Adoption 101 ©

New to the world of adoption? Wondering how to get started? Here are some adoption basics to help you as you begin the adoption process. ©

Where would you like to adopt?

There are many different ways to adopt! You can adopt domestically (within the United States of America) or internationally. You can also foster to adopt!

Adoption Home Study

  • Home Study

    No matter what route you take or outlet you use to adopt, adoptive parents must have an Adoption Home Study. An adoption home study is a written report about your family life and background. It is used to demonstrate that it is likely that an adopted child would thrive in your family.

  • Professional

    There are some rules about who can complete your adoption home study. An adoption home study must be conducted by a professional who is licensed in your State of residence. All of the professionals at Millcreek are licensed adoption providers.

  • Regulation

    Your adoption home study must be conducted according to the laws where you would like to adopt. You can decide to obtain a domestic or an international adoption home study. If you would like to foster to adopt you can complete an adoption home study through your local state agency. The adoption home studies provided by Millcreek Adoptions are suitable for domestic adoptions.

  • Licensed

    Your adoption home study must be completed by a licensed provider but you can chose who you would like to conduct your study. Providers can be found through private services, attorneys or agencies. All of the professionals at Millcreek licensed adoption providers.

Decide Your Budget

  • Fees

    In choosing an agency or a licensed provider the fees associated will most likely be of primary concern to you. It is important to consider the different services you would like to receive from your providers as well as the fees associated with those services.

  • Services

    Most providers charge per service while most agencies charge for the adoption home study as well as for advertising and additional agency expenses.

  • Confused?

    Confused? Consider asking yourself some of the following questions: Would you like to advertise your family on your own for the first little bit of your adoption journey (which is more cost-efficient), or would you like to start with an agency that markets for you? Do you have an expectant parent(s) who has already chosen you or will you be looking for a match?

  • Attorney Approved

    The adoption home study provided through Millcreek Adoptions will be suitable for an attorney or an agency to facilitate your adoption. The majority of our clients select us because we are affordable, experienced and fun to work with!

Select your provider

  • When you have selected who you would like to have conduct your adoption home study, contact the provider and begin their application process.
  • A completed adoption home study can take 4-8 weeks depending on multiple factors. It is always best to be invested in helping your provider with the paperwork they need from you in a timely manner to ensure that your adoption home study is completed in a reasonable amount of time. 

Completing your adoption home study

  • Once your application has been processed and you have been accepted as clients by your provider, your adoption home study can begin. Your provider will supply you with the paperwork necessary to complete your study.
  • You will need to complete both a criminal and a child abuse background screening which can take approximately 4-6 weeks. 
  • It is important to remember that your adoption home study is conducted by professionals who are studying your family to ensure that an adoption placement will be successful. Paying for an adoption home study does not always result in a recommendation to adopt. 
  • After your adoption home study is complete you are ready to find your birth parents!

Get Educated

The world of adoption can look similar to the process of learning a new language. There are many norms to learn and areas where you will want guidance from professionals. Training is important for you, your birth parents and most importantly for your child. Education will also enhance your experience with birth parents. At Millcreek, we know that a birth parent is more likely to place with a couple who has had adoption training because they feel confident you can maintain a positive relationship with them and they know the child they have entrusted with you will thrive in a home that celebrates adoption. At Millcreek we provide adoption education that is affordable and fun! We also offer guidance by a caring team of professionals who are eager and ready to help you in your adoption journey.


There are many ways you can advertise that you would like to adopt. It is wise to create a portfolio of pictures of your family that demonstrates what it would be like to be in your family. Consider hobbies and interests, family traditions, vacations, holidays you enjoy celebrating, and pictures that show your best selves. While there are many families that are hopeful to adopt it’s vitally important to create a portfolio that reflects who you truly are as a family. Include captions on your photos, a letter introducing your family, and any information that you would consider helpful for expectant parents to know about you.

Finding your birth parents

There are many ways to advertise that you are ready to adopt. You may wish to be listed on a website that promotes your family.  If you have used an agency they may do the advertising for you. It is wise to share your desire to adopt with your friends and family so they may also assist you in finding a match. Millcreek Adoptions provides education regarding these options and can help you make those decisions if needed.


There are many ways you can be connected with potential expectant parents. Often your family and friends will refer you, or you will be matched through the website or agency you have chosen to work with.

Correspondence with expectant parents often comes through email, phone or text message as well as face to face meetings. This is where your relationship building begins! You have the opportunity to get to know each other as naturally as you would be meeting a new friend. You may want to rush the process but at Millcreek we know that slow and steady relationship development is where a healthy adoption begins. We offer adoption guidance as you navigate through the correspondence phase. We are also happy to assist you in face to face meetings and in connecting your expectant parent with decision making counseling as needed.

Open Adoption

Many new adoptive couples fear the unknowns that come with an open adoption. This is very normal! At Millcreek we know that with time and education you can become comfortable with an open relationship that works best for you, your birth parents and especially your child.

Open adoption was developed after years of research. Children in closed adoption showed behavior problems, abandonment issues, and struggled with identity development. Open adoption has been shown to assist adoptees in knowing their story and having access to information as questions come through the years.

For more information regarding research on open adoptions please read the following research study. Minnesota-Texas Adoption Research:

You’ve been selected!

  • Once you have been selected as potential adoptive parents you will then determine the avenue upon which to make the adoption placement legal.
  • It is wise to discuss the legal methods available with your expectant or birth parent(s) to ensure that they feel comfortable.
  • You will need to select an attorney that has experience with adoption. Be sure to discuss their fees and the processes they use to obtain relinquishment of birth parent rights. Many attorneys use social workers to assist in obtaining relinquishments as birth parents tend to feel more comfortable with their given role.  Millcreek Adoptions is licensed to conduct those relinquishments if needed. 
  • If you have selected to work with an agency they will do the legal piece of your adoption.  

Delivery time

When your expectant parent goes into labor this is a time full of emotions for everyone in the adoption. Quite often this is the time when expectant parents and adoptive couples feel the most anxiety and fear and many begin behaving in ways that are contrary to the relationship that has been created. At Millcreek we understand that this is an incredibly delicate time and one that should be handled with care and we offer adoption guidance to help you through this precious time.

Consider your birth parents

It is vital that you consider the needs of your birth parents before and after placement. Many birth parents experience anticipatory grief as they prepare for placement. It is always wise to ensure that they have the counseling they need to navigate through the difficult emotions that come with placing their child with an adoptive family. Grief counseling is essential for your birth parent(s) to heal. Even if they are hesitant and say they are doing well, grief can come in waves and may hit them unexpectedly. You may consider adding a fee for your birth parent(s) to have counseling. At Millcreek we offer hourly rates for birth parent counseling.

After placement

  • Following your adoption placement, State law requires a post placement supervision by a licensed professional. The State of Utah requires a minimum of one visit. Your attorney or agency may have a requirement for the number of supervisory visits they would like you to have. Unless otherwise directed by your attorney or agency, you are able to select whom you would like to provide this supervision. At Millcreek, we are able to conduct your post placement services.
  • Your adoption is eligible for finalization a minimum of 6 months following placement. Your attorney will represent you in court and ensure that all of the paperwork for the adoption is in order.

Why You Should Go With Millcreek Adoptions!

  • We are affordable!
  • We are licensed!
  • We have TONS of adoption experience!
  • We LOVE working with Expectant & Birth Parents!
  • We provide adoption education!
  • We have AWESOME attorneys to recommend!
  • Did we mention we are affordable?!