Newsletter Recap – March 28, 2014

Social Work Month!

Each March is recognized as Social Work Month. This year, National Association of Social Workers chose the theme “All People Matter” to raise awareness of how social workers, the world over, work to improve the lives of all people.

social work month 2014

Our American Adoptions’ Adoption Specialists are each Licensed Social Workers or Professional Counselors. These men and women work tirelessly to support and educate our birth parents and adoptive family clients. Their commitment, experience and heart are one of the things that make American Adoptions special! You can learn more about our amazing staff by visiting our website.

Staff Collage Smaller

Continued Decline in International Adoption Numbers in 2013

The total number of international adoptions fell by 18 percent in 2013, to the lowest level since 1992, due in part to Russia’s ban on adoption by Americans and further declines in adoption from South Korea and Ethiopia.

According to the State Department, international adoptions totaled 7,094 in 2013, down from 8,668 in 2012, 9,320 in 2011 and 11,059 in 2010. International adoptions reached an all-time high in 2004 with 22,884 completed in that year.

China continued to have the highest number of international adoptions with 2,589. Ethiopia was the second highest with 1,568, and Russia was third with 748 adoptions.

The top ten countries for 2012 were:

  1. China – 2,301
  2. Ethiopia – 950
  3. Ukraine – 403
  4. Haiti – 365
  5. Russia – 249
  6. Nigeria – 181
  7. Bulgaria – 159 and Colombia – 159
  8. Ghana – 118
  9. Latvia – 89
  10. Taiwan – 76

South Korea fell out of the top ten countries this year, completing only 71 adoptions in 2013.

To compare these numbers to previous years, look back to last year’s blog post. You can read the report at the State Department website. Or read the Associated Press’ take on the trend.

Adoptive Family Summer Get-Together in Carlsbad, CA

Ever wanted to meet up with other families who have adopted children? In May, our West Coast families will have their chance!

American Adoptions is hosting a picnic on Saturday, May 17th in Carlsbad, California from 3 to 6 PM.

We welcome all adoptive families to attend – no matter where you are in your adoption journey!

For more information about the event and its location, you can email Adoptive Family Coordinator Mike Aguilar at mike@americanadoptions.com.

Mike will also be hosting an Adoptive Family Seminar in Irvine on the morning of May 17th. See details below.

Upcoming Seminars for 2014

Wonder if American Adoptions can help you add to your family? Curious about domestic adoption? American Adoptions can answer all of your questions at our free upcoming adoption seminars for adoptive families. Topics of discussion include:

  • The differences between domestic, international and state adoption
  • American Adoptions’ advantages over other adoption professionals
  • Details on the domestic adoption process
  • Common myths concerning domestic adoption

Participants will also have the opportunity to hear from and ask questions of an adoptive family that adopted through American Adoptions. These families volunteer their time because they’re passionate about adoption.

FLORIDA

Date: Saturday, April 5th, 2014

Please Note: This weekend’s seminar has been postponed until a later date.

TEXAS

Date: Saturday, April 26th, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST
Where: Plano Marriot at Legacy Town Center
7121 Bishop Road
Plano, TX 75024

Notes: There is no cost for this seminar; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Mike Aguilar (Mike@americanadoptions.com) or call at 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

TEXAS

Date: Saturday, April 27th, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST
Where: Hilton Austin
500 East 4th Street
Austin, TX 78701

Notes: There is no cost for this seminar; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Mike Aguilar (Mike@americanadoptions.com) or call at 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

CALIFORNIA

Date: Saturday, May 17th, 2014
Time: 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM PST
Where: Hotel Irvine
17900 Jamboree Road
Irvine, CA 92614

Notes: There is no cost for this seminar; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Mike Aguilar (Mike@americanadoptions.com) or call at 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

Providing Free Adoption Tele-Seminars This Spring

If you or someone you know has wondered about adoption and wants to learn more, American Adoptions also offers free, educational tele-seminars to educate the public about their adoption options and bring people together across the country. These tele-seminars cover much of the same information as our Adoption 101 Seminars but allow you to dial into our telephone conference from the convenience of your home. If you are unable to attend one of our seminars in person, let us bring a tele-seminar to you!

To learn about an adoption tele-seminar with American Adoptions, call 1-800-ADOPTION or email an Adoptive Family Coordinator AF.Coordinators@americanadoptions.com.

Date: Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
Time: 8:00 PM CST

Date: Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
Time: 8:00 PM CST

Notes: There is no cost to attend a tele-seminar.

Pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Mike Aguilar at mike@americanadoptions.com or call 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

To participate in the tele-seminar, dial 866.434.5269 and enter code 3796240 to join the conference call.

Newsletter Recap – March 14, 2014

We Need Your Help!

The Adoption Tax Credit Working Group, of which American Adoptions is a member, has set a goal of obtaining 30 Co-Sponsors on the Adoption Tax Credit (ATC) Refundability Bills: S. 1056 and H.R. 2144 in 100 days. Already in the last week, outreach efforts have already secured two new cosponsors!

Why the urgency?

Tax discussions are underway in the United States House and Senate, and we need to keep the adoption tax credit top-of-mind with legislators and staff. The best way to do that is to demonstrate to legislators that their constituents care about this issue.

Additionally, because refundability was not included in the bill that made the Credit permanent, many adoptive families are still not able to receive this critical support, a fact which some Members of Congress may not yet be aware.

Cosponsorship of the refundability bills is the best way for Members to show their willingness to help protect the adoption tax credit!

Congressman Camp’s tax reform proposal that eliminates the adoption tax credit makes your outreach that much more critical. While his particular proposal may never go anywhere, it has now become the basis from which tax reform discussions will begin. We need to ensure that we have vocal Members of Congress who will fight on behalf of the adoption tax credit and ensure its protection. And the best way to get Members engaged is by hearing from constituents about the importance of an issue. Don’t let the adoption tax credit be threatened by a lack of vocal outreach from families like yours.

What is “tax reform” and how does it relate to the adoption tax credit?

For the past several years, key Members of Congress have been calling for the U.S. tax code to be reformed and simplified. If tax reform occurs, ALL existing tax credits or policies, including the now permanent adoption tax credit, would be subject to review, so there is always a chance that it could be changed or eliminated. The House Committee on Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees (the two committees with jurisdiction over tax policy) have begun their review of the U.S. tax code and have signaled their interest in continuing to determine which of the existing credits should be eliminated.

In order to ensure that the adoption tax credit not only remains a permanent part of the code, but is also amended to add back in refundability in order to serve the needs of all children in need of adoption, Members of Congress need to be educated about how this credit is affecting you and your family. To learn more about tax reform, go to http://waysandmeans.house.gov/ or www.finance.senate.gov .

Why is a refundable credit important and how do the bills relate to the overall goal of protecting the credit?

In 2012, Congress took a huge step forward in making the adoption tax credit a permanent part of the code, but failed to include the refundability provisions that would have ensured it benefitted all children in need of permanent homes. In response, Senators Casey, Blunt and Landrieu, and Congressmen Bruce Braley and Rob Wittman introduced S.1056 and H.R.2144 to make the credit refundable and ensure that all families are able to benefit from the credit regardless of income.

Some families will never be able to adopt without the benefit of the adoption tax credit. Others will still adopt, but won’t benefit at all from the tax credit, which means they may face challenges in meeting their children’s needs. The reason for this inequity is simple: A non-refundable tax credit is useless to families who have limited or no tax liability. If we increase low- and moderate-income families’ access to the credit, we make adoption possible for more waiting children.

Right now, the best way for Members of Congress to show their support for the Adoption Tax Credit and the thousands of families that it helps is by cosponsoring these refundability bills. It is the ultimate show of support for the credit and will help in building vocal champions who will fight for its protection through tax reform.

What’s the call to action?

Get educated on the ATC by visiting our website, reading our FAQ section, and liking us on Facebook for frequent updates: http://www.adoptiontaxcredit.org. Please also spread the word with your friends and family who would want to join in the fight to protect the adoption tax credit.

Then engage with your Members of Congress via social media. Find their Twitter and Facebook accounts and follow them. Use social media as another outlet to connect with your Members and ask for their support cosponsoring the refundability bills and protecting the Adoption Tax Credit (make sure to reference the bill numbers S.1056 and H.R.2144). The more your Members hear from you, the better. If they are already a bill co-sponsor, thank them (template here) for their dedication to adoption issues and use social media to let others in your community know of their support.

Upcoming Seminars for 2014

As we embrace a new year and leave another holiday season behind, many families begin to think about the things that really matter to them. For many couples, this means growing their family. Wonder if American Adoptions can help you add to your family? Curious about domestic adoption? American Adoptions can answer all of your questions at our free upcoming adoption seminars for adoptive families. Topics of discussion include:

  • The differences between domestic, international and state adoption
  • American Adoptions’ advantages over other adoption professionals
  • Details on the domestic adoption process
  • Common myths concerning domestic adoption

Participants will also have the opportunity to hear from and ask questions of an adoptive family that adopted through American Adoptions. These families volunteer their time because they’re passionate about adoption.

Watch the video below to learn more about our seminars as well:

MISSOURI

Date: Saturday, March 22nd, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST
Where: Marriott St. Louis West
660 Maryville Centre Drive
St. Louis, MO 63141

Notes: To pre-register, email Jason Tabuchi (Jason.T@americanadoptions.com) or call 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

FLORIDA Our April 5th Seminar in Tampa Bay has been postponed! Please stay tuned to learn when it will be rescheduled!

Date: Saturday, April 5th, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST
Where: Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore
2225 North Lois Ave.
Tampa Bay, FL 33607

Notes: There is no cost for this seminar; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Mike Aguilar (Mike@americanadoptions.com) or call at 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

TEXAS

Date: Saturday, April 26th, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST
Where: Plano Marriot at Legacy Town Center
7121 Bishop Road
Plano, TX 75024

Notes: There is no cost for this seminar; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Mike Aguilar (Mike@americanadoptions.com) or call at 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

TEXAS

Date: Saturday, April 27th, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST
Where: Hilton Austin
500 East 4th Street
Austin, TX 78701

Notes: There is no cost for this seminar; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Mike Aguilar (Mike@americanadoptions.com) or call at 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

Providing Free Adoption Tele-Seminars This Spring

If you or someone you know has wondered about adoption and wants to learn more, American Adoptions also offers free, educational tele-seminars to educate the public about their adoption options and bring people together across the country. These tele-seminars cover much of the same information as our Adoption 101 Seminars but allow you to dial into our telephone conference from the convenience of your home. If you are unable to attend one of our seminars in person, let us bring a tele-seminar to you!

To learn about an adoption tele-seminar with American Adoptions, call 1-800-ADOPTION or email an Adoptive Family Coordinator AF.Coordinators@americanadoptions.com.

Date: Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
Time: 8:00 PM CST

Date: Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
Time: 8:00 PM CST

Notes: There is no cost to attend a tele-seminar.

Pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Mike Aguilar at mike@americanadoptions.com or call 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

To participate in the tele-seminar, dial 866.434.5269 and enter code 3796240 to join the conference call.

Newsletter Recap – February 28, 2014

American Adoptions Newsletter Recap2013 Federal Adoption Tax Credit Information

It’s that time of year when families are preparing their finances for tax season. For 2013, the maximum adoption tax credit is $12,970 for all qualifying adoption expenses. The adoption credit is not refundable, which means that only those individuals with tax liability (taxes owed) will benefit. The credit will remain flat for special needs adoptions (those involving children who are deemed hard to place by a child welfare agency), allowing those families to claim the maximum credit regardless of expenses.

The adoption tax credit income limit is based on modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) and is recalculated each year. In January 2013, the Federal Adoption Tax Credit was made permanent. However some believe that discussion of tax reform by Congress could change this permanence.

If your family also lives in a state that offers an adoption tax credit (amounts vary by state), they may receive credit for additional expenses as well.

Read more about the Adoption Tax Credit, qualifying expenses and how employer reimbursements could affect your tax credit status on our website. Or follow the blog for any new updates on the adoption tax credit.

Adoption Tax Credit Before Finalization

Each year, a number adoptive families ask if they can file taxes without their child’s social security number, which is typically received after the adoption is finalized.

Your adoption attorney should apply for a SSN along with the final amended birth certificate after the finalization court hearing. If you do not have these items yet, you or your accountant and/or tax representative can apply for a temporary tax identification number for the baby. You can file your taxes with that number. Here is a link to Form W-7A for information about obtaining a temporary tax ID number. You can also search the IRS website for Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number information.

For more information on the adoption tax credit and exclusion, visit www.irs.gov. American Adoptions also recommends that you contact a local accountant or qualified tax professional for more specific information for your family.

Please Note: Tax credit information for the 2014 calendar year has not yet been announced.

Reminders for Waiting Families

Send Us your Tax Forms

All families currently working with American Adoptions and waiting for an adoption placement are reminded to send us the front page of their 1040 Tax Form for 2013. We need this updated information each year. For more information, contact Sara Dippel (sara.d@americanadoptions.com) at 1-800-ADOPTION.

Don’t Forget to Add Updates to Your 2014 Calendar

When going through and marking birthdays, anniversaries and other important dates on your 2014 calendar, don’t forget to add a reminder to update your home study and supporting documents, as well.

American Adoptions requires home studies to be current within one calendar year. Although our agency will alert you when your home study is approaching expiration via email reminders, home study updates are the responsibility of the adoptive family.

Families are also required to update their home study whenever there is a major life change – such as a change in employment, residence or household members.

Home study updates are the responsibility of the adoptive family, so each family should carefully note when their home study is to expire. The importance of updates cannot be understated. If an expectant mother chooses you, but your home study or other supporting information is out-of-date, it can seriously compromise or even prevent you from completing the adoption.

In addition to your home study update, there are three supporting documents which require yearly renewal:

  • Background Clearances- Your background clearances, such as your child abuse, FBI and criminal clearance must be updated annually.
  • Physician Health Reports- Like background clearances, your physician health reports also must be updated annually.
  • Tax Return- A copy of your tax return must be updated each year.

If you do not know when your home study or supporting documents will expire, simply contact our agency and we will be happy to assist you.

Upcoming Seminars for 2014

As we embrace a new year and leave another holiday season behind, many families begin to think about the things that really matter to them. For many couples, this means growing their family. Wonder if American Adoptions can help you add to your family? Curious about domestic adoption? American Adoptions can answer all of your questions at our free upcoming adoption seminars for adoptive families. Topics of discussion include:

  • The differences between domestic, international and state adoption
  • American Adoptions’ advantages over other adoption professionals
  • Details on the domestic adoption process
  • Common myths concerning domestic adoption

Participants will also have the opportunity to hear from and ask questions of an adoptive family that adopted through American Adoptions. These families volunteer their time because they’re passionate about adoption. Just last month, our Adoptive Family Coordinators shared what they love about doing adoptive family seminars too!

Watch the video below to learn more about our seminars as well:

VIRGINIA

Date: Saturday, March 8th, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Where: Hilton McLean – Tyson’s Corner
7920 Jones Branch Drive
McLean, VA 2210

Notes: There is no cost for this seminar; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Justin King at Justin@americanadoptions.com or call 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

MISSOURI

Date: Saturday, March 22nd, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST
Where: Marriott St. Louis West
660 Maryville Centre Drive
St. Louis, MO 63141

Notes: To pre-register, email Jason Tabuchi (Jason.T@americanadoptions.com) or call 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

FLORIDA

Date: Saturday, April 5th, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST
Where: Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore
2225 North Lois Ave.
Tampa Bay, FL 33607

Notes: There is no cost for this seminar; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Mike Aguilar (Mike@americanadoptions.com) or call at 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

Providing Free Adoption Tele-Seminars This Spring

If you or someone you know has wondered about adoption and wants to learn more, American Adoptions also offers free, educational tele-seminars to educate the public about their adoption options and bring people together across the country. These tele-seminars cover much of the same information as our Adoption 101 Seminars but allow you to dial into our telephone conference from the convenience of your home. If you are unable to attend one of our seminars in person, let us bring a tele-seminar to you!

To learn about an adoption tele-seminar with American Adoptions, call 1-800-ADOPTION or email an Adoptive Family Coordinator AF.Coordinators@americanadoptions.com.

Date: Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
Time: 8:00 PM CST

Date: Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
Time: 8:00 PM CST

Date: Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
Time: 8:00 PM CST

Notes: There is no cost to attend a tele-seminar.

Pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Mike Aguilar at mike@americanadoptions.com or call 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

To participate in the tele-seminar, dial 866.434.5269 and enter code 3796240 to join the conference call.

Newsletter Recap – February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine’s Day!

American Adoptions wants to wish you and yours a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Here’s a quote from a favorite children’s book that reminds us how birth parents and adoptive parents alike carry their children in their hearts. We hope you and yours are surrounded by love today!

Valentine's Day Quote

Adoptive Family Video Profile FAQs

Every adoptive family we work with will make an Adoptive Family Video Profile with Show Pro Media. Below are some frequently asked questions about Adoptive Family Video Profiles.

What is an Adoptive Family Video Profile?

For most adoptive families, Adoptive Family Print Profiles are their first opportunity to connect with birth parents. Print profiles usually include information about the adoptive family’s home, neighborhood, family members, motivations to adopt, hobbies and much more.

But what if these profiles were watched instead of read? What if birth parents could actually see a couple interact? What if they could witness the couple’s personalities, instead of just reading that they have good personalities? What if they could actually hear and feel their desire to become parents?

By showcasing the qualities that can only translate to video, Adoptive Family Video Profiles allow prospective birth mothers to better envision their child’s life while growing up in your family.

So, how does this process work?

You will receive a Show Pro Video Kit and an easy-to-use instruction booklet in the mail. You will then have 15 days to film the necessary footage and return the video kit back to Show Pro Media.

Using the various interviews with you, family members and friends, additional footage to supplement the interviews, and original music composed by Show Pro, our Video Specialists will edit your footage into an emotive story for prospective birth mothers to watch.

What are the benefits of doing an Adoptive Family Video Profile?

Adoptive Family Video Profiles benefit the birth mother by helping her choose the best adoptive family for her adoption plan. Consequently, there are also many benefits for adoptive families and benefits for adoption professionals:

  • Video Profiles Show Your Family – Imagine picking your spouse with only photographs and a few pages of written information. Now imagine picking a family to raise your child by only using that same information. Adoptive Family Video Profiles allow a birth mother to learn more about you so that she can feel more secure about the family she has chosen.
  • Video Profiles Showcase Personality – Print profiles are a great way to connect with birth parents, but they are only able to present so much. They cannot express how compassionate, funny or outgoing you are in person. In video, your personality and everyday lives can be easily seen.
  • Video Profiles Help Lower Chances of a Disruption – Many birth mothers watch a family’s video multiple times throughout the matching process, which helps her stay committed to the family and remind her why she has chosen adoption for her child. While Adoptive Family Video Profiles don’t eliminate disruptions altogether, they give birth parents a stronger sense of knowing the family, which helps them remain dedicated to their adoption plans. Videos are also often used as an “icebreaker” when talking on the phone or meeting in person for the first time.
  • Video Profiles Reach More Prospective Birth Parents – Every year, more and more birth mothers are searching for prospective adoption families on the Web, and an increasing amount search for them on YouTube, the world’s second highest trafficked search engine.

How does the filming process work?

You will receive a Show Pro Video Kit in the mail via FedEx, including some easy-to-use instruction booklets to help you film. You will receive more details on how the filming process works once you register with Show Pro.

We are afraid of the filming process and how we will come across on video. Are we alone?

This is a common concern. The main thing to remember is the goal of the video – to help prospective birth parents get a better understanding of what life would be like as a part of your family. The camera is easy to operate, and you will receive detailed instructions on what to film and how to make it look professional. So be yourself, have fun, and we will take care of the rest!

Show Pro Media created the following video for American Adoptions, which helps address some of these concerns:

How Long Are Adoptive Family Video Profiles?

Each adoptive family’s footage is edited by one of our Video Specialists into a short movie that highlights your family’s personality. Footage quality determines the video’s length, but most profiles are two to four minutes long.

Will we get to approve the video once it is edited, and can we request changes?

Once your video is edited, you will be able to view in your Show Pro Account. You can then either approve it, or request a revision with specific changes that you would like made.

Does Show Pro Media film and edit other video projects?

Yes, Show Pro films and edits a variety of other video project. Visit the following page to watch some of our other video projects.

*Once you register with Show Pro, you will receive a more in-depth FAQ and access to a Video Specialist to help guide you through the filming process. If you have any questions about the video profile process, you can contact a Media Specialist at video.specialist@showpromedia.com!

Upcoming Seminars for 2014

As we embrace a new year and leave another holiday season behind, many families begin to think about the things that really matter to them. For many couples, this means growing their family. Wonder if American Adoptions can help you add to your family? Curious about domestic adoption? American Adoptions can answer all of your questions at our free upcoming adoption seminars for adoptive families. Topics of discussion include:

  • The differences between domestic, international and state adoption
  • American Adoptions’ advantages over other adoption professionals
  • Details on the domestic adoption process
  • Common myths concerning domestic adoption

Participants will also have the opportunity to hear from and ask questions of an adoptive family that adopted through American Adoptions. These families volunteer their time because they’re passionate about adoption. Just last month, our Adoptive Family Coordinators shared what they love about doing adoptive family seminars too!

ARIZONA

Date: Saturday, February 22nd, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Where: Hilton Phoenix Airport
2435 South 47th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85034

Notes: There is no cost for this seminar; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Justin King at Justin@americanadoptions.com or call 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

VIRGINIA

Date: Saturday, March 8th, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Where: Hilton McLean – Tyson’s Corner
7920 Jones Branch Drive
McLean, VA 2210

Notes: There is no cost for this seminar; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Justin King at Justin@americanadoptions.com or call 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

MISSOURI

Date: Saturday, March 22nd, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST
Where: Marriott St. Louis West
660 Maryville Centre Drive
St. Louis, MO 63141

Notes: To pre-register, email Jason Tabuchi (Jason.T@americanadoptions.com) or call 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

FLORIDA

Date: Saturday, April 5th, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST
Where: Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore
2225 North Lois Ave.
Tampa Bay, FL 33607

Notes: There is no cost for this seminar; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Mike Aguilar (Mike@americanadoptions.com) or call at 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

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Providing Free Adoption Tele-Seminars This Spring

If you or someone you know has wondered about adoption and wants to learn more, American Adoptions also offers free, educational tele-seminars to educate the public about their adoption options and bring people together across the country. These tele-seminars cover much of the same information as our Adoption 101 Seminars but allow you to dial into our telephone conference from the convenience of your home. If you are unable to attend one of our seminars in person, let us bring a tele-seminar to you!

To learn about an adoption tele-seminar with American Adoptions, call 1-800-ADOPTION or email an Adoptive Family Coordinator AF.Coordinators@americanadoptions.com.

Date: Tuesday, February 25th, 2014
Time: 8:00 PM CST

Date: Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
Time: 8:00 PM CST

Date: Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
Time: 8:00 PM CST

Date: Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
Time: 8:00 PM CST

Notes: There is no cost to attend a tele-seminar.

Pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Mike Aguilar at mike@americanadoptions.com or call 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

To participate in the tele-seminar, dial 866.434.5269 and enter code 3796240 to join the conference call.

Newsletter Recap – January 31, 2014

Adoption Newsletter RecapUpcoming Seminars for 2014

As we embrace a new year and leave another holiday season behind, many families begin to think about the things that really matter to them. For many couples, this means growing their family. Wonder if American Adoptions can help you add to your family? Curious about domestic adoption? American Adoptions can answer all of your questions at our free upcoming adoption seminars for adoptive families. Topics of discussion include:

  • The differences between domestic, international and state adoption
  • American Adoptions’ advantages over other adoption professionals
  • Details on the domestic adoption process
  • Common myths concerning domestic adoption

Participants will also have the opportunity to hear from and ask questions of an adoptive family that adopted through American Adoptions. These families volunteer their time because they’re passionate about adoption. Just last month, our Adoptive Family Coordinators shared what they love about doing adoptive family seminars too!

Watch the video below to learn more about our seminars as well:

FLORIDA

Date: Saturday, February 8th, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST
Where: Hilton Orlando Bonnett Creek
14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane
Orlando, FL 32821

Notes: There is no cost for this seminar; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Mike Aguilar (Mike@americanadoptions.com) or call at 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

ARIZONA

Date: Saturday, February 22nd, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Where: Hilton Phoenix Airport
2435 South 47th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85034

Notes: There is no cost for this seminar; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Justin King at Justin@americanadoptions.com or call 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

VIRGINIA

Date: Saturday, March 8th, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Where: Hilton McLean – Tyson’s Corner
7920 Jones Branch Drive
McLean, VA 2210

Notes: There is no cost for this seminar; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Justin King at Justin@americanadoptions.com or call 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

MISSOURI

Date: Saturday, March 22nd, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST
Where: Marriott St. Louis West
660 Maryville Centre Drive
St. Louis, MO 63141

Notes: To pre-register, email Jason Tabuchi (Jason.T@americanadoptions.com) or call 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

FLORIDA

Date: Saturday, April 5th, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST
Where: Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore
2225 North Lois Ave.
Tampa Bay, FL 33607

Notes: There is no cost for this seminar; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Mike Aguilar (Mike@americanadoptions.com) or call at 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

Providing Free Adoption Tele-Seminars This Spring

If you or someone you know has wondered about adoption and wants to learn more, American Adoptions also offers free, educational tele-seminars to educate the public about their adoption options and bring people together across the country. These tele-seminars cover much of the same information as our Adoption 101 Seminars but allow you to dial into our telephone conference from the convenience of your home. If you are unable to attend one of our seminars in person, let us bring a tele-seminar to you!

To learn about an adoption tele-seminar with American Adoptions, call 1-800-ADOPTION or email an Adoptive Family Coordinator AF.Coordinators@americanadoptions.com.

Date: Tuesday, February 25th, 2014
Time: 8:00 PM CST

Date: Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
Time: 8:00 PM CST

Date: Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
Time: 8:00 PM CST

Date: Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
Time: 8:00 PM CST

Notes: There is no cost to attend a tele-seminar.

Pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Mike Aguilar at mike@americanadoptions.com or call 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

To participate in the tele-seminar, dial 866.434.5269 and enter code 3796240 to join the conference call.

 

Adoptive Family Print Profile FAQs

Every adoptive family we work with will make an adoptive family print profile with us before they become “activated” – or are available for selection by birth parents. Below are some frequently asked questions about adoptive family print profiles.

What is a print profile? What does it look like and include?

A print profile is a four-page booklet that is your opportunity to speak to potential birth parents and share what is special or unique about your family. Profiles include text and photos that you write/submit, as well as general information like the state you live in and your job and education; all identifying information is omitted. You’ll also provide us with a list of “family favorites” with everything from your favorite flavor of ice cream to your favorite memory with your spouse.

How does the online profile differ from the print profile?

In print, we have a limited amount of space to work with. Online profiles include everything that is in your print profile as well as additional photos and sometimes additional text. Online profiles also include all of your family favorites and a link to your video profile once it is completed.

Do we have to write so much text?

Yes, you must complete at least six individual “In Your Own Words” sections. We want your profile to appeal to a wide variety of birth parents, so we want to make sure we have a good selection of text to choose from. Sometimes, we’ll ask you to expand on something you mentioned briefly because we think it’s a strongpoint. The more text we receive, the better we get to know you and really understand what makes you unique!

How should we send you our photos?

Unless directed otherwise, you should send us your photos via a CD or flashdrive. Please include captions or rename your photo as the caption. Captions help us to know the “who, what and where” in each photo and help us contextualize their importance. We prefer that you send digital files of photos, as they save us time and are typically better quality; if you send hard copies of photos, you will be charged a scan fee.

Do we have to send so many photos?

Yes, for the same reason we require so much text, we also need lots of photos! It’s important that you send us a variety of photos – you and your spouse together, each of you individually, some posed, some action shots of you doing activities, some with your (or other’s) children, some without kids, etc. – so that birth parents can see different facets of your life. It’s also important for photos to be current so that we give an honest portrayal of your life today. We request that you not send photos that are more than three or four years old.

Do we have to fill out all the family favorites?

Yes – or at least as many as you have an answer to. We have had birth parents choose a family for no other reason than they share the same favorite TV show, dream job, etc. We never know what one thing will make a birth mom feel a connection to a family, so we encourage families to fill out the entire list.

Will you help me with grammar/writing?

Yes, we will work with you to make any necessary suggestions/edits to your profile text. We usually ask that families write text revisions themselves, so it is in their own voice, but if you’re really struggling, we can assist you.

How long does the process take?

The profile process can take several weeks to complete. We work to process them as quickly as we can, but we want to make sure we are delivering a really great profile that highlights all the great things about you, while also appealing to a wide variety of birth parents.

Can we update our profile?

Families can make changes to their profile after it has been finalized for a $40 Change Fee. This fee is waived for certain exceptions. You can speak with your Adoptive Family Specialist or a Media Specialist for details.

Can we design our own profile?

No, American Adoptions builds print profiles in a set of templates. This allows us to create a level playing field among adoptive families, while also giving us the flexibility to show each family at their best. Our templates also make it easy for potential birth parents to compare profiles and find specific information that they might be looking for.

We made a profile for another agency. Can we use that profile?

For the same reason as above, we insist that you complete a print profile through American Adoptions.

Why does the printed version of our profile look different from the PDF looks on our computer?

After your print profile is completed, you will be sent printed copies for your personal records/keepsakes. Please note that the colors and brightness of the printed copy may appear different from they do on your computer monitor. This is due to differences in computer monitors’ color output and quality as well as the printing process.

If you have any questions about the print profile process, you can contact a Media Specialist at media.specialist@americanadoptions.com!

Newsletter Recap – January 17, 2014

Adoption Newsletter RecapUpcoming Seminars for 2014

As we embrace a new year and leave another holiday season behind, many families begin to think about the things that really matter to them. For many couples, this means growing their family. Wonder if American Adoptions can help you add to your family? Curious about domestic adoption? American Adoptions can answer all of your questions at our free upcoming adoption seminars for adoptive families. Topics of discussion include:

  • The differences between domestic, international and state adoption
  • American Adoptions’ advantages over other adoption professionals
  • Details on the domestic adoption process
  • Common myths concerning domestic adoption

Participants will also have the opportunity to hear from and ask questions of an adoptive family that adopted through American Adoptions. These families volunteer their time because they’re passionate about adoption. Just last month, our Adoptive Family Coordinators shared what they love about doing adoptive family seminars too!

Watch the video below to learn more about our seminars as well:

KANSAS

Date: Saturday, January 25th, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST
Where: The Marriott
10800 Metcalf Ave.
Overland Park, KS 66210

Notes: There is no cost for this seminar; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Jason Tabuchi (Jason.T@americanadoptions.com) or call 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

FLORIDA

Date: Saturday, February 8th, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST
Where: Hilton Orlando Bonnett Creek
14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane
Orlando, FL 32821

Notes: There is no cost for this seminar; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Mike Aguilar (Mike@americanadoptions.com) or call at 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

ARIZONA

Date: Saturday, February 22nd, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Where: Hilton Phoenix Airport
2435 South 47th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85034

Notes: There is no cost for this seminar; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Justin King at Justin@americanadoptions.com”> or call 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

VIRGINIA

Date: Saturday, March 8th, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Where: Hilton McLean – Tyson’s Corner
7920 Jones Branch Drive
McLean, VA 2210

Notes: There is no cost for this seminar; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Justin King at Justin@americanadoptions.com or call 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

MISSOURI

Date: Saturday, March 22nd, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST
Where: Marriott St. Louis West
660 Maryville Centre Drive
St. Louis, MO 63141

Notes: To pre-register, email Jason Tabuchi (Jason.T@americanadoptions.com) or call 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

FLORIDA

Date: Saturday, April 5th, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST
Where: Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore
2225 North Lois Ave.
Tampa Bay, FL 33607

Notes: There is no cost for this seminar; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Mike Aguilar (Mike@americanadoptions.com) or call at 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

Connect With Other Waiting Families!

The American Adoptions forum gives families the unique opportunity to connect with fellow waiting couples, as well as other adoptive families who know all too well what it’s like to wait for “the” phone call. Share your excitement, joys and even seek support from others who are also on their own adoption journey.

Registration is free and easy. Visit the forum today!

Newsletter Recap – January 3, 2014

Adoption Newsletter RecapUpcoming Seminars for 2014

The Holidays are a time when many families begin to think about the things that really matter to them. For many couples, this means growing their family. Wonder if American Adoptions can help you add to your family? Curious about domestic adoption? American Adoptions can answer all of your questions at our free upcoming adoption seminars for adoptive families. Topics of discussion include:

  • The differences between domestic, international and state adoption
  • American Adoptions’ advantages over other adoption professionals
  • Details on the domestic adoption process
  • Common myths concerning domestic adoption

Participants will also have the opportunity to hear from and ask questions of an adoptive family that adopted through American Adoptions. These families volunteer their time because they’re passionate about adoption. Just last month, our Adoptive Family Coordinators shared what they love about doing adoptive family seminars too!

KANSAS

Date: Saturday, January 25th, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST
Where: The Marriott
10800 Metcalf Ave.
Overland Park, KS 66210

Notes: There is no cost for this seminar; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Jason Tabuchi (Jason.T@americanadoptions.com) or call 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

FLORIDA

Date: Saturday, February 8th, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST
Where: Hilton Orlando Bonnett Creek
14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane
Orlando, FL 32821

Notes: There is no cost for this seminar; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Mike Aguilar (Mike@americanadoptions.com) or call at 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

MISSOURI

Date: Saturday, March 22nd, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST
Where: Marriott St. Louis West
660 Maryville Centre Drive
St. Louis, MO 63141

Notes: There is no cost for this seminar; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Jason Tabuchi (Jason.T@americanadoptions.com) or call 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

2013 Adoption Tax Credit

Now that 2013 has come to a close, many families will begin to prepare their finances for tax season. Read on for relevant information related to the Federal Adoption Tax Credit for this upcoming tax season.

For 2013, the maximum adoption tax credit is $12,970, for all qualifying adoption expenses, and is non-refundable. The adoption credit is not refundable, which means that only those individuals with tax liability (taxes owed) will benefit. The credit will remain flat for special needs adoptions (those involving children who are deemed hard to place by a child welfare agency), allowing those families to claim the maximum credit regardless of expenses.

The adoption tax credit income limit is based on modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) and is recalculated each year. In January 2013, the Federal Adoption Tax Credit was made permanent. However some believe that discussion of tax reform by Congress could change this permanence.

If your family also lives in a state that offers an adoption tax credit (amounts vary by state), they may receive credit for additional expenses as well.

Read more about the Adoption Tax Credit, qualifying expenses and how employer reimbursements could affect your tax credit status on our website. Or follow the American Adoptions’ blog for any new updates on the adoption tax credit.

Adoption Tax Credit Before Finalization

Every year, adoptive families ask if they can file taxes without their child’s social security number, which is typically received after the adoption is finalized.

Your adoption attorney should apply for a SSN along with the final amended birth certificate after the finalization court hearing. If you do not have these items yet, you or your accountant and/or tax representative can apply for a temporary tax identification number for the baby. You can file your taxes with that number. Here is a link to Form W-7A for information about obtaining a temporary tax ID number. You can also search the IRS website for Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number information.

For more information on the adoption tax credit and exclusion, visit www.irs.gov. American Adoptions recommends that you contact a local accountant or qualified tax professional for more specific information for your family.

Newsletter Recap – December 20, 2013

American Adoptions Newsletter RecapWarm Wishes this Holiday Season from American Adoptions!

As 2013 wraps up and 2014 quickly approaches, we’re thinking about all the families in the American Adoptions family, especially those who grew their families in 2013. It is such a pleasure to work with each of you and your families!

In honor of this holiday season, American Adoptions would like to share the adorable, smiling faces of adoption through our Annual Holiday Photo Contest!

American Adoptions received an overwhelming amount of entries for our 2012 Holiday Photo Contest! Our staff voted for their favorite entry in each category: Age 0-2 years, Age 3+ Years and Siblings. Although it was hard to pick just one precious photo for each category, the votes are in.

Our Winners are:

Haven (16 days)

Haven (16 days)

Daniel (6 years)

Daniel (6)

Richie (8 years) and Mason (2 years)

Richie (8) and Mason (2)

To see the rest of the photo entries, visit the American Adoptions Blog!

Upcoming Seminars in 2014

The Holidays are a time when many families begin to think about the things that really matter to them. For many couples, this means growing their family. Wonder if American Adoptions can help you add to your family? Curious about domestic adoption? American Adoptions can answer all of your questions at our free upcoming adoption seminars for adoptive families. Topics of discussion include:

  • The differences between domestic, international and state adoption
  • American Adoptions’ advantages over other adoption professionals
  • Details on the domestic adoption process
  • Common myths concerning domestic adoption

Participants will also have the opportunity to hear from and ask questions of an adoptive family that adopted through American Adoptions. These families volunteer their time because they’re passionate about adoption. Just last month, our Adoptive Family Coordinators shared what they love about doing adoptive family seminars too!

KANSAS

Date: Saturday, January 25th, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST
Where: The Marriott
10800 Metcalf Ave.
Overland Park, KS 66210

Notes: There is no cost for this seminar; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Jason Tabuchi (Jason.T@americanadoptions.com) or call 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

FLORIDA

Date: Saturday, February 8th, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST
Where: Hilton Orlando Bonnett Creek
14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane
Orlando, FL 32821

Notes: There is no cost for this seminar; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Mike Aguilar (Mike@americanadoptions.com) or call at 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

MISSOURI

Date: Saturday, March 22nd, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST
Where: Marriott St. Louis West
660 Maryville Centre Drive
St. Louis, MO 63141

Notes: There is no cost for this seminar; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Jason Tabuchi (Jason.T@americanadoptions.com) or call 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

Newsletter Recap – December 6, 2013

Adoption Newsletter RecapHoliday Photo Contest

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – our annual Holiday Photo Contest! Each year, the American Adoptions family grows bigger as more and more families are created through the miracle of adoption. Over the years, our agency has had the sincere pleasure of assisting thousands of families along their adoption journey. We love to celebrate the season by sharing the beautiful faces of adoption through our Annual American Adoptions Holiday Photo Contest!

Our Holiday Photo Contest is open to all families who have adopted through our agency. Enter a photo of your child by Monday, December 16th at 5 PM CST!

Winners will be selected by YOU! We’ll be posting the photos (with first names and ages only) to our Facebook page, where we encourage you and your friends and family to vote for your favorite photos with a like! (Comments will not count.)

Voting will close on Thursday, December 19th at 5 PM CST, and winners will be announced then. Winners will also appear on our blog and in an issue of our newsletter American Adoptions News!

Entries will be divided into three categories, with one winner in each category:

  • Children age 0-2
  • Children age 3 and up
  • Siblings – Multiple children adopted from American Adoptions

To submit your photo, simply follow these easy steps:

  • Email your favorite photo of your child (or children) to editors@americanadoptions.com by Monday, December 17th.
  • In the email message body, be sure to include your name, your children’s name(s) and their ages. (Example: John Smith, Age 2 – Parents: Robert and Jane Smith)

* The American Adoptions Holiday Photo Contest is open to all families who have adopted through our agency. Please only submit one photo per child.

Florida Adoption Seminar in February

Come see us in Florida on February 8th for an Adoption 101 Seminar!

Curious about domestic adoption? Wonder if American Adoptions can help you add to your family? American Adoptions will answer all of your questions and more at our free adoption seminar for adoptive families in Orlando. Topics of discussion include:

  • The differences between domestic, international and state adoption
  • American Adoptions’ advantages over other adoption professionals
  • Details on the domestic adoption process
  • Common myths concerning domestic adoption

Participants will also have the opportunity to hear from and ask questions of an adoptive family that adopted through American Adoptions. These families volunteer their time because they’re passionate about adoption. Just last month, our Adoptive Family Coordinators shared what they love about doing adoptive family seminars too!

Date: Saturday, February 8th, 2014

Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST

Where: Hilton Orlando Bonnett Creek
14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane
Orlando, FL 32821

Notes: There is no cost for this seminar; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Mike Aguilar at Mike@americanadoptions.com or call at 1-800-ADOPTION. Please provide your name, phone number(s) and how many will be attending. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our seminars for adoptive families as well.

Newsletter Recap – November 22, 2013

Newsletter RecapSaturday is National Adoption Day!

One of the highlights of National Adoption Month is National Adoption Day, which is this Saturday, November 23rd!

Through the grassroots efforts of adoption professionals, adoptive families, law firms, state foster care agencies, child advocates and courts, National Adoption Day has become a special day in which courts open their doors and finalize the adoptions of children from foster care. National Adoption Day – which is always held the Saturday before Thanksgiving – makes a special push to get children into permanent homes before the holidays! Since it began in 2000, more than 44,000 children have had their adoptions finalized on National Adoption Day!

But National Adoption Day isn’t only for those who adopt through the foster care system. Families everywhere celebrate the blessing that adoption is in their lives on this day each year. Here are some ideas for celebrating National Adoption Day and the rest of National Adoption Month in your community:

  • Ask your local library to create a display of adoption books in honor of National Adoption Month. If your library hosts a children’s story hour, ask that they read a children’s book about adoption this month – if you have a favorite story, suggest it to them!
  • Ask your local schools to recognize National Adoption Month. Have teachers read adoption-themed books during story time, or incorporate a lesson about adoption into their lesson plan. You may also wish to take the opportunity to educate the teachers about appropriate adoption language!
  • Write a letter to your local newspaper or television news station asking them to do an adoption story in honor of National Adoption Month. If you or someone you know has an inspiring adoption story to tell, share it with them.
  • Get together with other adoptive families, friends, neighbors, etc. and have an Adoption Day party. Blow up balloons, have a potluck dinner and celebrate your family and the thousands of other families across the U.S. who are touched by adoption.
  • If you are an adoptive family that shares correspondence with your child’s birth parents, make a special card, send a heartfelt note or simply send them fun new photographs of your child(ren) enjoying fall. National Adoption Month is a time to recognize birth parents, as well.
  • Pick a day in November and take a family photo each year on that day. Keep the photos in a special photo album.
  • Create a scrapbook for your child or, if you are a waiting family, begin one for your future child. If available, include photos of your child the day they were born, photos of the birth parents, etc. As your child grows, they can help you add pages to their scrapbook. It will also help you share their adoption story with them as they grow.
  • Ask your church, synagogue or other religious institution to recognize National Adoption Month by speaking about adoption or recognizing adoptive families and waiting families during an upcoming service.
  • If you have already adopted a child, send a recent family picture to your agency or attorney!

This year, you’ll also find Adoption Month posts and 30 Days of Adoption Reflections on our blog and across our social media platforms:

If there’s something you’d like to see on the blog, or if you’re talking about adoption out in the blogosphere, we’d love to hear about it! Email us at editors@americanadoptions.com. We’ve loved all the Adoption Month Reflections you’ve been sending us!

Waiting During the Holidays – How to Beat the Holiday Blues

Because they’re full of family, festivities and traditions, the holidays can be an especially tough time for couples who are waiting to adopt. While every family will handle the wait differently, there are some tried and true tips for getting through the holidays:

  • Accept yourself and your emotions. Feelings of jealousy, frustration or sadness are completely natural.
  • Know your limits. If attending family gatherings with relatives will only be stressful, it’s ok to minimize these interactions.
  • Practice what to say. Most nosy relatives are just curious and want the best for you, but that doesn’t mean that their questions will be welcome. Prepare what you want to say about your adoption journey in advance and stick to the script.
  • Take care of yourself and your spouse. You’re a team! Communicate with each other about what social gatherings you can handle this holiday season. And make sure you’re both sleeping, eating and exercising. Start a new tradition or take a trip – anything to take advantage of the free time you’ll give up once you have an infant.

Read the following articles for more advice for the waiting period: