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3
Mar

Reminders for Waiting Families

By Annie

Send Us your Tax Forms

All families currently working with American Adoptions and waiting for an adoption placement are reminded to send us the front page of their 1040 Tax Form for 2014. We need this updated information each year. For more information, contact our home study department (homestudy@americanadoptions.com) at 1-800-ADOPTION.

Don’t Forget to Add Updates to Your 2015 Calendar

When going through and marking birthdays, anniversaries and other important dates on your 2015 calendar, don’t forget to add a reminder to update your home study and supporting documents, as well.

American Adoptions requires home studies to be current within one calendar year. Although our agency will alert you when your home study is approaching expiration via email reminders, home study updates are the responsibility of the adoptive family.

Families are also required to update their home study whenever there is a major life change – such as a change in employment, residence or household members.

Home study updates are the responsibility of the adoptive family, so each family should carefully note when their home study is to expire. The importance of updates cannot be understated. If an expectant mother chooses you, but your home study or other supporting information is out-of-date, it can seriously compromise or even prevent you from completing the adoption.

In addition to your home study update, there are three supporting documents which require yearly renewal:

  • Background Clearances- Your background clearances, such as your child abuse, FBI and criminal clearance must be updated annually.
  • Physician Health Reports- Like background clearances, your physician health reports also must be updated annually.
  • Tax Return- A copy of your tax return must be updated each year.

If you do not know when your home study or supporting documents will expire, simply contact our agency, and we will be happy to assist you.

14
Feb

Happy Valentine’s Day

By Annie

Happy Valentine’s Day from the American Adoptions Family to yours. We hope you’re feeling loved today!

Vday Quote Cropped

4
Feb

Q&A with Executive Director Shawn Kane

By Annie

ShawnSmallWe want to bring you, our readers, into the day-to-day of our agency by sharing more about the people you get to work with through each phase of the process! To kick it off, we sat down with Shawn Kane, the agency’s Executive Director who just celebrated a huge milestone in his service to our agency. Read on to learn more about his job at American Adoptions!

What is your name and position?

Shawn Kane, Executive Director

How long have you been working for American Adoptions?

15 years! Since January of 2000.

What are your tasks at American Adoptions?

My job responsibilities are to develop and maintain the vision and mission for the agency.  As such, I oversee client services and staff training and development. I also seek business opportunities and strategic alliances with other agencies and organizations, helping to create a strong professional network for American Adoptions.  Via the Board of Directors, I implement policies, objectives and an annual operational budget. Day to day, I oversee the business interests of the agency so that our social work staff can focus on providing our clients with the best services.

What does a typical work day look like?

Lots of meetings with staff and departments on helping to improve our services

How has adoption impacted your life personally?

I’m an adoptive father. My wife, Amy, and I have one biological son, Harper. But after facing secondary infertility, we adopted Claire in 2012. We can’t imagine our lives without our children or our lives without adoption. We’ve also been blessed to have an ongoing relationship with Claire’s birth mother. Learn more about our adoption story in the video below.

What is your favorite part of working for American Adoptions?

The constant change and challenges that completed adoptions on a national level provides.

What is your favorite time of year at American Adoptions?

Holidays because of all of the updates from the families and watching the kids grow up each year.

How many adoptions have you been a part of?

AA has completed about 4,000 adoptions since 1991. I have been on staff since 2000, so I have probably been around for many of them – I would guess 3,500 of them.

What has been your biggest accomplishment in your position?

This one is really hard. But I think I’m proudest to help with managing the growth of the agency while maintaining a good reputation nationally, expanding and improving services and hiring the best adoption staff around.

 

29
Jan

Tips for Activating Families

By Annie

Hispanic couple at home with babyThis can be a busy time of year for our agency as families start the adoption process and everything that goes with that – their APQ, Adoptive Family Print Profile, Video Profile, Home Study, etc.

Below are links to articles that can help to answer questions you might have about all the different moving parts of your adoption plan:

Contact your Adoptive Family Specialist or Coordinator for more information. Our incredible staff members are here to help!

15
Jan

What are “Available Situations” for Adoption?

By Annie

American Adoptions works with families of all types, budgets, etc., but there are still times when our agency is unable to match a prospective birth mother with one of our current active families.

The reasons for this are varied and can be due to the living expenses needs of the birth mother, the social or medical history of the birth parents or even because the birth parents are seeking a family meeting a specific criteria. Please watch the video below where Adoption Specialist Kathie shares more about these adoption situations, including:

  • What is the Adoption Resource Center?
  • Where do these Available Situations come from?
  • What requirements are needed to pursue an Adoption Situation?
  • What information will the adoptive family receive about the birth parents?
  • We are ready to pursue an Adoption Situation – what’s next?

Visit our Available Situations webpage to see if you are interested in any of the current situations that we have been unable to match with any of our active families.

American Adoptions urges all adoptive families currently working with our agency to periodically check the Available Situations page and contact our agency if they would like their profile to be shown for a specific situation. Our Available Situations are an excellent opportunity for waiting families, even those with whom we have not yet worked with.

However, it’s important to note that in order to be considered for an Available Situation, all families must have a current, approved home study and some form of profile we can show the birth mother so she can learn more about you. Click here to view our Available Situations.

14
Jan

Visit Our Adoption Forum to Connect with Others

By Annie

The American Adoptions forum gives adoptive families the opportunity to connect with fellow waiting couples as well as families who have been in your shoes and are now adoptive parents. You can share your excitement and joys and seek support from others who are also on their own adoption journey!

Connecting with others who are going through (or have gone through) similar experiences can be helpful for anyone at any stage of the adoption process. It’s comforting to know you aren’t alone. Many people utilize adoption forums such as ours to share positive information and provide each other with meaningful connections and support.

But like anything on the internet, it is important to know exactly where and who information is coming from. We monitor our forum to make sure that inaccurate information is addressed. Negative comments about any adoption agency or organization, solicitations to adopt and advertisements for adoption professionals are not tolerated and will be removed. Feel free to call your Adoption Specialist to seek clarity about something.

Our adoption forum hopes to provide an online community for birth parents, waiting families, adoptees and anyone with an interest in adoption to meet and interact with others who have been touched by adoption.

Registration is free and easy. Visit our adoption forum today!

7
Jan

Adoption Tax Credit 2014 [Infographic]

By Annie

Now that 2014 has come to a close, many families will begin to prepare their finances for tax season. As you do, don’t forget to look into the Federal Adoption Tax Credit.

For 2014, the maximum adoption tax credit is $13,190 for all qualifying adoption expenses. The adoption credit is not refundable, which means that only those individuals with tax liability (taxes owed) will benefit. The credit will remain flat for special needs adoptions (those involving children who are deemed hard to place by a child welfare agency), allowing those families to claim the maximum credit regardless of expenses.

The adoption tax credit income limit is based on modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) and is recalculated each year. In January 2013, the Federal Adoption Tax Credit was made permanent, although the credit could change or be eliminated in the event of future tax code reform. See the infographic at the bottom of the post for more information.

If your family also lives in a state that offers an adoption tax credit (amounts vary by state), they may receive credit for additional expenses as well.

Read more about the Adoption Tax Credit, qualifying expenses and how employer reimbursements could affect your tax credit status on our website. And follow the American Adoptions’ blog for any new updates on the adoption tax credit.

Haven’t Yet Finalized Your Adoption Placement?

Learn How to Seek the Adoption Tax Credit Before Finalization

Every year, adoptive families ask if they can file taxes without their child’s social security number, which is typically received after the adoption is finalized.

Your adoption attorney should apply for a SSN along with the final amended birth certificate after the finalization court hearing. If you do not have these items yet, you or your accountant and/or tax representative can apply for a temporary tax identification number for the baby. You can file your taxes with that number. Here is a link to Form W-7A for information about obtaining a temporary tax ID number. You can also search the IRS website for Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number information.

For more information on the adoption tax credit and exclusion, visit www.irs.gov. American Adoptions recommends that you contact a local accountant or qualified tax professional for more specific information for your family.

Adoption Tax Credit - smaller

1
Jan

Happy New Year!

By Annie

Today, on Global Family Day, we hope you all look forward with hope and joy, peace and happiness to the New Year. We want to thank all of you for reading our blog and newsletter and for sharing your thoughts. In the coming year, we look forward to expanding our services and continuing to work toward improvements for adoptive families and birth parents alike. Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year from America’s Adoption Agency, American Adoptions!

2015 Blog Photo

29
Dec

First Night Celebrations for a Family-Friendly New Year’s

By Annie

firstnightusaFor many families with children, celebrating New Year’s Eve can prove challenging, especially when trying to shield young eyes from traditional New Year’s revelry.

Since 1976, Boston has been hosting First Night, a New Year’s celebration committed to emphasizing community spirit.

In recent years, communities big and small across the country have begun hosting their own First Night Celebrations. Many of these events feature cultural events, service or philanthropy incentives, or special activities just for kids.

Each year, these events grow seem to grow. First Night Alexandria’s website has great information about cities across the U.S. Or do a web search for a First Night event in your hometown.

25
Dec

Happy Holidays!

By Annie

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! We hope you’re surrounded by the ones your love today.

Holiday Card 2 for Social

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