Boys & Girls Aid

Infant Adoption F.A.Q.‘s

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Frequently Asked Questions about Infant Adoption

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How does the infant adoption process work?

Our Adoption Process

Adding to your family through adoption is an important and lifelong decision.  It will change the trajectory of your life, the life of the adoptee, and of the birth family that selects you to raise their child.  We take great care to create an environment where birth and adoptive parents can build and maintain healthy relationships, which is in the best interest of the child being placed for adoption.  This is a complex and intimate process. Very briefly, here is what you may expect as you explore adoption with Boys & Girls Aid.

Step One - Get to Know Us

Start by learning more about the adoption process at Boys & Girls Aid. Attendance at one of our information sessions is necessary before being offered an application. Contact the Inquiry Department at 503.542.2301 to reserve your place at the next information session, or RSVP here.

Step Two - Tell Us About You

After attending an information session, complete our Infant Adoption Application for our adoption team to review. Please submit your completed application and fee to:
Boys & Girls Aid
Attn: Stacey Darden
018 SW Boundary Court
Portland, OR 97239

Electronic submission is not currently available. Signed, original documents must be submitted.  Applications are reviewed weekly and families whose applications are approved are invited to attend the next available training session.

Step Three—Training & Intake

Training is the next step for you to get to know Boys & Girls Aid better and for us to get to know you.  Training is required by Oregon law and families report that this is an invaluable step in their adoption journey.  This is a two day training, held on Friday and Saturday.  Topics for this training include the adoption process, openness, grief and loss, child development, risk factors, and building attachment.  Following training, you will be invited to attend an individual intake meeting with a Boys & Girls Aid clinician.

Step Four — Home Study & Create Your Family Book

The home study process begins with an extensive questionnaire and a list of documents we are required to maintain, such as tax returns, marriage certificates, background checks, and much more.  While you are working on completing your questionnaires and gathering documents, you can also begin working on your Family Book. Your Family Book is your introduction to families considering placing their child in an adoptive home. Your Family book will contain photos that tell the story of your family and give a brief overview of who you are, your support systems, and the life of a child placed in your home. It also includes a letter that you will write to the birthmother. Examples of current Boys & Girls Aid family profiles can be found here.

Once all the questionnaires are completed, documents have been gathered, background checks have cleared, and your Family Book has been approved, your clinician will write your Home Study document.

Step Five - Waiting for Your Family

When you have completed all the above steps, you will join the other families who are waiting to be selected by a birth family.

Step Six - Matching

When a birth family is interested in your profile, you will meet with the birth family, along with your clinician and their clinician to get to know each other better. Birth families might interview one family or they may choose to interview multiple families in order to make an informed decision regarding who is best equipped to provide lifelong parenting to the child they are considering placing for adoption. Once you are selected by a birth family, you are matched and cannot be considered by another birth family. 

Step Seven - Selection & Placement

When you are selected by a birth family, upon the birth of the baby, the first phase of the adoption process is complete. No two families have the same experience adopting a child. Placement of the child typically happens at discharge from the hospital and you may or may not participate in the care of the child at the hospital. Placement is the moment that you become legally and financially responsible for the child. The birth family does not have any further legal authority over the child and cannot revoke their consents once the child has been placed.

Step Seven – Post Placement & Finalization

Your Boys & Girls Aid clinician will visit you in your home in accordance with state law and agency policy and is available to help you facilitate post-placement visits with your birth family. The frequency and amount of contact between you and the birth family is determined by the openness agreement you and the birth family sign.  Finalization occurs once your clinician submits the final report to the court and a judge signs a decree of adoption. At that time, you will be issued a new birth certificate with your name or names listed as the parents. 


What is Infant Adoption?

Birth parents, for their own reasons, come to our agency to willingly place their child with an adoptive family. Boys & Girls Aid works with these birth parents and qualified adoptive families to help make adoption plans that are right for all involved.

Who are the children?

The majority of the children in the infant adoption program are newborns. On average, two to five percent of the children we place annually range in age from 6 weeks to 2 years in age. All of the children, regardless of their age or background, need a permanent, loving home in which to grow up. On occasion, we are in the position of helping to find homes for high-risk infants, whose vulnerable characteristics could include health or medical issues.

What about openness?

Boys & Girls Aid believes that some type of open communication or meeting between birth parents and the adoptive family is in the best interest for all involved. Openness reassures birth parents that they have made the right decision and it allows a child to know his/her background and develop a healthier sense of self while growing up. For adoptive families, a prearranged agreement means there are set conditions that can be planned around, and it offers the opportunity to better understand a child’s own innate makeup. Each adoption is unique in what each party agrees to and is comfortable with in regards to openness. Birth parents and adoptive families sign a mutually agreed upon Open Adoption Agreement.

Who can adopt?

We welcome nurturing families from all different backgrounds and configurations. In order to meet the best interests of a child, we follow some general guidelines.

  • Applicants need to be 21 years or older (per state regulations)
  • Applicants will need adequate housing and verifiable income to support a child
  • Applicants should be one or two-parent families with stable, healthy relationships
  • Applicants must be in good health and have a reasonable life expectancy
  • Applicants must be able to pass DMV, FBI, Criminal, and Child Welfare background checks
How do I learn more? How do I proceed?

The next step in exploring infant adoption includes joining us for an information session. This will help you and your family determine if this type of adoption is right for you. Boys & Girls Aid will then ask you to complete an application to be considered for the program. If approved, you will be invited to attend training, complete the necessary steps for a home study and will create a family book that we show prospective birth parents.

How long does this take?

The pre-adoption process generally takes three to four months once the pre-adoption training has been completed. Placements vary on a case by case basis and are dependent on the selection process of birth parents. Length of time from completion of the home study to placements can range between a few months to a few years.

What are the costs?

Families adopting an infant through our agency pay a total cost of $33,000. Our adoption fee falls in the medium to low range of the national average. Unique to our infant program is that adoptive families are never burdened with the responsibility of covering birth parent expenses directly. We support birth mothers independently through an agency-based fund. In this way, you can rest assured that your fees are predictable and are not based on the support needs of the birth family that selects you.  Fees are due as you move from one step of the adoption process to the next.

Why Boys & Girls Aid?

Boys & Girls Aid has been a leader and innovator in child welfare and adoption since 1885.  We are an affirming agency and support and celebrate diverse and non-traditional families. Our professional and caring staff are dedicated and experienced at making safe and legal placements. We have maintained a commitment to the two clinician model to avoid any conflicts of interest. This means birth parents and adoptive parents each work with separate clinicians throughout the process. We are licensed in both Oregon and Washington and have both an Infant Adoption program and a Foster Care Adoption Program.  Qualified applicants can participate in one or both programs. We offer predictable fees, more possibilities through our two adoption programs, and a lifetime of post-adoption support. We’ll be with you every step of the way to help your family grow.