Christian Family Services, Inc.

Missouri: (314)-968-2216
Illinois: (618) 397-7678
Fax: (314) 968-2335

7955 Big Bend Blvd
Webster Groves, MO 63119

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Adoption

Children need a good home.

There are many children in the St. Louis area who are born into circumstances that lead to them needing another family to care for them. So many children are waiting for permanent homes: older children, sibling groups, minority and medically fragile children. For these kids there just aren’t enough families willing to adopt. There are also young parents unprepared to care for a child who have made the difficult decision that it would be best for their child to grow up in an adoptive home. Because of that loving decision, many children have been brought together with families who have waited years for such an opportunity.

 

CFS is actively seeking Christian couples and families of all ethnicities to provide loving and capable homes for the children we place for adoption.  Our staff of caring and knowledgeable professionals is here to answer your questions and guide you through the home study process. If you are adopting independently or domestically in Missouri or Illinois or from an agency that is not licensed in Missouri or Illinois, our staff can work with the attorney or child-placing agency of your choice in order to compile a home study that meets your specific adoption’s requirements.

 

If you are seeking to adopt through CFS and live in Missouri and Illinois, CFS will conduct your home study.  If you seek to adopt through CFS, but live in another state or outside our service area, we will help to ensure that the local home study provider you have selected matches CFS’ standards and requirements.  Call our office for more information, to speak to an adoption specialist, or to request an application.  An adoption specialist will guide you through the home study process step by step so that you will know what to expect and feel confident in your knowledge and preparation for adoption.

 
Overview

At Christian Family Services, Inc., we understand the adoption process, though a hope-filled time, can also be overwhelming and confusing.

How does the adoption program work?

 

CFS is primarily an infant placing agency, only placing children born in the United States.  Our adoption program is “birth parent-driven.”  This means birth parents, if they so desire,choose the adoptive family for their child.  

 

Once you have completed the application and homestudy process, we will advise you on preparing an Adoptive Parent Profile about your family.  It is from this collection of photos and biographical information that birth parents make their initial choice of adoptive parents for their child.

The length of your wait from the completion of your Profile to the time you are selected by birth parents can vary depending on many factors.  Most placements occur between five months and two years after the home study is completed.

 

How open will the adoption be?

There is a growing trend in the U.S. toward open adoptions with the birth and adoptive parents wanting some contact with each other before and after adoptive placement occurs.  At CFS, we believe open adoptions are ultimately in the best interest of the child, birth parents, and adoptive family,  However, in addition to fully open adoptions (birth and adoptive parents exchange identifying information and communicate outside the agency), CFS also completes adoptions that are semi-open (a meeting before/after placement, first names only are exchanged, and contact after placement only taking place through an agency).On occasion, CFS will complete closed adoptions (no contact between birth and adoptive parents, and any correspondence is handled through the agency).We do our best at CFS to match birth and adoptive parents by the degree of openness desired by both parties.

What can we specify about our prospective child?

You can specify your child’s nationality, ethnicity, or racial background, social history, medical status, as well as prenatal risk factors and whether or not you would be willing to accept a sibling group.

Can CFS complete Home Studies for Independent Adoption?

CFS can work with your attorney if adopting independently.  

 
Requirements

Here’s what is essential.

  • Prospective parents must be a minimum of 24 years old and couples must have been married for a minimum of 3 years.

  • The husband, wife, or single parent must have steady employment and adequate income to support the family.

  • Prospective parents must have a home study completed by a representative of Christian Family Services, Inc., or another competent licensed agency.

  • All prospective parents must attend a one-day orientation seminar at CFS.

  • Prospective parents must have an active Christian Faith. Reference from those in leadership positions at your church will be required.

  • We do our best to match prospective birth and adoptive parents according to both the amount and kind of contact they desire both before and after placement of a child.  Occasionally these desires change over time.  CFS seeks adoptive families who are willing to correspond and send photos to birth parents at least annually until the child reaches 18 years of age.

 
Services & Fees

**

 

Below is a list of the major fees in the adoption process. You can download a list of all possible fees.
 

Intake/Application - $150

 

In our application packet you will find a handbook explaining each of the following in detail:  the home study process, adoptive process, and post-placement requirements for adopting through Christian Family Services, Inc.  In addition, you will be asked to sign an Affirmation of Faith.  The application itself asks questions that help us get to know you and determine how we can help you meet your adoption goals.

 

Home Study - $1500 for Missouri Residents / $2000 for Illinois residents

 

The Home Study process involves background checks, medical reports, and assessment of your preparation and motivation to adopt.  It involves gathering information and documentation on each family member and the physical, financial, social, emotional, spiritual, and social home environment.  A social worker will meet with you on at least two occasions.  The report from these meeting becomes the document that represents you to the courts and government entities involved in the adoption process.

 

Home Study Update - $300

 

Your original home study is valid for one year.  If the placement doesn’t occur within that time period, you will need a Home Study Update to satisfy state requirements and remain qualified for a placement.  You will need to complete our Update Application and have one visit with a social worker.

 

Child Placement Fee - 15% Gross Annual Income (minimum $14,000 /maximum $20,000)

 

The placement fee helps to cover services provided by Christian Family Services, Inc., to both the birth and adoptive parents up to and beyond the adoptive placement.  It also covers preparation of court and other documents related to placement as well as one court appearance at the finalization hearing.

 

Post-Placement Services - $75 per hour

 

Post-Placement visits are required by the states of Missouri and Illinois and involve several visits to your home by a social worker.  Reports from these visits are submitted to the court so that your adoption can be finalized.

 

Interstate Compact Fee - $350

 

There are times when the child to be placed for adoption lives in one state and the adoptive family lives in another state.  Interstate Compact law applies to these adoptions.  Legal and administrative procedures are followed and both of the states involved must approve the adoptive placement before the adoptive family can transport the child across state lines.

 

 

Travel time and mileage will be charged for families who live outside of a 50 mile radius of the Missouri or Illinois offices.  Travel time will be billed at $30.00/hour while mileage is billed at the current government rate.

 

**Fees assessed are nonrefundable

 
Other Expenses

Prepare for the unexpected.

 

Throughout the adoption process, there are additional costs that my come up that are unexpected.  The following is an inconclusive list of other possible expenses that may arise:

Possible Non-agency expenses associated
with the adoption process

 

  • Criminal Background Checks and Fingerprinting

  • Medical Examinations and lab work

  • Certified Marriage Certificates (if applicable)

  • Copies of Certified Birth Certificates

  • Certified Divorce Certificates (if applicable)

  • Certified Death Certificates (if applicable- for any former spouse or household member)

  • Adoption Parent Profile Preparation

  • Attorney Fees/Court Costs

  • Birth Parents Expenses-possible housing, clothing, or maternity leave.This is a possibility if adopting independently, through another agency or if CFS birth parent expenses exceed $4000.

Guardian Suitability Study
 

What is a Guardianship Suitability Study?

Guardianship is the legal process of determining a person’s capacity to make decisions for him/herself regarding his/her personal affairs (such as where he/she lives or the care he/she requires.) Guardianship laws were set in place to protect those who are mentally ill, mentally retarded, physically disabled or elderly who are unable to make some decisions about their lives by themselves. A person may also seek guardianship in order to care for and have custody of a minor. A guardian is appointed by the court.

Parents are the guardians of minors, unless the parents are deceased, refuse to serve or are judged unfit to serve; only then may a guardian be appointed.

 

The Process

  • The first step in establishing guardianship is to petition the probate court in the county where the respondent (the person for whom guardianship is sought) resides.

  • You will be required to have a Guardianship Suitability Study performed. Christian Family Services, Inc. is a licensed provider of this study. You will need to call our office and be prepared to pick up an application from our office at which time a social worker will sign the “Confirmation of Petitioner’s Request for Guardianship Suitability Study” form. $200 Due at signing of “Confirmation of Petitioner’s Request” ($300 Due at time of home visit) for a total of $500.

  • Once we receive your application, a social worker will contact you and schedule a time to come to your home. Everyone living in the home will need to be present for the meeting including the respondent, if possible.

  • The social worker will send the completed Suitability Study to the probate court. It is important to note that just because CFS agrees to perform your Suitability Study this does not mean we will automatically recommend you as guardian.

  • Once the court receives the study, they will schedule a hearing. The court will serve a written notice to the respondent stating the time and place of the hearing.

  •  If guardianship is granted, the law requires guardians to make annual reports to the court on how they have performed their duties in the past year and to check the status of the ward or minor.

 
Embryo Adoption

Over 600,000 human embryos are in frozen storage in the U.S. Each embryo in storage is a life full of potential; the hope of a child created by couples pursuing pregnancy via in vitro fertilization (IVF).  Some of these couples have completed their efforts to build a family and must determine what to do with their remaining embryos. Keep them frozen? Donate them to science? Discard them? OR give them to another couple pursuing their dream of having children!

 

The actual process of embryo adoption is governed by contract law in the United States. Several adoption agencies and clinics have chosen to wrap the process in the safeguards of established adoption best practices. This protects the parents, the child and the donor family.

 

Hundreds of couples, even those who have been unsuccessful with their own IVF, have given birth to children through embryo adoption. Embryo adoption is a proven, viable adoption choice.

 

Before being matched with an embryo, a couple needs an adoptive home study.  Christian Family Services, Inc. provides adoption home study services for domestic and embryo adoptions.

More information about Embryo Adoption

 

The Embryo Adoption Awareness Center is a comprehensive, neutral information source regarding embryo adoption. The website contains answers to many of your frequently asked questions, videos regarding embryo adoption, personal stories of those who have adopted embryos and much more.

 

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