How much does it cost to adopt?

Our agency is unique because there is a minimal application fee of only $500 and we support families applying with multiple agencies. We don’t want to just hold you to us.

We also have a low risk policy.  If you have a failed placement, only 10% of your adoption fees are at risk. There are no add–ons or surprise fees at the end.

There are three types of expenses that are associated with our adoptions.

The first is the ADOPTION FEE. This is the fees that you pay to the agency. These fees cover all the birth mother expenses and the agency expenses. All of these fees are low risk. Though the full fee for all situations is $46,000, we offer a grant of up to $10,000 for families who otherwise would not be able to adopt a child.   Additionally, on specific special needs situations the fee may be lowered.   

The second expense is MEDICAL EXPENSES.  Most of our birth mothers are on medicaid which helps cover the medical costs. However, some require help from the adoptive family.  This includes doctor visits, emergency room visits, hospital costs, and pediatrician costs. The medical expenses can vary by state and hospital. Most families will pay between $3,000 – $10,000 for a full medical situation.

The third fee is the LEGAL FEES. All legal fees are included in the agency fee with the exception of finalization and possible contested adoptions.

We will discuss all fees associated with each particular situation with you before we show your profile to any potential match situations.

How long will we have to wait before we get our baby?

Wait times vary with each situation. We don’t know in advance who will be calling to place their baby for adoption. The more restrictions a family has the more their wait time. Perspective adoptive families will wait a little longer if they fall into one or more of the following categories.

  • Want a specific gender
  • Cannot pay for medical costs
  • Are single
  • Are older
  • Have many biological children
  • Live in a state that has laws that are difficult to work with

We have had families get matched and have a placement within days of becoming active and other families may wait months. The important thing to remember is that the baby that is right for your family will come in his or her own time.

What is a home study?

The Adoptive Pre-Placement Evaluation, generally called a “Home Study”, is to help prepare you for adoption and ensure that you meet agency and state requirements.

If you already have a current home study, we will assure that it is in compliance with Heart to Heart standards.

The Home Study consists of one or more interviews as well as written information provided by you and others. You may ask your social worker questions at any time during the Home Study process. The written material includes medical background, information about your marriage and family, parenting styles, and finances. Reference letters will also be requested from 3 references, including 1 related and 2 non-related references.

We accept completed adoptive home studies from other sources that adhere to similar professional adoption standards as Heart To Heart Adoptions. In addition, if we complete an adoptive home study for you, we are happy to forward it on to other adoption agencies with which you may be working.

Do you place with single parents?

Yes, we do place with single parents.  However, most of our birth families are looking for a two parent family. This may create a much longer wait time for single parents hoping to adopt.

What is the difference between private, open, and semi-open adoptions?

Open adoption usually involves contact between adoptive and birth parents over the phone or in person before the adoption and after the adoption. It may include a third party to keep personal information private or you may choose to share information with each other and make your own arrangements.

In a closed adoption, the birth family and adoptive family do not have any contact. There is a myth that closed adoptions are safer.

Most adoptions fall somewhere in between open and closed. This is called a semi-open adoption. In this situation, neither the adoptive family or the birth parent has the other’s direct contact information but communicate through the agency or HeartsConnect.  In these situations Heart to Heart can act as a facilitator, by receiving information from one party, and forwarding it on to the other or each party can send messages and pictures through HeartsConnect which is a private, confidential, online portal that only the adoptive family and birth family can join. Common ways to stay in touch include pictures, letters, e-mails, blogs, or conference calls with a third party.  We use HeartsConnect as a convenient way for adoptive and birth families to maintain a long term, healthy relationship through use of a private, confidential app where they can share pictures, videos and messages without disclosing identifying information.

As with all relationships, they evolve and change. Some adoptions that start off one way may turn out totally differently. The child that you love will have questions, characteristics, and a history that they will want to know about. The more open the relationship is, the better for all parties.

How do you match?

Many factors influence the selection process, such as the number of approved applicants, the number of children available for adoption, the birth parents, and your preferences.  So, we will present your profile to birth parents that match your criteria. The broader your criteria the more often you will be presented. 

Before we present your profile we will always present the situation to you and ask if you want to be shown to the birthmother.

Once your profile is selected by a birth mother, we generally arrange for a conference call between you and the birth parents. If you both are pleased with each other, we consider you matched.

Once you are  matched we ask that you begin to share the financial responsibility for the birth mother with the agency. We generally charge half the overall fee at match, and the other half at the time of placement.

What are the women who place their child like?

We work with a variety of women. They range in age from 14 to 44 years from different races and backgrounds. Each woman has a unique personality, but one thing they have in common is the love they have for their child as they try to give their baby the best future possible.

The average age of our expectant mothers is 27 years old. Many of them have other children they parent. They often come to use in crisis as many are homeless, abused, have unsupportive families, are using drugs, or have mental health problems. Our goal is to support them in every way through this challenging process.

What should I expect at the hospital when the birth mom is in labor?

When your birthmother goes to the hospital to deliver it can be very challenging for both you and her. But it can also be such a sweet time when you get to know each other better. Try to get the most out of that time by providing her all the support you can and sharing the child and the experience.  We talk with each birth mother beforehand about her desires for the hospital. This includes:

  • Who does she want in the room during labor?
  • Who does she want in the room during delivery?
  • Does she want to hold the baby right after birth?
  • Who will get the second hospital band? (The band that allows admittance into the nursery.)
  • How much time does she want to spend with the baby in the hospital?
  • How much does she want to visit with the adoptive family in the hospital?

We will tell you the birth mother’s wishes before you go to the hospital.  However, it is very important to remember that the birth mother’s wishes will probably change once she enters the hospital so it is important to be flexible.  Remember most birth mothers have never done this before and can’t predict how she will feel or react to any given situation. Your case manager will help guide you throughout this process.  When possible we will also involve the hospital social worker to support both you and the birthmother.

What do we say to the expectant mother when we first talk or meet?

It is good to hear from the staff member that has been working with your birth mother to find out what matters to her.  Start with questions about her pregnancy and how she is feeling. Ask about her interests, future plans, friends and family.  It is important for the birth mother to know that you care about her, not just the baby.

What is an appropriate gift or way to say thank you to the birth parents?

Suggestions for gifts are a necklace or bracelet, possibly adding a matching one for the child. Stuffed animal, blanket, photo album with pictures, photo frame.

What is finalization and who handles that?

It is an exciting time and can take place after a successful supervisory period. The supervisory period is generally 6 months in Utah and most other states.  Some states vary. However, there are a few states that allow finalization in times as short as a couple weeks.

When your adoption is finalized, the judge orders that all legal rights and responsibilities are the adoptive families. The agency will no longer have legal responsibility and the child is as much yours as if he/she had been born to you.
You will be responsible for selecting and paying an attorney that will represent you for the finalization, however, we can make recommendations. After we review the reports from your post placement visits we can recommend to the judge that your adoption be finalized. We encourage you to retain an attorney to petition the court for adoption within 30 days of placement.
Are we done with the adoption once we finalize?

Adoption is a lifelong process. After finalization, you are done with the legal aspects of adoption. You will still need to maintain your relationship with the birth family and address the many issues that come up as your child grows and develops.

We have created HeartsConnect to assist you with that. This online app will allow you to maintain a long term healthy relationship with your birth parents. For more information, visit,

How do we answer the questions our child asks as they grow?

It is our philosophy that the adoption should never be kept from the child. We encourage families to talk about the adoption and the child’s birth family from infancy on. As the child gets older it will be a topic that is natural to discuss.

Each child and each family are different. We encourage you to be open and honest but speak at a level the child understands. There are adoptive family social media groups where families share their experiences. There are several books available on that topic. If you have any specific concerns or questions, please feel free to contact us.

How do we go from infertility to adoption?

A good portion of the families that come to us to adopt have some type of fertility issue. Couples who have tried to have a biological child unsuccessfully, or know they will be unable to have children, go through a major loss in their lives. As with all loss it should be addressed. Infertility is a loss that is often not discussed or recognized which can make it that much harder.