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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 (ASC Gold) is $34,600. Here’s a breakdown of what that payment supports:
  • Marketing — With the information you submit about you and your partner, our team will put together a polished and comprehensive family color profile that we’ll show to expectant moms who match your needs.
  • Home study — ASC provides the necessary home study to approve you as adoptive parents, as well as education materials and a class to prepare you and your partner for the home study
  • Expectant mother living expenses — Part of your payment is used to support the expectant mom you’re matched with. These monthly payments will help relieve some stress while she considers placing her child with your family, and help her pay for the expenses of pregnancy and for 6 weeks after giving birth.
  • The expectant mom’s legal fees — You will be responsible for 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.
  • Lifelong support for you, your child and their birth mom — When you partner with ASC, we’ve got your back for life. As the years go by, we’ll continue to educate you about being a healthy adoptive parent, help you navigate the relationship for 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 to $19,600. We encourage you to work with an accountant to see if you qualify.

To request a fee schedule, email us at

Are there ways to reduce the cost of adoption?

Yes! If you don’t need full-service adoption support, you can choose from our a la carte adoption services.

What else should I budget for?

There are two main reasons why an adoptive couple may pay more than the $34,600 cost for adoption.

  • 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.
  • Their criteria for adoption are very specific. The criteria you choose for an adopted child has a direct impact on how long you will wait to be matched. For example, if you will only accept a child whose race matches your own, who has no exposure to substances, and you want no contact with the birth family, it will likely take much longer to match you than a family who has less specific needs.

If we’re unable to find a child that matches your criteria within the first year, a monthly fee will be applied as we continue to market your family and try to find a match.

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 more than 35 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 some kind of 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 mom asks for money?

Your payment to ASC covers the cost of what Indiana allows under the law for you to pay while she is pregnant and a few weeks after birth. You have no further monetary obligations.

If your child’s birth mother asks for additional funds/money, let ASC know right away and we can connect her with resources in her community.

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

When a baby is placed for adoption, any potential birth father has 30 days to file a paternity suit and contest the adoption. If he takes no action, his consent for the adoption is legally granted.

If your child’s birth father comes forth later in your child’s life, ASC will step in to help you navigate the relationship.

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.