal couples they are working with and looked for us. When we got to Act of Love we spoke with Kathy and she said I am so glad you are here, so glad we found you. She told us her backstory of her own adoptions and adoptive family and was just really supportive.
Megan & Dan
In other words, if a birth parent cannot find a suitable family from our Applied Full Service Program, we then present 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 our 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.
Act of Love’s fees up-front in order to enjoy this preference. In this program, Act of Love gathers 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” 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 our 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 we are 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.
In short, when Act of Love has an adoption situation, we first present it to adoptive families in the Applied Full Service Program. If we are unable to find a suitable match, we then notify Outreach families. If we cannot find adoptive parents in either the Applied or the Outreach programs, we will post information regarding the adoption situation online.
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 we 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 be obligated to pay an “Agency Fee” and the same expenses those families in the Applied Full Service Program pay for a successful adoption. 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 receives fewer than ten profiles from pre-approved Outreach families before she decides to contact a family. On the other hand, once an outreach situation is posted online a birth mom can receive more than double that number.
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 $40,000.00, depending on each adoption’s unique circumstances. 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 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.
What is the “Agency Fee” and when will I be expected to pay it?
Whether a child is matched with you through the Applied Full Service Program or the Outreach Program, you will ultimately be responsible to pay the same Agency Fee. The Agency Fee pays for Act of Love’s administrative expenses, as well as for all professional services you will receive from the agency.
In the Outreach Program, half of the Agency Fee is due at the time a match occurs. The remaining half of the Agency Fee is due 30 days before the child’s expected due date. Thus, if the match occurs within 30 days of the expected due date, the entire Agency Fee will be due at the time of match.
The Agency Fee for a standard placement is $19.900.00. Thus, in a standard placement through the Outreach Program, $10,150.00 will be due at the time of match, with the remaining $10,150.00 due 30 days before the child’s expected due date. If the match occurs within 30 days of the expected due date, the entire $20,300.00 will be due at the time of match.
Unfortunately, there are some children for whom, whether by virtue of disability or race, it is more difficult to find loving homes, given the preferences of adoptive parents. In order to ensure that every child is placed in a healthy and loving home, and to encourage adoptive parents to seriously consider these children, the Agency Fee for children with special needs and/or who are full African American is $14.900.00. The same deadlines for payment apply – i.e., $7,650.00 due at match, with the balance due 30 days before expected due date. The Agency Fee for these children does not fully cover the costs incurred by Act of Love in its efforts to find loving adoptive families. Thus, the Agency Fee paid by adoptive parents in connection with a standard placement subsidizes the placement of special needs and full African American children.
If you use the Outreach Program and are matched with a child, but finalize the adoption in another state and/or do not use Act of Love for anything other than matching and placement, the Agency Fee is the same as above. The same deadlines for payment apply – i.e., $7,650.00 due at match, with the balance due 30 days before expected due date.
What are birth parent expenses?
In addition to the Agency Fee, adoptive families in the Outreach Program may be required to pay certain expenses incurred by the birth mother. The expenses for which you may be charged are set by Utah law. They include the birth mother’s actual and reasonable costs of maternity, medical, and necessary pre-natal living expenses. Depending upon each adoption’s unique circumstances, such expenses may include travel between the birth mother’s home and the location where the child will be born or placed for adoption, lodging for the birth mother, clothing for the birth mother, rent and utilities incurred by the birth mother, food for the birth mother, necessary personal items for the birth mother, counseling fees, and legal fees.
Birth parent expenses vary depending upon the circumstances of each unique adoption situation.
Act of Love will provide you an estimate of the anticipated birth parent expenses. Act of Love bases this estimate upon prior experience. All actual and/or estimated birth parent expenses must be paid in full at the time you are matched with a birth mother.
What happens if the match or the adoption fails?
If an adoption situation fails, we will roll all amounts you have paid toward the Agency Fee into a new adoption situation.
If an adoption situation fails, you will not receive a refund of birth parent expenses that have already been expended for your birth mother, regardless of the reason she decides not to place with you or the adoption situation fails. If some funds have not been expended, you will receive a refund of these funds. If the birth mother decides after the match that she does not want to place her child with you, but she does place with another family, the other family will be required to reimburse you for the birth parent expenses that you have paid.
How do I apply?
If you would like to apply to be part of the Outreach Program, please send us the following:
1. The Outreach Application which includes the six pages of the “Application for Services and Information Sheet.”
2. The one page “Presentation of Profile to Birthparents” forms in our information packet.
3. A notarized copy of your current home-study signed by your social worker on the letterhead of the agency that completed your home study for you.
4. A copy of your state criminal and child abuse background clearances, as well as your FBI background clearance, if one has been conducted.
What happens after I apply?
Once you are approved to adopt in your home state, we will request hard copies of your family profile or life-book. We will then move forward in approving you as an Outreach family, and we will be in touch on available adoption situations. Based on the criteria you provide, our staff will notify you of specific adoption opportunities in the Outreach program. We will find out if you would like your family profile presented to that birth mother for consideration. We will then present you to birth mothers who are making an adoption plan for their baby. Our office will notify you if you are selected by the birth mother for a conference call. We will schedule your call with the birth parents and we will facilitate the call for you. If you are selected for placement (i.e., matched), the required fees, as explained above, are then due at that time with the remaining balance due 30 days before the expected due date. From that time forward, you would be assigned a case worker and a social worker who would work directly with you until placement.
We wish you the very best in your adoption journey and in building your family.