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Frequently Asked Questions From Prospective Adoptive Parents

If you have questions about adoption, you’re not alone. Here are some of the most common questions we get from prospective adoptive families.

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How long does adoption take?

Our goal is to have an adoptive placement within 12 months of activating your family. Our average placement time goes up and down, depending on the type of adoption you are requesting.

The answers to these questions might determine how long you’ll wait:
  • Is this your first child, or are you already parents? Some expectant moms want a child-free family.
  • Are you open to babies of all races?
  • How much connection do you want with the birth mom?
  • Are you open to a child who’s been exposed to substances in utero?

Why do I need to jump through so many hoops to become an adoptive parent?

Adoption is a unique and complex form of parenting. We know you’re going to be great parents — we want to make sure you’re great adoptive parents, too.

Some parts of the adoption journey are legally mandatory, like your home study. Other educational pieces are so that you can give your child the support they need as an adopted person. All together, the work you’ll do before placement will set you up to be a lifelong learner of all things adoption.

Should I be worried about a baby’s exposure to substances?

The short answer is yes, but it’s up to you to do your research before deciding how much, if any, exposure you’re comfortable with.

It’s true that some expectant moms use substances while they’re pregnant. But there are different types of substances and levels of substances that can be used. ASC has a tiered system for approval, and you get to decide which tier you’re comfortable with.

The truth is that no matter what time we live in or what a child’s background is, substance exposure is and has been a common reality during pregnancy. If it’s part of the reality for your adopted child, you’ll have the information and support you need to navigate it.


How much does adoption cost?

The cost of a full-service adoption is $45,000. 

Here’s a breakdown of some of what these payment supports: 
  • Marketing — ASC has partnered with one of the most creative profile book companies in the nation! You will get a polished, professional book to showcase your family to expectant moms. 
  • Home study — ASC provides the necessary home study documents to approve you as adoptive parents. 
  •  Education — When you work with ASC, we keep you up-to-date with the latest trends in adoption. We are constantly envisioning modern adoption education, and we partner with other professionals to ensure we provide you a well-rounded education as you step into your role as adoptive parents. 
  • Expectant mother living expenses — Part of your fees are used to support the expectant mom you’re matched with. ASC abides by Indiana law for financially supporting any expectant mom. 
  • All legal fees — including the legal fees for the attorney that represents the woman considering placing her child for adoption. This attorney will let her know her rights and make sure she feels supported prior to and during her signing of the adoption papers. 
  • Post placement support for you, your child and their birth mom — When you partner with ASC, we’ve got your back. As the years go by, we’ll be here to educate you about being a healthy adoptive parent, help you navigate the relationship with your child’s birth family, and offer counseling and community-building for your child’s birth mom. 
If your household income is less than $190k, you may qualify for a tax credit that reduces the total cost of adoption. We encourage you to work with an accountant to see if you qualify.

What else should I budget for?

There are two main reasons why an adoptive couple may pay more than the Fee Schedule.
  • They chose to adopt a child outside of Indiana. Different states have different financial requirements for adoption, which can be pretty costly. If you’re chosen by an expectant mom from outside of Indiana, you have the first right of refusal.
  • A match with an expectant mom that has no insurance and does not qualify or does not apply for government Medicaid. This is not typical, but if this is your situation, your attorney can help assist with getting the hospital billing department to do a reduction and set up a payment plan.
Also, don’t forget to budget for your own legal fees. You will retain an attorney to represent you for the adoption proceedings. If you don’t have one, no worries. ASC will connect you with one that we have vetted and is knowledgeable with adoption law in Indiana.


Once an expectant mom signs the consent forms, can she change her mind?

The short answer is no. The consent forms are irrevocable and effective immediately. Second-guessing the decision to place a child for adoption is a normal part of grieving, and she may ask you to return the baby to her. ASC will help you navigate this emotional time. Again, ASC and your attorney will provide guidance and options.

The longer answer is possibly. The birth mom has 30 days from signing to file a motion to withdraw her consent, but she must prove that it’s in the child’s best interests. This is incredibly difficult to do, and being the birth parent gives her no legal advantage. Again, your adoption coordinator and your attorney will provide guidance if this happens.

What legal rights does a child’s birth dad have?

Your adoption attorney will tend to any legal odds and ends regarding the child’s birth father while the expectant mom is still pregnant, if possible. There are two possible scenarios:

  • A father was named or identified during pregnancy. Your adoption attorney will notify him about the petition for adoption, and we’ll work with him to sign the necessary consent forms to terminate his parental rights, just like the birth mom’s.
  • A father was not named or identified during pregnancy. For 30 days after the child’s birth, your adoption attorney will check Indiana’s Putative Father Registry. This is a database where men can register their name and contact information, and state who they believe may be pregnant with or have delivered a child he fathered. If someone has registered, we’ll reach out and work with them to sign the necessary consent forms.


Do I have to have contact with my child’s birth family?

When ASC began almost 40 years ago, it was the norm for there to be little or no contact between birth parents, their child and their child’s adoptive family. In most adoptions today there is open contact between all parties. At ASC we support that openness and encourage you to do so as well.

We believe in child-centered adoption, where children have knowledge and connection with their birth family. If you’re not open to this, we’d love to start a dialogue to better understand your point of view and circumstances.

Just like it was important for you to have a biological connection with a child you tried to conceive, it’s equally important for your adopted child to have a biological connection with their birth parents.

Before placement, you and the expectant mom will agree upon the amount and type of contact you’ll have long-term. You might agree to meet up every month or each quarter, or exchange video chats or weekly text messages, or simply just share photos through a password-protected website or app.

What if my child’s birth dad comes forth later in life?

If your child’s birth father comes forth later in your child’s life, ASC will help you navigate the relationship. Just shoot the post-placement team a message at There is a policy in place to support the birth father as he starts to engage and share more about himself and his family.

What if we have no contact, but my child seeks a relationship with their birth family later?

Reunion is an exciting time for an adopted person. It’s their chance to establish communication with someone who shares their DNA and their cultural heritage.

Indiana law allows adopted people over the age of 21 to pursue reunion with their birth family. But with permission from their adoptive family, an adopted person can pursue reunion at any age.