Who is Swartz Adoption Attorneys and Child Placing Agency, Inc.?

Swartz Adoption Agency (for short) is a licensed, non-profit agency located in Saginaw, Michigan that conducts domestic and international adoptions. Swartz Adoption Agency was formed by Christopher Swartz, a certified adoption attorney with the general practice law firm of Swartz & Wilson. Mr. Swartz has successfully conducted hundreds of international and domestic adoptions. Swartz Adoption Agency has social workers on staff for counseling and conducting home studies.

How do I get chosen?

Once you have submitted an application and application fee, we recommend you begin to prepare a portfolio and begin thehome study process. When birth parent(s) come to our office, we show them the prospective adoptive parents' portfolios and they choose a family. Depending upon the situation, there may be a meeting between the birth parent(s) and the prospective adoptive parents. This meeting helps both parties. It allows the birth parent(s) a chance to get to know a little about the adoptive parents so she can feel comfortable about the placement decision. It also allows the adoptive parents a chance to get to know the birth parent(s) to get a feel for their reasosns for the placement and (sometimes) their commitment to placing the child. It may also be an opportunity for both parties to discuss the degree, if any, of openness desired. After the meeting, both the adoptive parents and the birth parent(s) can decide if they want to accept each other.

What is a portfolio?

A portfolio is a scrapbook of pictures and information about you, your family, friends, pets and whatever else you would like to share about yourself. We will present any information you want to provide about yourself to birth parent(s). As such, you can be creative. A portfolio should also contain a "Dear Birth Parent(s)" letter. This letter should be written to potential birth parent(s) that would be viewing your portfolio and should contain information about why you want to adopt, what kind of adoption you want (open/closed) and how you feel about birth parent(s).

What does it cost?

Domestic adoptions generally cost from $6,000 to $15,000. We provide you with a complete and detailed list of the fees and costs associated with the adoption process.

Are there any tax benefits to adopting?

Yes. As of 2015 the IRS allows a tax credit of $13,400 per adopted child, for qualifying expenses paid to adopt a child. Qualifying expenses are reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees, traveling expenses (including meals and lodging), and other expenses directly related to the legal adoption of an eligible child. Our adoption attorney can explain in detail the tax laws concerning adoption and how it will affect you. You can also visit the Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service web site.

What is a home study?

A home study is also known as a pre-adoptive placement assessment. The purpose of the home study is to ensure that children are only placed in homes appropriate for adoption. Swartz Adoption Agency conducts home studies in the state of Michigan. A home study through our agency costs $2,000. If you live in another state, we can arrange to have a home study completed through another agency. A step-parent home study is $650. Typically, a home study takes about six to eight weeks to complete. It includes two to four interviews with one of our social workers. One interview will be a pre-planned visit in your home. You will be asked many questions about yourself, your family and your beliefs. There are no right answers so there is not need to worry. Information about your physical health, criminal history and references from friends also need to be obtained. We will assist you in this regard. The home study is an educational process and you will find it very helpful.

How long will the process take?

The process for domestic adoptions varies based on several factors such as the availability of birth mothers and finding a match between birth parent(s) and a prospective family. There is no waiting list. When birth parents choose, they do so from the portfolios of available adoptive parents. On one occasion, prospective adoptive parents dropped off their portfolio on the Wednesday of Thanksgiving week and they were chosen the next Monday morning before either of them returned to work from the holiday weekend. Essentially, you could be chosen immediately after providing us with a portfolio.

What is the legal process?

Most of the time the baby will go home with you straight from the hospital with temporary transfer documents that the birth parent(s) and adoptive parent(s) will sign at the hospital. A court hearing will be scheduled about two to eight weeks later for the birth parent(s) to give their consent to the adoption and for their rights to be terminated. The only steps left are follow-up reports to the court so they can see that the child is doing well in your home. The social worker/agency that did your home study will complete these reports.

Can the birth parent(s) come back at a later date and take their child back?

No - not once the birth parent(s)' rights are terminated in court. They do have a 21-day appeal period after such termination, but in order for a reversal, they would have to prove to the judge that their consent was not voluntary. In the hundreds of adoptions performed by Christopher Swartz, this has never happened.

What is the difference between attorney-assisted and agency-assisted adoptions?

The primary difference is the representation of the parties. In an attorney-assisted adoption, the adoptive parents are represented by one attorney and the birth parent(s) are represented by another attorney. In an agency-assisted adoption, both parties are represented by the agency. With our agency, however, since Christopher Swartz is an attorney, he can explain each parties' rights and responsibilities the same as their respective attorneys would.

What is the difference between an open and a closed adoption?

A closed adoption means that the birth parent(s) and adoptive parents never know each other. Some non-identifying information must be given to adoptive parents in order to assist them in medical situations, but names are not exchanged. An open adoption means that the birth parent(s) and adoptive parents know something about each other. The degree of openness depends on what the birth parent(s) and adoptive parents agree upon. It may be one meeting and first names only or it may be occasional contact even after the birth of the baby.

Can I choose a closed adoption only?

If you do not want any degree of openness in your adoption, that is your choice. However, the birth parent(s) will have to agree to a closed adoption. If you get chosen by birth parent(s) who would like some openness, the birth parent(s) have the right to choose another family that will allow a degree of openness.

When do I get to take the baby home?

In nearly all domestic adoptions, the baby will go home with the adoptive parents directly from the hospital.

Will I know the medical history of the birth parent(s)?

In all cases, we make every attempt to obtain as much information about the medical background of the birth parent(s) in order to provide such information to adoptive parents. At a minimum, we will be able to obtain the medical background of the birth mother.

Do I qualify for adoption?

The state of Michigan has no requirements for adoptive parents other than being approved for adoption through a home study. As such, age, marital status (single or married), race, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, etc. are not reasons for disqualifications in and of themselves.

I do not live in Michigan. Can I still use your agency?

Yes. We can handle adoptions for families throughout the United States and even for U.S. citizens living abroad. There may be eligibility requirements for adoption depending on the state in which you live. We have completed numerous interstate adoptions.

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