Vision Statement: Strengthening Eternal Families by Promoting and Defending Adoption and
Increasing our Involvement in the Community

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tax Benefits for Adoption

National Council For Adoption is proud to re-release Adoption Advocate No. 21, "Tax Benefits for Adoption: The Adoption Tax Credit." This version includes up-to-date information and is a useful tool for families and professionals in understanding the impacts of the adoption tax credit.

Click here to download Adoption Advocate No. 21.

For additional questions about the Adoption Tax Credit refer to this post.

Being Noah's Mom 100%

The following is a story from Laura and Chris Parker about how their oldest son, Noah, joined their family through adoption.  Noah's birthmother, Heather, also shares her perspective.

As told by Noah's daddy Chris...

Noah truly is our little miracle, brought to us by an angel named Heather. We're forever grateful for our little Noah and all the twists and turns in the path bringing him to us.

Laura and I spent a number of years wondering exactly how and when children would join our family. Lots of emotions--highs and lows--and lots of doctor visits passed before we finally realized that we wanted to adopt. We have a few adopted family members and were quite excited to pursue adoption.

So, we began the process of adopting through an agency. We took some classes and worked on paperwork, taking our time despite our enthusiasm because of the emotional drain it was to consider so many of the issues that come up with adoption. We were finally approved and began waiting to be chosen by that special birthmother. After some ups and downs, we finally found Noah's angel.

As told by Noah's birthmother Heather...

Well it all started on June 07, 2005 when I found out I was almost 4 months pregnant! It was a hard thing to imagine, me having a baby? No way! But it was true...God had granted me the gift of a child.

I was probably about 5 months pregnant when my aunt came to my mother and said that she had found a home for me to go to in North Dakota, where I could have my son and no one would know about it, and I could walk away with a clean slate. I didn't feel that was an appropriate way to go about having a child.

I started exploring other options, talking to the bishop in my ward about what I should do. He suggested LDS Family Services, for adoption. I knew my family and I were in no position to raise a child when we were just trying to make ends meet for my mother, sister and me.

I wasnt sure if I could go through with it though, but nonetheless I went and started talking to a counselor and going to group therapy with the other girls in the same position as I was and other girls who had placed their children. Most of them seemed to be having a hard time, I was terrified. I didn't go back there for a couple weeks hoping they would forget about me...They didn't. My counselor showed up at my house and asked me if I would look at some profiles of some prospective parents for my son.

I let them sit under my bed for a couple nights and one night I woke up in the middle of the night with a feeling that I needed to at least look at them, so I did. I got through about 4 of them and was exausted from all the emotion and how all these people wanted a child and I was too selfish to give them MINE.

A couple days later my mom asked me to sit down and look at a couple, so I put them behind my back and pulled out three for me and three for her. I looked at one and didnt even read it just acted like it, so mom wouldnt be mad. The next couple was interesting but there were a couple things I didnt like. As I went to flip the page in this intresting profile I saw the picture of the couple underneath. They looked amazing, so much love between them, so much security. I couldn't help but put the other one down and read theirs.

Their names were Chris and Laura, their names just flow together and their life was like out of a dream. I knew from then on that they were the ones, they were the ones to be the parents of my son, to love him, and cherish him. To hold him in the middle of the night, to cry when he is sad, to be ecstatic when he is happy. They were it.

So the day comes to tell them, and they were the happiest people ever, and so was I. I knew I was doing the right thing for my son. I loved him and so did they.

Chris again...

See, I told you she was an angel. It was important to Heather for us to be a part of her doctor's appointments and she even sweet-talked the doctor into a free ultrasound so that we could see our Noah. I still don't think she knows how much it means to us that we got to have that experience--one we thought we would never have when we finally realized that having children biologically was not in our future. She also wanted us to have a lot of time with Noah in the hospital after his birth. I cherish the memory of giving Noah his first bottle, and walking him through the maternity ward in his bassinet, telling him about all the things we were going to do together as he grew up. Those are all memories that we have only because of Heather's grace and love.

The day came for placement and it was the strangest, wonderful, anguished blend of emotions I've ever felt. Everyone knew what was good and right, but the pain we saw in Heather and the immeasurable joy at our long-awaited parenthood certainly created an interesting cocktail of emotions. We brought our little Noah home and held him in his nursery. We put him to bed lovingly, wondering if he really would be okay all night without us there making sure he was still breathing. He was.

He is ours, but still belongs to our angel, Heather, too. Laura's his mommy and I'm his daddy and he has another who loves him dearly. He truly is our little miracle. When Noah turned one, Laura wrote this in her journal and it really sums up how we feel about our relationship with Noah's birth-mom.

"Over all, this is what I have learned about adoption this year: I AM Noah's mother 100%. I will forever share a sacred part of motherhood with another daughter of God, and not only am I o.k. with that, I rejoice in that. I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father chose me to have this kind of experience - to make me a mother this way. Noah has two very significant, but different, "mother figures" in his life. He is someone else's son, and mine too. There is no limit to love. Just like a parent can love more than one child equally, a child can love more than one mother. Even though Noah has two "mother figures" our roles in no way compete or conflict with each other. One mother gave him life, and with the other one he will live his life. The only thing that is the same about our roles as his "mothers" is the love we have for him, and even that is completely unique to each of us."

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Eric & Heather's Adoption Journey- Part Four

Eric and Heather are a prospective adoptive couple who are sharing their experiences in a series of guest posts about what it’s like to go through the adoption process with LDS Family Services. Eric and Heather hope that by sharing their experiences others will feel the same peace and support they have received and gain a better understanding of how the adoption process works.

Click on the following to read their previous posts:

The Interviews

I will admit that I definitely had my moments of being a little nervous about the individual interviews. Luckily, Eric was very calm and collected and helped me to realize that we had nothing to be nervous about. I met with both our case workers, Judy and Sydney and within the first few minutes, my fears were gone. Most of the questions they asked were questions that I answered in blue step and I was able to elaborate on my answers and even ask questions. Judy was so welcoming to questions and she even shared some of her own personal stories and feelings which really meant a lot to me and brought such a sweet spirit into the room. Toward the end of the interview, Judy spent some time talking about what happens next and what to expect from the education classes.

We have both been so surprised and so grateful for the lessons we have learned and for the feelings that we have had throughout the process thus far. We are really looking forward to these upcoming education classes so that we can have the opportunity to learn from others experiences.

Eric & Heather's Adoption Journey- Part Three

Eric and Heather are a prospective adoptive couple who are sharing their experiences in a series of guest posts about what it’s like to go through the adoption process with LDS Family Services. Eric and Heather hope that by sharing their experiences others will feel the same peace and support they have received and gain a better understanding of how the adoption process works.

Click on the following to read their previous posts:

Eric and Heather’s Adoption Journey- Part One

Eric and Heather's Adoption Journey- Part Two

The Paperwork
Eric and I had heard that paperwork portion of the adoption process was pretty intense. We went into it expecting to spend many, many hours completing all the required documentation and answering all the questions but we ended up being pleasantly surprised.

Our birth certificates and marriage certificates were easy to order online, though it cost us close to one hundred dollars to order (but we ordered three copies of each for the future). The required medical forms were fairly simple and we were able to schedule physicals fairly quickly so that those forms could be completed. Luckily, our infertility clinic was willing to let us fax the paperwork to their office to save us a trip.  The other documentation consisted of compiling financial documents, Bishop recommendations, and employment verification.

The online paperwork has to be completed online in a program called Blue Step. It’s split up into four phases. Each phase asks a serious of open ended questions ranging from how we grew up and how we plan to raise our child to what we enjoy doing in our spare time. There is a part in the online paperwork that has to be done separately from your spouse that takes a bit more time and dedication to complete but it gave us the opportunity to really reflect on our own upbringing and our individual thoughts about adoption. I was a little surprised at how badly I wanted to see how Eric had answered. For me, it was kind of similar to someone saying, “don’t think about it,” and then that’s all I could think about but we promised that we would complete each questionnaire separately so we did. That didn’t stop me from being really curious (and I’ll admit, a little nervous) about what he would write compared to what I wrote but we were able to talk about our answers after the individual interviews with our case worker and it was really kind of a neat experience to go over the questions with each other and talk about things we maybe hadn’t thought about or discussed previously.

Along with answering questions about yourself, your spouse, and your extended family members, the program also asks you to provide financial information, a description of your home and neighborhood and your preferences when it comes to being placed with a child. Eric and I kind of went out of order and completed a phase before we were technically supposed to so we still have some revising to do in the final phase of the process. Phase four asks you to write a letter to the birth parent, share pictures, and answer questions regarding preferences when it comes to children. There were definitely some tough questions that luckily, we have prayerfully considered along the way but we know that we will learn more by attending the upcoming education classes that will help us to be able to complete the final phase.

Overall, the paperwork part of the adoption was much easier than we had originally anticipated and we even enjoyed parts of it!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Celebrating Adoption with Michael McLean

The Northern Utah Chapters of Families Supporting Adoption are pleased to have Michael McLean come and spend a night with us to Celebrate Adoption.

On May 6, 2011 at the Bountiful Regional Center we will be pleased to have Michael McLean relating his experiences of adoption through stories and song. Please come early to get your seats; seating is on a first come first serve basis and no reserve seating is allowed. We will be opening the doors after 6:30 pm for general admission for those who do not have tickets.

Free Tickets can be ordered online at

Help us spread the word about this exciting event by copying & pasting this digital flyer onto your blog or social networking site:

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Looking for New Design for FSA Shirts

Families Supporting Adoption is looking for a new original design to print on shirts. The new design should promote a positive view of adoption. You can use the "Adoption: It's About Love" slogan, or make up a new one. Shirts with the new design will be available for purchase at the annual conference and through the website.

If you have an idea you'd like to submit, send it to by April 30, 2011. The person with the winning submission will be given a $30 gift certificate to the FSA store and one free registration to the FSA Conference in Utah on August 12-13.