Applicants for the domestic infant program must meet the following criteria:
- At least 21 years of age
- Resident of Wyoming or Colorado
- Successfully complete the adoptive home study process
- Have no criminal history or incidents of child or adult abuse or neglect
- Financially stable and able to meet the expenses of adoption and the needs of the adopted child without state or federal assistance
Families who have a gender preference will wait longer for placement since most birthparents do not know the gender of their baby when they select an adoptive family. Single parents may apply for domestic infant adoption; however, birthparents almost without exception prefer a two-parent family for their baby. Our domestic infant adoption program is birthparent-driven, and we can never guarantee that you will receive placement.
Wyoming and Colorado Children’s Society does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, marital status or sexual orientation.
Call and request an information packet and application. The application includes the following document requirements:
- Financial statements
- Autobiographies from the applicant(s)
- Information on children living in the home
- Physician’s medical report
The agency will contact the listed references, and will also request the following documentation
- Criminal background check
- Child Abuse and Neglect Registry
- Individual questionnaires
A social worker will contact you to begin the home study process once we have received your reference letters and background checks. The process includes:
- A series of interviews with at least one meeting taking place in the family’s home, one joint interview, and one individual interview with each applicant. The caseworker will also interview any age-appropriate children in the home.
- In-depth discussions of key adoption issues including, motivation to adopt, marriage and family history, child preference, and the adoption process, among others.
- For Colorado residents, a SAFE (Structured Assessment Family Evaluation) home study is required.
During this process the applicant(s) will be creating the family profile, which allows the birthparents to learn about the family and their desire to expand their family. The profile should be original, creative and different as the individuals that prepare them. We can assist you with guidance in preparing your family profile booklet.
Please be sure to include:
- a collection of recent, casual, close-up, colorful family photographs
- a Dear Birth Parent letter
- submit five (5) bound booklets to the office not to exceed 9 x 12 in size
The social worker and agency director will approve each family for adoption.
Once the home study is finalized the family can be considered by birth parents in both Wyoming and Colorado.
Home Study and Adoption Fees
Families adopting a healthy infant will pay a home study fee in addition to a placement fee based on their gross annual income. A mileage fee will also be assessed in addition to the home study fee to offset the cost of travel for the social worker to complete the home study in your community. The placement fee funds services to the birthmother, including clothing, food, transportation, options counseling and support, as well as other agency expenses. In the event private health insurance or Medicaid does not pay the birthmother’s medical expenses, the adoptive family may be asked if they are able to cover the medical costs. A schedule of fees is included in the application packet. (Current Fee Schedule).
What Do Our Fees Cover?
Wyoming and Colorado Children’s Society is a professional, fully-accredited adoption agency, employing professional staff that possess the required educational credentials, skills and experience. The costs of operating a professional organization are considerable, and when the expenses associated with the agency increase, it is often necessary for us to increase our fees. As a true non-profit, all fees charged to adoptive applicants accurately reflect what it costs the agency to provide services to birth parents and to adoptive applicants. In order to provide the array of services offered by Wyoming and Colorado Children’s Society, certain accreditations are required and the maintenance of those accreditations – critical to our ability to do our work –have a significant financial impact on the agency.
The fees you pay to Wyoming and Colorado Children’s Society fund the following:
- Free, direct services to birth parents
- Staff time in conducting the work of the agency (interviews, client services, travel, report preparation, birth parent support, home study and post placement services to adoptive families, and more)
- Staff time in consultation with other public and private agencies, and community entities
- Ongoing staff training as required by our accrediting and licensing authorities
- Agency administration
- Client file creation and maintenance
- Operational expenses of the agency (staff salaries, office supplies, internet, telephones, equipment, building maintenance, etc.)
- Maintenance of required accreditations and licensures
Most insurance companies will cover the child’s medical expenses on the date the adoptive parents receive placement of the child. Federal laws, including the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 OBRA 93 (private employers) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 HIEPA (governmental employers), prohibit discrimination against adopted children. Health insurance coverage for adopted children is available to families covered by most group health plans at the time of placement, which is defined as the time when the adoptive family assumes financial responsibility for the child. Health insurance plans that are individual plans (not employer-sponsored) are not subject to federal regulation.
If a birthmother is not covered by private insurance or Medicaid, the adoptive parents are responsible for her medical expenses. Adoptive applicants can elect to decline being considered for placement if there are medical expenses involved.
The Home Study
The home study process gives the social worker and the agency a chance to get to know the adoptive family. The process includes a series of interviews with at least one meeting taking place in the family’s home, one joint interview, and one individual interview with each applicant. The social worker will also interview any age-appropriate children in the home. The social worker will hold in-depth discussions of key adoption issues including, motivation to adopt, marriage and family history, child preference, and the adoption process. This is also an opportunity for the family to ask questions and learn about the process.
For Colorado residents, the Structured Analysis Family Assessment (SAFE) home study will be completed.
The Family Profile
During the home study process the applicant(s) will be creating a family profile which will be shared with birthparents as they decide which family is best suited to parent their baby. Birth parents often have an idea of the type of family they would feel comfortable placing their child with, and the profile allows the birth parents to learn about the family and their desire to parent a child. Based on the desired criteria of the birthparents the agency will provide the birthparents with several family profiles. Birth parents will then select the family they would like to meet and consider as adoptive parents for their child.
Your family profile should be original and creative, and provide a good representation of your family. Your profile should include your first names, but no other identifying information such as surnames, addresses or telephone numbers. Please be sure to include a collection of recent, casual, close-up, and colorful family photographs, a ‘Dear Birthparent’ letter, and submit five (5) profiles to the agency, not to exceed 9 X 12 inches in size. Wyoming and Colorado Children’s Society has several examples of effective profiles we can share with you to guide you in creating your unique profile.
Waiting for Placement
Wyoming and Colorado Children’s Society works with birth parents in Wyoming and Colorado who face unplanned pregnancies. If the birth parents decide adoption is the right decision, they will review family profiles and select a family to meet. The birthparents will review prospective adoptive families based on family size, religious affiliation, interests/hobbies, age and geographic location. As a result, it is nearly impossible to determine the length of time a family waits for placement. On average, waiting families receive placement of an infant in 18 to 24 months. Because our program is birthparent-driven, we are not able to guarantee placement.
Closed, Semi-Open, and Open Adoption
The amount of contact between the birthparents and the adoptive family is a decision made by the two parties. The agency helps draft an agreement, which the adoptive family and birthparents will sign. It is common for birthparents to want to exchange letters and pictures and some choose to have visits facilitated by Wyoming and Colorado Children’s Society’s staff.
Adoptions can be open, semi-open or closed. A closed adoption is where the birth parent has requested not to select or meet the adoptive parent of their baby. A semi-open or cooperative adoption is when the birth parent desires to meet the adoptive family selected and continue to receive photographs and letters; however, limited identifying information is shared. In some instances, visits after placement may occur if all parties agree. An open adoption is where the birth parent has an expectation of ongoing and direct contact and visits with the adoptive family and the child. The majority of Wyoming and Colorado Children’s Society adoptions are semi-open, although the number of open adoptions is increasing.
Agreements regarding contact after placement are not legal documents. They are considered to be moral and ethical agreements freely developed jointly by the birth parents and the adoptive parents. Adherence to this agreement is expected unless and until the agreement is no longer in the best interests of the child. The agency will assist you in resolving any issues that arise regarding the agreement.
The Birth Parents
Wyoming and Colorado Children’s Society requests that birthparents fill out a social/medical history form to provide any known social and/or medical information to the adoptive parents. In most cases the birth parents meet the selected family prior to the birth.
Wyoming and Colorado Children’s Society provides options counseling and support to all birthmothers in our program. In the event the birthparents need more in-depth professional counseling appropriate referrals will be made. In some instances, birth parents may need assistance with medical expenses. If not eligible for Medicaid or other public medical assistance, adoptive parents will be requested to assist with medical expenses if placement occurs. Other assistance birthparents may need such as transportation, groceries, housing, living expenses are provided by the agency.
Birthparents retain all legal rights to the child until the voluntary relinquishment and consent for adoption form is signed. In Colorado, the birthparents retain all parental rights until the legal documents are filed with the court.
The Legal Process
Once the baby is born, Wyoming and Colorado Children’s Society will again review the adoption decision with the birthparents. The voluntary relinquishment and consent is signed approximately 24 hours after birth and is irrevocable by Wyoming law. Wyoming law states a voluntary relinquishment of parental rights is permanent and irrevocable once signed and can only be overturned due to proven fraud, coercion or duress. In Colorado, the legal documents cannot be filed until five (5) working days after signing, during which time the birthparents can withdraw their consent.
The adoption will be finalized once post placement supervision is complete, which generally occurs within six months after placement. The agency and your attorney will assist you with this process. Following finalization of your adoption, your attorney will help you obtain an amended birth certificate for your child.
Wyoming and Colorado Children’s Society strictly observes all applicable state and federal adoption statutes, including the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC).
Agency Support Post-Placement and Beyond
Post-placement supervision and support is critical to the success of every placement. Wyoming and Colorado Children’s Society will require post-placement supervision of all adoptive placements regardless of state or country requirements. Post-placement requirements and fees are noted on the current Statement of Fees.
Post-placement supervision will be provided by the agency. The purpose of this service is to support the adoptive family with the transition following placement and in the adjustment of becoming an adoptive family. During this time any questions or concerns that may arise will be discussed. Wyoming and Colorado require regular visits and contact with the adoptive family to provide the court with information on the stability and progress of the placement. During these first six months the child remains in legal custody of Wyoming and Colorado Children’s Society and physical custody is placed with the adoptive family. The agency will also provide ongoing support to the birthparents as they move forward with their lives post-placement.
Wyoming and Colorado Children’s Society has been building families through adoption since 1911. We are committed to helping our birth parents and adoptive families for a lifetime. Once an adoption is finalized in court, we are available for support services any time birthparents and adoptive families request support, information and referral, or guidance concerning the life-long process of adoption.
The Adoption Tax Credit
Following the finalization of your adoption, you may be eligible for the Federal Adoption Tax Credit. Please contact your tax consultant or accountant for further information.