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Watch “Home for the Holidays” Tonight!

By Annie

Tune in tonight, December 19th at 9 p.m. ET to catch the 16th Annual “A Home for the Holidays” TV special on CBS! The special features uplifting stories about families who have adopted from foster care in order to raise awareness of this important social issue, as well as several moving musical performances from musical guests like Train, Jennifer Hudson, Katharine McPhee and Earth, Wind and Fire.

Watch the video below for more information:

Learn more about foster care adoption from Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!



Time to Vote for Your Favorite Holiday Photos

By Annie

Michael (3) and Mason (3 months)Submissions for our annual Holiday Photo Contest ended on Wednesday, the 17th. And now winners are being selected by YOU on our Facebook page, where we encourage you and your friends and family to vote for your favorite photos with a like! (Comments will not count.)

Just follow the links below to see the photos:

Voting will close on Monday, December 22nd at 5 PM CST, and winners will be announced on Facebook then.


Annual Holiday Photo Contest!

By Annie

Richie (8) and Mason (2)Each year, the American Adoptions family grows bigger as more and more families are created through the miracle of adoption. Over the years, our agency has had the sincere pleasure of assisting thousands of families along their adoption journey. We love to celebrate the season by sharing the beautiful faces of adoption through our Annual American Adoptions Holiday Photo Contest!


Our Holiday Photo Contest is open to all families who have adopted through our agency. Enter a photo of your child by Wednesday, December 17th at 5 PM CST!

To submit your photo, simply follow these easy steps:

  • Email your favorite photo of your child (or children) to by Monday, December 17th.
  • In the email message body, be sure to include your name, your children’s name(s) and their ages. (Example: John Smith, Age 2 – Parents: Robert and Jane Smith)

* The American Adoptions Holiday Photo Contest is open to all families who have adopted through our agency. Please only submit one photo per child.


Winners will be selected by YOU! We’ll be posting the photos (with first names and ages only) to our Facebook page, where we encourage you and your friends and family to vote for your favorite photos with a like! (Comments will not count.)

Voting will close on Monday, December 22nd at 5 PM CST, and winners will be announced then. Winners will also appear on our blog and in an issue of our newsletter American Adoptions News!

Entries will be divided into three categories, with one winner in each category:

  • Children age 0-2
  • Children age 3 and up
  • Siblings – Multiple children adopted from American Adoptions



ShowPro Media Wins Awards

By Annie

ShowPro LogoShowPro Media, with whom we’ve had a longtime relationship for adoptive family video profiles and educational videos, won several awards for its work last month.

The video team was awarded four 2014 Philly Awards (given to nonprofits in the Kansas City area) for Best Video, Award of Distinction, Peoples Voice and Best in Show for their work with PACES, a children’s shelter. Watch the video below:

PACES Shelter from SP Media on Vimeo.

We’ve long known how talented their video staff is and are thrilled they are receiving recognition for their work! You can learn more about the award-winning video on SP Media’s website or by visiting their facebook page.


Q&A with an Adoption Specialist – Returning Birth Mothers

By Annie

Staff Photos Megan SmallerHello, my name is Megan Kautio, and I am the Assistant Executive Director of American Adoptions. I have worked with many birth mothers and adoptive families in my time here at American Adoptions and love being able to watch families form through adoption.

Q. If the birth mother comes back again to place another child, does the first adoptive family get notified?

A. Sometimes a birth mother becomes pregnant again and contacts American Adoptions to create an adoption plan a second time. When our Adoption Specialists talk with the woman, they will explore her feelings about her previous adoption experience and ask her about placing this baby with the same adoptive family. American Adoptions will discuss the benefits of having her children placed with the same family.

If the birth mother is open to having the same family adopt this baby as well, the Adoption Specialist will make contact with the adoptive parents to discuss their readiness and ability to adopt again. If the adoptive parents are willing and able to adopt this baby, the Adoption Specialist will begin getting everything in order to create an adoption plan.

If the adoptive parents are unable to adopt again, the Adoption Specialist will talk with the birth mother and explore options to choose a new family for this baby. If everyone is open to it, plans can be made for the previous family and the new adoptive family to maintain contact into the future.

Should a birth mother tell her Adoption Specialist that she wants to place her baby with a new family and not the family she previously placed with, the Adoption Specialist will explore her reasons with her, talk about all of her options and discuss how the future may look.

The most common reasons a birth mother gives for wanting to choose a different family is unhappiness with contact with the first family, fear of telling the family she is pregnant again so soon and fear they will not be ready to parent again so soon. The Adoption Specialist will talk through these reasons with the birth mother and help her figure out if she does in fact want to choose a new family or if she would like the Adoption Specialist to first talk with the family about her concerns and see what their thoughts are before she makes a final decision. Ultimately, it is always the birth mother’s decision, and if she does not want American Adoptions to contact the first family, her wishes will be respected.


Giving Tuesday and Holiday Gifts with Heart

By Annie

Giving TuesdayNow that Thanksgiving Thursday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and passed, it’s time to recognize a season of giving starting with Giving Tuesday!

This time of year, many organizations make a push to create awareness, fundraising and volunteerism for their cause. Keep reading for a holiday gift ideas that give back and a Giving Tuesday cause that’s near and dear to our hearts here at American Adoptions!

Holiday Gift Ideas

The following gift guides do double-duty. You’ll be giving a great and meaningful gift while also promoting adoption and a variety of other causes:

American Adoptions Scholarship Fund

Like many of you, each year American Adoptions staff members look for ways to give back during the holidays. One way our organization is doing that this year is through a canned food drive for our local food bank, Harvesters. Annually, American Adoptions staff also supports and promotes the American Adoptions Scholarship Fund for Birth Parents. Since its founding in 2001, the Scholarship Fund has helped many women who have placed with us to continue their education.

Interest in continued education is often a reason that the women we work with choose adoption. The impact and hope a scholarship can create is amazing, and it can change the life of a birth mother, giving her a more positive overall adoption experience.

Please visit our scholarship page to learn more about the wonderful women this fund helps. Or watch the following video to hear the story of birth mother Samantha and the opportunities the scholarship has made available to her:

If you’d like to make a donation to the American Adoptions Birth Mother Scholarship Fund, please send your donation check to:

The American Adoptions Scholarship Fund
C/O: American Adoptions
9101 West 110th Street Suite 200
Overland Park, KS 66210

Please Note: At this time, we cannot ensure that you will receive a tax deduction for your donation, but we can give you a receipt with which to consult your accountant or tax professional. 

For more information about our scholarship fund, call 1-800-ADOPTION, or email us at Thanks for your interest and support!


Happy Thanksgiving!

By Annie

We hope you’re all surrounded by the ones you love (and maybe some pie and mashed potatoes too) on this special holiday!

Happy Thanksgiving Smaller


Incorporate Adoption into Your Thanksgiving Traditions

By Annie

Thanksgiving DinnerNational Adoption Month and the holiday weekend around Thanksgiving can be a great time to start an annual adoption tradition. No need to stress over planning something big or elaborate, but both adoption month and Thanksgiving are times for recognizing family and celebrate the different ways that they’ve impacted our lives.

Here are a couple of ideas:

  • At Thanksgiving dinner, go around the table and share what you’re thankful for. As adoptive parents, be sure to include your child’s birth parents and remind your children that they have so much to be thankful for too.
  • As an alternative to going around the table, you can also write out what you’re thankful for. Buy a cheap tablecloth and some wash-resistant pens, and each year, you’ll be able to write “your thankfuls” as well as look back on the ones from years past. Follow this link to learn more about this tablecloth idea.
  • Take a picture each year in front of the same background, holding the same item (like a gift from your child’s birth mother) or wearing the same outfit. This little girl’s parents have a cute idea along this line by taking a picture of her in the same over-sized t-shirt every year.
  • Play hooky for a day with your spouse and child(ren). You could use this time to take a family outing, have a special meal or treat or meet up with your child’s birth parents if you have an open relationship.

Researchers say that the fastest way to a life of happiness is to take on an attitude of gratitude. We’ve been trying to do that all week on the blog, and here are some ways to do that at home:

  • Send letters to people in your life who have been touched by adoption to thank them for their example and support and to celebrate adoption in their lives. Write thank-you notes to people who have helped you through the adoption process or who have been with you on your infertility or adoption journey.
  • Mentor a couple in the process of adopting – it can be really reassuring to hear from someone else who’s been there too. Consider adding yourself to our adoptive family reference list. Families on this list help to answer questions for prospective adoptive couples who want to learn more about American Adoptions and the domestic adoption process for families. Join this list by emailing us at and letting us know you’re interested!
  • Waiting families can get in on this too! Ask your friends and family to help you spread the adoption love too and have them write letters to your future child about their excitement about the adoption, welcoming a new baby into the family. You can tuck these letters into a scrapbook for your child so that he or she will always know how anticipated and beloved they are!
  • Send an annual picture to your adoption professional or attorney. Our staff really enjoys hearing updates on your families and circulating your sweet photos to each other over email! We’re already looking forward to a wave of mail over the next month or two!

We’ve gotten so many holiday cards this season! It’s so great to hear from you and see your growing families!

A photo posted by American Adoptions (@americanadoptions) on

Whatever you choose to do to celebrate National Adoption Month, enjoy some family togetherness!


Honoring Birth Parents During National Adoption Month

By Annie

Playtime with mum and dadIt’s especially important to celebrate birth parents during National Adoption Month! These courageous women and men made your adoption dreams come true and are an important part of your child’s identity.

If you have a closed adoption, consider starting an annual tradition to honor your child’s birth mother. You could light a candle or have a bouquet at dinner, say a special prayer before bed, make a donation to an organization in her honor, or just spend an evening talking about the respect your family has for her.

For families who have a more open relationship, you could send a special National Adoption Month pictures and letters package. As Michelle shared with us in the blog post Tips for Sending Pictures and Letters, you CAN send packages more often than your agreement. For many women, the holidays are the hardest part of the year because it holds so many reminders of family togetherness.

For information about open adoption relationships, check out the following articles:

National Adoption Month and the holidays could be the perfect time to send another package – even if it’s not part of your regular schedule!

Sit down and help your child write a note or send one yourself. You can also include fun and timely fall and holiday crafts. A handprint turkey or homemade Christmas ornament could be great!

Check out the following links for craft ideas:

No matter what you do, just make sure to take time during National Adoption Month and other times of the year to talk about and honor your child’s birth parents.

What are some ways that you celebrate your child’s birth parents?


What Actress Connie Britton Is Thankful For

By Annie

Connie BrittonAs National Adoption Month comes closer to its end and the Holiday Season picks up steam, this message from Actress Connie Britton (best known for her roles on TV shows like Nashville and Friday Night Lights) is a great way to kick off Thanksgiving week!

Just last week, Connie wrote her “What I’m Thankful For,” a recurring column for TIME Magazine. The focus of her column was her experience as an adoptive mom, which she describes as:

“This child, my son, is the greatest, most hard won gift of my life. And yes, I think that even when he is screaming NO in the most impressively pitched tone which sends the dogs outside, or is fighting me with a strength that I can’t match even though I am 5 times his size. In those moments where I am so challenged by him, I am still thankful. He provides a learning curve I could never find anywhere else.”

Time with her son also reminds him of who and what brought him to her:

“These are qualities that I know any parent can recognize and connect to. But my son happens to be adopted. So what is miraculous about the parent/child relationship somehow still leaves a catch in my throat when I think about both of our journeys to find each other. I am grateful to my son for finding me. I am grateful to his birth mother for her fortitude in bearing him and her suffering in letting him go. I am grateful for my life as a mother.”

Read the rest of Connie’s column at, and learn more about famous adoptions on our website!


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