Private adoption services

Helping Indiana families navigate the adoption process for nearly two centuries.

private adoption with firefly

Firefly Children & Family Alliance has been involved with adoption since our founding (as Children’s Bureau) as an orphanage in 1851, though we’ve expanded to provide many additional services since then. With over 170 years of experience, we know how to provide affordable private adoption services from a trauma informed, attachment-based perspective. Through compassion and care, we seek to make the sometimes difficult private adoption process as smooth as possible for the families and individuals we serve.

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What is Private Adoption?

Private Adoption is a term that describes several kinds of adoption; it can include adoption of a child already in the home, like a stepchild, grandchild, relative, or ward under a guardianship plan. Additionally, it can be adoption of an infant by being matched with an expectant birth mother through a private adoption matching agency. Finally, it can include an international adoption. Not included are any adoptions through DCS and foster care.

Our Services

One of our primary services we provide is conducting home studies for private adoptions, including:

  • International adoptions
  • Stepparent/Grandparent/Custody Adoptions
  • Families who have been already matched with an expectant mother/infant or have an agency providing a match
  • Background checks

Additional private adoption services include:

  • Provide your family with support and training
  • Connect you to other agencies
    • Private adoption matching agencies
    • Hague-accredited agencies for international adoption
What type of training do you provide?

International Adoption has a very specific training protocol; we can connect you to an appropriate online resource if your Hague agency does not provide their own training.

For other private adoptions, your training will be individualized. You will be provided copies of relevant literature, including “The Connected Child” by Dr. Karyn Purvis, along with handouts related to attachment, trauma, transracial adoption, and other topics. During the home visit, you will receive information regarding the ACE (adverse childhood experiences) study and ways to help soothe an upset or dysregulated child.

What is a home study?

An adoption home study, or family preparation summary, is required by the court system and international agencies in order to finalize an adoption. Firefly can conduct a home study, and support parents and families along the way.

To learn more, watch this video.

Parts of a home study include:

- Submit application and documents<br />- Background checks (including fingerprinting)<br />- References<br />- Family interviews (virtual and in-person)<br />- House visit(s) and tour<br />- Adoption training

Frequently Asked Questions

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How long does the home study process typically take?

A private home study typically takes 60 days from start to when the draft is ready. It can be closer to 90 days for an international home study, as the Hague agency has to review it as well.

How many meetings are there?

For international home studies, there are typically 2 virtual meetings and 2 in-home meetings. For all other private adoptions, there are typically 2 virtual meetings and 1 in-home meeting.

How much does a home study cost?

Different types of adoption have different fees, contact us for a quote.

Is there a travel fee for the home visit?

There is a travel fee for homes outside of Indianapolis, contact us for a quote.

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What can delay a home study?
  • If the parents have lived outside of Indiana in the past 5 years (or since the age of 18 for international adoptions).
  • If the family has limited availability to meet.
  • If the family has delays in submitting required paperwork.
  • If references are slow to respond.
Can you help if my home study has been waived by the court?

In certain circumstances, a court might waive the home study for a stepparent or grandparent, but require background checks. In those situations, we can do those background checks.

What are you looking for during the home tour?
  • Home is furnished and sufficiently tidy (we do not expect it to be perfect!)
  • There is bedroom space for the child(ren) and a bed (if child is already in the home).
  • Utilities are connected.
  • Bathroom & kitchen plumbing works.
  • Kitchen appliances work.
  • Smoke detectors (we would like to see fire extinguishers & carbon monoxide detectors).
  • Any guns/firearms are behind a lock (i.e. gun cabinet, trigger lock)
Will there be additional visits after the home study?

No additional visits after the home study are needed if the child is already in the home. If the child is not already in the home, there will be at least one post placement home visit and report required after the child’s placement. There will be more for any international home studies (each country has its own schedule). There might be additional visits/reports if child is born/adopted through another state (not Indiana).

Assistant Director of Adoption

Terrence Lovejoy, LCSW, LCAC

Terrence “Terry” Lovejoy has been working in the field of social services/mental health since 1988. He joined the Firefly Children & Family Alliance team in 2001 and has been with us ever since. In 2007, he moved into the adoption team and loves it. Terry has been honored to help many children and families in their adoption journey over the years. In 2009, Terry joined the team providing community trainings for professionals in trauma-informed care and attachment, starting with Take CHANCES for Kids, then Take TIME for Kids, and now with TACTICS (Treating All Clients with Trauma Informed Care Strategies), individualizing the format to meet the needs of the group. Terry has completed 72 hours of training for adoption competence (TAC), is a certified clinical trauma professional (CCTP), and holds other licenses and certifications. He now provides management support for the adoption team.

Contact Us

Interested in learning more about private adoption with Firefly? Reach out today for more information.