Adoption Agency Information: “How to Adopt a Child with Friends in Adoption”

The GAW is a Master Class on Adoption

Sign Up for our Get Acquainted Workshop (GAW)

Friends in Adoption (FIA) is committed to meeting you in person, but we are also committed to everyone’s health and safety first. Due to the uncertainty regarding the state of the pandemic, FIA has decided to continue hosting our “GAW – Home Edition” via Zoom. The next GAW will be held on April 29-30th, 2021. You may register for this workshop starting on March 1st. Mark your calendar!

NEXT GAW DATES & TIMES:

Thursday, April 29th:

Orientation Session & Prepping Steps via email. More info below.

Friday, April 30th:

The Friday workshop will be presented via Zoom from 9am to 4pm.

Note: The above video was recorded on January of 2020, before the pandemic.

Registrations Begin on March 1st, 2021.

What Our Zoom Participants Have to Say:

The GAW has been a Friends in Adoption tradition of many years, always presented in-person at a conference room, on a friendly and safe setting for everyone. Due to the pandemic, the very first GAW via Zoom was held on June of 2020, and it was also a great success! Below you will find a few excerpts with the feedback we received from GAW attendees who signed up for our recently held Zoom workshops:

“Thank you so much for this workshop! It was tremendously helpful and informative, and I am really feeling like I found my way to an agency that is in line with my values. Please pass my heartfelt gratitude on to the rest of the team!” —December 2020

“Thank you so much for the wonderful workshop today. We learned so much. The stories were so compelling, and the resources you shared during the workshop are incredibly helpful. As you know, we were weighing our options regarding the selection of an agency for placement now that we’ve completed our home study. After the great conversation we had with Brandi and after the workshop today, we are certain that we would love to work with Friends in Adoption. Your values, your approach, your thoughtfulness and your experience are exactly what we were hoping to find.” —December 2020

“We did learn a lot today, and we are excited to continue the journey of adoption with FIA.” —December 2020

“Thank you so much for everything yesterday — what an amazing experience. We are incredibly excited to start our process with you and the team at FIA.” —December 2020

“It was so nice to virtually see Brandi and the rest of the FIA staff yesterday … such an impressive group!!” —December 2020

“Thank you for the GAW session we attended on Friday. It was really informative and helpful, and most of all it gave us hope. So thank you. We both especially appreciated Jean-Charles’ stories. It was SO refreshing to witness such transparency about both the process and the realities of adoption. We have not found that with other agencies and sincerely appreciate you sharing with us.” —December 2020

“Thanks so much Brandi for coordinating the workshop. We found it very helpful.” —December 2020

“I wanted to thank you, Brandi, and everyone at FIA for the wonderful GAW on Friday. We really enjoyed it and came away with so much information, so many moving and thought-provoking stories, and a lovely introduction to everyone at FIA. Thank you!” —December 2020

“I want to acknowledge Brandi and all the staff for your dedication, care, and thoughtfulness in the workshop. I just loved it.” —December 2020

“Thank you for all your work on GAW. It was so informative!” —December 2020

“Thank you to Brandi and all of those involved in the Getting Acquainted Workshop. We realize it must have taken a tremendous amount of time and effort to put that virtual event together and we are grateful!” —December 2020

“We really enjoyed the workshop Friday. You all did a great job in covering everything. We love how so many people involved in FIA have adoption stories of their own.” —September 2020

“Thank you for a well organized informative session. We were so happy to learn so much from everyone. We appreciate everyone’s time. We look forward to starting the adoption process soon.” —September 2020

“We’re glad that we attended the GAW! It brought up memories of our first adoption with FIA, in a good way, and reminded us of what we persevered through.” —September 2020

“The session was fantastic and I especially appreciated the Visible Adoption point of view.” —September 2020

“We appreciated the workshop and all the work that went into it. We learned a lot about the whole adoption process.” —September 2020

“We really enjoyed the workshop today, you all did an amazing job and we learned so much.” —September 2020

“Thanks for having us during your Zoom call. It was well put together and organized which we appreciated.” —September 2020

“Thanks so, so much for the wonderful session. I learned a lot, and it was so valuable. I’m a teacher too, and run a lot of workshops, so I know how hard it is to move it all online. Yours was so fantastic! Thanks so much.” —June 2020

“We thoroughly enjoyed the workshop. It was so informative but what was extremely clear was FIA’s compassion, professionalism, and dedication to the work. That is exactly what we are looking for! We are excited, nervous, hopeful, and terrified … I think that covers it all :)” —June 2020

“The training was so great. We loved everything about it. We will start working through all of this information! Thanks again!” —June 2020

“We wanted to say thank you for hosting the GAW workshop virtually. We know it must have been a lot of work to convert your typical in-person offering to an online platform. It was very well done and we enjoyed it and learned a lot.” —June 2020

“Thank you so much for your team’s efforts with the Getting Acquainted Workshop. We found it informational and inspirational. It is clear that FIA values all members of the adoption triad and we are confident and optimistic that your team will help us build our family.” —June 2020

“We really enjoyed the Zoom and all the speakers. We were quite impressed by you guys. Many thanks.” —June 2020

“Thank you so much for the workshop! We are going to spend some time processing everything and will be in touch!! Thank you again — it was so helpful, thoughtful, and informative.” —June 2020

“We had a great time and we would like to start our adoption journey with you. Please let us know your availability. Thank you.” —June 2020

More Reviews about the GAW:

Read Blog Posts with Testimonials and Stories from GAW attendees through the years

We Adopted a Child!

Meet families who have successfully adopted a child with FIA.

“I Want to Adopt a Child with the help of Friends in Adoption. But Where and How to Begin?”

We at Friends in Adoption (FIA) are always very happy to hear when a family reaches out to us saying that they are ready to start their adoption journey, and that they have chosen FIA as their adoption agency of choice. So if you are considering signing up with us, we ask you to start our journey together by attending our Get Acquainted Workshop (GAW). “Why?”, you may ask. Because before you make a decision about whether FIA is right for you, we feel it’s important for you to understand who we are, how we work, what we expect from prospective adoptive parents, and how we view the adoption process. There’s so much to tell!

photo of Jessica, Jason,and Lucas at a recent GAW
The GAW includes actual stories shared by adoptive parents and by birth parents.

“So What Exactly is the Get Acquainted Workshop All About?”

The Friends in Adoption’s Get Acquainted Workshop (GAW) is an in-depth, all-about adoption, workshop designed especially for hopeful adoptive parent(s) candidates. If you’ve ever wanted to know more than you know today about adopting a newborn or infant child, the GAW is for you. It’s an experience. It’s a Master Class in everything you need to know to be successful if you’ve ever thought about building your family through adoption. Adopting a child is a life-changing decision, and the more you know before hand, the more empowered and prepared you will be as an adoptive parent.

Attendance at a Get Acquainted Workshop is only mandatory if you intend to adopt a child with FIA. After attending the workshop, you are not obliged to work with FIA; however we are confident you will leave the workshop fully informed about what adopting a child is all about.

Workshop Highlights:

  • Hear adoptive parents tell their experience working with FIA;
  • Hear a with birth mothers and/or birth families tell their story;
  • Hear an adult adoptee who was adopted when he was a newborn tell his story.
  • The GAW is a great opportunity to learn about adoption from experienced professionals
  • Meet FIA staff, social workers, attorneys, and other adoption professionals;
  • Hear an adoption professional or members of the adoption triad answer your questions live during the Zoom workshop.
  • Learn about every step of an adoption process: before, during, and after an adoption;

The GAW will also give you a chance to meet our staff, ask questions, and relax in a casual setting while exploring the adoption options offered by FIA. The workshop is a wonderful educational opportunity about the adoption process.

“When and How is the Next Workshop Taking Place?”

Our Next GAW will be held on Thursday & Friday, April 29–30, 2021. Please return to this page on March 1st for Registration.

Thursday prior to Zoom Meeting: Please reserve some time for an Orientation Session & Prepping Steps via email. On Thursday, you will be able to work on your own schedule — starting anytime from 10 am. The Thursday steps should take about 1.5 to 2 hours of your time, and the deadline to complete them is 8:30 pm. You will receive instructions via email before 10 am with links to valuable introductory videos. You (and together with your partner if adopting as a couple) will need to work on these steps in preparation for the Friday workshop.

The Friday workshop will be presented via Zoom from 9 am to 4 pm.

“What is the fee to attend the workshop, and what does it cover?”

The cost of the workshop is $395 per family unit, for up to 2 people (a couple or a single individual with a support person/guest). Friends in Adoption is a non-profit organization and this fee helps FIA offset some of the costs related to hosting the workshop. All registrations are final and non-refundable.

“What do I need to do before the Zoom workshop starts?”

It’s the responsibility of all workshop attendees to make arrangements to assure they have the following ready to go: 1) a computer which is properly working; and 2) access to a fast and reliable internet connection. We highly recommend you test-drive Zoom a couple of times prior to the workshop so you can be familiar with how it works. Also make sure to update your computer software ahead of time so it is running smoothly during the GAW, and if possible have a backup plan just in case your equipment decides to malfunction during the GAW.

GAW Agenda

Thursday

On Your own time and schedule, via email, starting at 10 am.
Deadline: 8:30 pm — You will need about 2 hours to complete this session so we recommend starting by 6:30 pm the latest. You may also take breaks in-between each video, as it is not required that you watch all videos in one sitting.

  • Orientation
  • The Voices of Adoption Video Series
  • Fill Out & Submit Questionnaire
  • Prepping for Friday: Download a Workbook (PDF file) to be used during the Friday Workshop. Printing the workbook is optional but it may be very helpful if you are a notetaker (the PDF is about 30 pages).

Friday All Day

From 9 am to 4 pm

  • Introductions
  • Steps in Joining FIA
  • Home Study
  • Application
  • Profiles
  • Once you are Active
  • Case Management
  • The Matching Process
  • Financials
  • Birth Parent Story
  • Adoptive Parent Story
  • Visible Adoption
  • Resiliency
  • Case Scenarios
  • Post Adopt Panel
  • Wrap Up

“If I cannot attend the upcoming workshop, will FIA be scheduling another one soon?”

The GAW workshops are scheduled 3 or 4 times/year and are booked on a first-come, first-served basis. Upcoming dates are announced on the FIA website, blog, and Facebook page. Stay tuned!

FIA Proudly Stands as a “Fully Inclusive Agency”

Friends in Adoption welcomes all families. Throughout our workshop, we will explore FIA’s core values: Openness, Empowerment, Inclusiveness, and Lifelong Support.

Above all, the GAW is a safe space for all participants as they learn more about adoption with the support, respect, and empathy of professionals.

Recognition logos by HRC, Human Rights Campaign
Friends in Adoption is a recognized Leader in supporting and serving LGBT Families. Presented by FIA has been recognized in Celebrating Everyday Change-Makers in Child Welfare — partnered with the HRC Foundation’s All Children – All Families (ACAF) project to improve the services they provide to the LGBTQ community, including prospective foster and adoptive parents.

“I Want to Place My Child in an Adoptive Home with Loving Parents. Did I find the right website?”

Yes! Friends in Adoption (FIA) is a licensed adoption agency and we can help you by offering free adoption resources, guidance without judgment, counseling without pressure, and paid living expenses as allowed by State laws. The final decision will be yours to make. However, this particular page was not written for your needs, so if you are reading this as you are either pregnant and currently considering adoption as an option for your unborn child or are considering finding adoptive parents for your newborn, infant, or toddler, you can access free resources and information written specifically for birth families on our main website.

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