Question: I need to place my Muslim baby in an adoptive home, but prefer to place him/her in a Muslim home? Can you help?
We know this is a difficult and sensitive decision. Please send your confidential e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do whatever we can to help link you with a Muslim individual or couple here in the U.S. who is either licensed to adopt or interested in becoming licensed to adopt.
Question: Is this a Muslim Adoption Agency? Where can I find Muslim Adoption Agencies here in the U.S.?
Answer: This is not a Muslim Adoption Agency. This network is a confidential, centralized database of potential Muslim adoptive parents here in the U.S. If interested in a domestic adoption, you should be linking with agencies in your particular state and/or the state of the Muslim child you are interested in adopting. Muslim children in the United States do at times need adoptive parents, but that need is sporadic and in different states at any given time. If we create a Muslim Adoption Agency in Illinois, that agency cannot service the adoptive parents in Michigan who want to adopt a New York child. If you are interested in adopting a Muslim child outside of the country, New Star Kafala is a Muslim Adoption Agency in the United States which provides for international adoptions (www.newstarkafala.org).
Question: I think I’m interested in adopting. How do I start the process?
Answer: Contacting an agency or adoption attorney in your particular city to ask them how you can go about becoming licensed to adopt is generally a good first step. When shopping for an agency, be sure to pick one that you are comfortable with, and which appreciates your background and the specific experience you can offer to an adopted child. If you’ve already located a child you’d like to adopt, ask an adoption attorney in your state about whether or not it is necessary to go through an agency.
Question: How easy is it to find a Muslim child to adopt? Why do you describe a need for Muslim adoptive parents?
Answer: While we hear of Muslim children in need of adoptive homes every so often, Muslims do make up a small minority in the U.S. and often have a large familial support system that might take the place of an adoptive parent when the need arises. The need for Muslim prospective adoptive parents is sporadic and, oftentimes, immediate. While many Muslims express interest in adopting, it is harder to come by Muslims who are already licensed and ready to adopt so, at times, Muslim children who are put up for adoption are adopted by people of other faiths who are already licensed and ready to bring children into their home.We encourage prospective adoptive parents to start the licensing process as soon as they know they want to adopt. That way, when the immediate need arises, you are available.
Question: Should I only be interested in adopting or fostering Muslim children?
Answer: That answer is up to you, but we do not see the need to restrict yourself to only fostering or adopting Muslim children. Islam certainly does not discriminate when it comes to taking care of orphans or abandoned children. In Islam, Muslims have an obligation to care for all children in need.
In many places, there is an especially great need to foster and adopt certain types of children (such as those who are older, children with special needs, those who are members of certain minority groups). Ask foster and adoption agencies about the types of children who are in dire need of a home.
Question: How much does adopting cost?
Answer: Adoption costs start with the licensing process, which is often done through an agency, and end with attorney fees. Oftentimes, both the prospective adoptive parents and the birth parents will need individual attorneys to finalize the adoption. Depending on the state you are in, birth parents are permitted to ask that you pay for certain expenses associated with the baby and adoption, such as attorney and counseling fees, but this is strictly regulated in many states and you must seek legal advice before you agree to pay any such expenses.
Depending on the type of adoption, it is not unusual to spend $15,000-$30,000 in adoption costs. In an interstate adoption where you’ve already located the prospective adoptive child but still need to obtain a license, you should plan to spend at least $12,000-$13,000. In international adoptions and adoptions where the agency is helping match you with prospective children, the adoption expenses can be significantly more (sometimes double or triple that amount). Agencies charge thousands of dollars for matching adoptive children with children in need, and for services offered to birth parents.
Question: Can I get any help with adoption costs? How can I minimize costs?
Be sure to ask a professional in your state about the Federal Adoption Credit, a tax credit for adoption expenses paid to adopt a child (up to $12,970 in 2013). See http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc607.html for more information.
Also ask about credits and incentives provided for individuals who adopt children with special needs, children of certain minority groups, children who are older, children who are part of a sibling group, or children with emotional challenges.
Keep in mind that adopting through the foster care system can be significantly less costly, if not free-of-cost. State governments and agencies often search for parents willing to adopt children who are in the foster care system, a network of abused, neglected, abandoned, or drug-dependent children who have required state-intervention in order to ensure their safety, and who have no chances of reunification with their biological family members. Government agencies often cover the costs related to these adoptions in the interest of providing these children with a stable home.
Question: Can I breastfeed a child I did not give birth to?
Answer: With some preparation, this may be possible! See http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/infant-and-toddler-health/expert-answers/induced-lactation/faq-20058403
Question: Do you charge anything for your services
Answer: No! This network is not an agency or a fee-based facilitating service. This is a free resource for birth parents or community members who are looking for a home for Muslim children in need, Muslim resource parents willing to open their homes to children in need, and Muslims who are looking for information about adoption.