This is my story. It begins in 2009. More specifically September. I was 21 and had just found out that I was pregnant with my first child. I was excited and completely overjoyed. In my mind, I was going to be a mom and have two eyes watching me.....depending on me. Fast forward a few weeks....IT'S A BOY!!! My excitement began to grow as I thought about having a little sports player. His father however was less than excited. While my son was not planned, he was never a mistake or an accident. And no one was going to tell me otherwise. One of the hardest things though, was hearing my son's father and some of my family say the word abortion. It was soul crushing. How could anyone ever expect me to do that? Barring the fact that I didn't have a job, I was determined to prove to everyone, myself included, that I could do this. My mother was going to be by my side and I would get help from government programs. But when my mother turned her back on me and the rest of my family did as well, I got my moment of clarity. I wasn't as mentally strong or as capable as I had been pretending to be. I couldn't raise a child by myself. Then it hit me. Adoption. Adoption became my light at the end of the tunnel. But where? How? When? Through an acquaintance of my mother's, I came across a place called Heart of Adoptions. Shortly there after, I received a call from a wonderfully loving and caring woman named Annsley. She was as understanding as she was beautiful. She held my hand, reassuring me, and answering any of my questions. If I needed assistance of ANY kind she was the first to volunteer. She gave me a list of 3 families that met/matched my wants/needs and informed me that the web site was available for me to look over as well. After careful consideration my search landed me with the perfect adoptive family on the web site. The family I chose has been nothing but the most supportive, loving and nurturing parents toward my son. I even allowed them in the room when I was delivering the baby and allowed the adoptive father to cut the umbilical cord. They are the greatest adoptive family I could ask for. Once I had made the tough, yet unselfish, decision I knew I had to stick to it. I'm not the type of person to even think abut going back on that kind of promise. But what about me? How was I going to cope? It was then I had decided that a puppy was just what I needed as an outlet. My Sasha has become my angel, my companion and my therapy dog. Six years later, my son couldn't be happier or more loved without me. Do I miss him? Of course. Do I regret my decision? No! It doesn't matter to me that family, friends and even strangers still judge me. I'm beyond happy with my decision. My story may not be all that different from yours. You may have people making snide comments and rude statements and making sure you feel guilty and horrible. And that's ok. Because it's neither up to them nor is it their decision. It's my hope that through reading this, you'll see that you are not alone. There is hope. You are stronger than you realize. YOU CAN DO THIS!
It's just business to them!!
My husband and I were referred to them after matching with a Birthmom. Florida is weird and want to keep the money in Florida so we had to switch agencies.
We met with Annsley initially, in Person, when we flew down to meet our birth mother. She was very helpful, kind, and informative. She really did her homework and discovered our birth bother had received support from two other agencies in the previous month. She didn't know how much but warned us the agencies would be asking US to pay them back. She assured us we were not legally obligated but strongly encouraged because it would harm working relationships between agencies.
Although Birthmom seemed to be struggling a bit, we felt very connected to her and her to us. Upon returning home Annsley told us she thought BM was on drugs and potentially 'scamming' us all. We dicussed this with Birthmom whomreally wanted us to adopt her child. We were able to find her resources for the next few months, but agreed not to provide her the financial support she had requested initially. She agreed, Annsley called her to confirm, and then called us back to confirm. The next day we paid a moving company for her and that was that.
After that we were assigned to Rachel, who would follow up with BM, help her make her appointments, be a guide for her..... Rachel never knew when her appointments were until we told her. We kept in contact with BM to keep her positive, healthy and making her appointments. Rachel didn't even meet her until after she was home from the hospital. She was very sweet though.
Our daughter had medical issues and had to be transferred. The next day another woman showed up with a contract stating they would not move forward until we paid the prior agencies $6,000.00 (for one month of expenses, some of which was cash to BM for the drugs our daughter was withdrawing from) and for three months of birth mother expenses (that we had already agreed MUTUALLY not to pay). They didn't bother to confirm with Annsley, they just treated us like we we backing out on an agreement..
We had to settle on new birth mother expenses, and as far as the other agencies we rec vied a very nice call from Jeanne Tate herself telling us ( in short) to get a lawyer. We all know how much that would cost, so we agreed to pay the money. Meanwhile the executive director went on vacation, which was literally everyone else's excuse for 'not being able to help out'.
We also were told that birth father had agreed to the adoption, but when we sat down to sign papers they said "well..... He hasn't signed yet, well.... We hadn't really met him yet". They assured us it wouldn't matter what he wanted anyway because their lawyer has never lost, he's a bad guy and they would find ways to make this happen. Then every time we tried to follow up the day after they said they'd be meeting
with him we were scolded for being too pushy. Thank God he signed because we wanted a baby who needed love, not to steel a child from a struggling father.
There is plenty more, but this is the most important. This agency really messed up with our adoption and did nothing to salvage their mistakes. Our daughter is a joy but her adoption story will be very hard to tell without getting upset, which is not fair to her. Her big brothers adoption was a dream come true.
I will always regret not switching agencies at the first sign of trouble
After reading some of these reviews Im very happy to see that not everyone had the same kind of care I did. However I also noticed noone reviewed the people I worked with. The naples office, Gabby specifically, and even the director Mary, were absolutely horrible. I could never get a hold of anyone, the only time they would call me back was when I would question staying with the agency, then they got right on things, most of the times, other times they would tell me just enough to keep me happy, and Gabby was caught in quite a few lies. I had no idea what was going on with things, and as soon as i signed those papers I was on my own. I was in a very, very difficult situation, they did nothing to help. Its great that some people had an easier time, but i strongly urge any woman who is having an exceptionally hard time and that may be dealing with their office in Naples, please, look elsewhere.
NOT Birthmother Friendly!
If you care at all about the well being of the birthmother joining your family - STAY AWAY!!
I was an expectant mother considering adoption. I had chosen a family out of state and their home state agency chose Heart of Adoptions as the agency for my state.
I was treated VERY poorly by this agency. They even tried to coerce me by withholding my assistance from the prospective adoptive parents. They were extremely condescending and treated me like a child even though I was 25. They tried to change the contract we agreed upon and it had to be changed on the spot in the hospital because I actually read it while I was getting ready to sign. Even more so, the signature was under duress. It was known that I did not have time to bond with the baby and that the hospital had given me pain medication prior to the lawyer's arrival.
I loved the parents I chose to adopt my son and if it wasn't for them, and them alone, I would have backed out of the placement because of the way this agency treated me. It made me so sick to know that they were profiting off of the way they treat birthmothers like me. And there are more, we talk, and I know I am not alone in the way I was treated by this agency.
After the papers were signed they stopped responding to my contact, never following through with the parts that they were supposed to fulfill such as post-placement counseling/therapy.
I could not have done this without them!
As the birth mother, making the decision to place my son was the hardest thing I've ever done in my 24 years on this planet. My story differs a bit from most. Annsley made the entire process so smooth and comforting, that I really couldn't have done it without her. She kept me updated 100% of the way and chose the perfect family for my son! A year later now, she still emails me to see how I'm doing, and my son's forever family is in constant contact with me. I would recommend this agency to anyone considering this option, as they go above and beyond!
A truly exceptional experience
My partner and I recently adopted our son with the help of Heart of Adoptions and I cannot say enough how pleased we were with our experience. We worked closely with Susan Major and could not have asked for better. Susan is compassionate, thorough, a joy to work with, and made our experience exceptional. I believe our adoption went so smoothly because of the hard work and preparation by Susan and the team at Heart of Adoptions.
The adoption process by nature is stressful. However, with Heart of Adoptions, I never worried about the paperwork or the court proceeding or anything else. I knew that we were in good hands.
If you are considering using Heart of Adoptions, I think you would be a fool not to - especially if you are a same-sex couple. You certainly won't regret it!
BIRTH MOTHER FRIENDLY
Finding out I was 25 weeks pregnant was not easy by any means, but Heart of Adoptions, Jeanne Tate Law office, was a blessing. I went in for the first time scared, unsure, and nervous and ended up finding a perfect family for my daughter to be placed with in no time. They brought in many life books, basically a resume of a couple, based on my wants and needs in a potential family, and they had a lot to offer me. Annsley was always sweet and quick to respond to my every need, as well as Jeanne. The process was as seamless as it could have been and it helped a lot knowing these women were really there for me and whatever decision I made. I know a lot of people say that agencies are only in it for the money or will always have the birth parents' back, but my experience was nothing of the sort. They always kept what we talked about confidential and I felt secure to talk about anything that was on my mind. I would most definitely refer any young woman who needs some guidance to go here and just talk to Annsley or Jeanne if you are considering adoption, because it was the best decision I could have made for myself and for my daughter!
MADE OUR DREAMS COME TRUE!!!
We were matched with our daughter's birth mother at 33 weeks. We met through an attorney and after a few weeks, our daughter's birth mother fired him. We were beyond frustrated at this point because he took our money and left us to "fend for ourselves." Our daughter's birth mother was not stable and our adoption was very stressful UNTIL I called Heart of Adoptions. Tammi, Daneille and Gabriella were a Godsend. They held our hands and walked us through each step. We were informed every step of the way and if we called and received their voicemail, we were called back immediately.
We were given several discharge dates and I grew very frustrated and Gabriella and Daneille reassured us that whenever we called, they would be there to help us go home. I called Daneille at 10:30 AM from Miami and she was at the hospital by 1 PM!
Our daughter was discharged from the hospital today and I'm sitting her watching her sleep while I write this. If you are looking to adopt, I highly recommend this agency...they are kid tested and mother approved!!! :)
P.S. IF YOU ARE A MILITARY FAMILY...THIS IS THE AGENCY TO USE BECAUSE THEY ARE VERY SUPPORTIVE!!
Heart of Adoptions = 5 stars
My partner of 18 years and I adopted our child through Heart of Adoptions and Jeanne Tate's law firm and we could not be happier. From the very first contact we had on the phone with them, to the finalization process and court date, everyone was professional, efficient, and extremely caring. A special thanks to the wonderful people that worked on our adoption, Susan Major, Rob Webster, and Ciana Hamilton!
Gary Rohland and David Thomas.
Heart of Adoptions in Florida
We had a great experiance with Heart of Adoptions in Florida. We signed up for their minority adoption program, there was no fee until we were officially matched with the birthmom and even then minimal fees were due until the time of birth. We liked working with this agency because they were fine with us networking with other agencies at the same time in looking for a match. Their initial application packet is very informative. They have great information in there about adoption in general as well as all the things to consider such as if you would be open to a baby exposed to different types of drugs with information on possible effects from the different drugs. I loved that they provided all this information up front. They have you fill out a detailed application rating your comfort level with all possible scenerios (open, closed, amount of birthmom expences, drugs, alcohol, result of rape...). This way you have time to discuss all these scenerios ahead of time and are only presented to situations you are comfortable with instead of getting a call from and agency and having to make a spure of the moment decision on whether you want to be presented to a situation.
The agency was very open and answered all our questions. They stayed in regular contact with us. We found them to be very ethical, they were open and honest with us about risks and allowed us time to make decisions without any pressure. They also showed true compassion and concern for the birthmom. I would highly recommend them to anyone considering adoption.