If you are a gay man or a couple looking to adopt, the first step you have to figure out which route you want to take. One is adopting through a non-profit agency, an agency that in addition to adoption services also helps dozens of pregnant women without means every year. We spoke with Tara and Jean-Charles from Friends in Adoption, about adoption; how much it costs, what is the process and what happens if the pregnant woman changes her mind.

If you are looking into adoption as a gay single or couple, there are three ways that you can adopt

1. Foster-to-Adopt (the government route)
2. Private Attorney
3. Private Agency 

The third option, which is the most common, divides into two types of agencies: an agency that is a business, and an agency that is also a non profit organization. The difference between the two is where the “agency fees” that you pay as part of the cost go. To a non-profit organization there is a charitable side, which helps pregnant women who have no one to turn to. “We receive inquiries from about 300 individuals a year who are pregnant or parenting,” says Tara Stalis, Executive Director of Friends in Adoption, a non-profit adoption agency. “[We help people] from all over the country to consider their options, we provide counseling, support and education, we provide help with housing if they need that help to stabilize them. We also provide [access] to a doctor, to appointments, food and things like that so that they can really be in the best place possible to look at all of their options, one of which might be adoption. Out of those 300 inquiries a year we do about 30 placements. So part of the agency fee helps provide case management services to individuals who may not decide on adoption, but we literally helped hundreds of people to truly look into their options and decide what’s best for them.”

Adoption: How Much It Costs

The average cost to adopt whether you decide to adopt with a private licensed non-profit adoption agency, or even adopt privately using an attorney and not using an agency, is about $45,000. “There is a wide range and a lot of it does depend on the situation, the pregnant individual that you’re matched with and what her needs are as far as expenses,” Tara explains.

“Part of it covers an agency fee, and the rest of the expenses are, for example, your attorney, attorney for the birth parents that you’re working with, counseling fees, home study fees plus placement fees. Agency fees really cover case management services, if someone wants to adopt they will have a case manager from the time they reach out to us, right through deciding to work with us, and right through [the process] and becoming matched with the pregnant individual and the placement. And we’re also a life-long resource, we keep in touch with the adoptive families…”

Wait Time

Waiting time can be another key factor in choosing your adoption agency for some gay parents-to-be. “Our average wait time is about 14 months,” says Tara, “and the way we measure that is between when you become active until you become matched, so if you decide to work with any adoption agency, you would have to go through the home study process and have a home study completed and you would have to create an adoption profile. Once those two things are done in Friends in Adoption you’re considered “active” – we post your profile on the website, pregnant individuals can find you, you’re active. So the average is 14 months but I will say that in the past several years people have been moving through more quickly and most people don’t wait longer than a year, so the good news is that people are not waiting as long as they used to, but it could happen.”

Guest Co-Hosts

Stephen and Spencer are a gay couple who is exploring ways to expand their family

Stephen Horn (Talent and Organization Developer at a BioTech company) and Spencer Barnes (Celebrity Make Up Artist) met two years ago in Los Angeles through mutual friends. The couple are seriously considering having kids and begin their research through us at Daddy Squared.

Follow Stephen and Spencer on their journey to parenthood on Instagram, at @stephen_william89 and @spencernarnesla.

Our Guests

Tara Saltis, Executive Director of Friends in Adoption

Tara Saltis has been part of the Friends in Adoption (FIA) leadership team since 2004, and assumed the role of Executive Director in August of 2019. Tara works closely with the FIA team to make sure that every pregnant individual is supported and educated about their options so they can make informed decisions. She also aims to ensure the process is as efficient and affordable as possible for prospective adoptive parents. Tara is passionate about raising adoption awareness and providing ongoing post adoption support for all members of the adoption triad (the child, the birth parents, and the adoptive parents).


Jean-Charles DeOliveira Scappaticci digital marketing and website development manager, Friends in Adoption

Jean-Charles DeOliveira Scappaticci handles all aspects of digital marketing and website development for FIA. He also expertly guides FIA families through the process of developing prospective adoptive family profiles. He and his team work with FIA to develop and produce all print and online publications.

Friends in Adoption (FIA) is a non-profit, pro-choice, licensed agency with a focus on helping people make informed decisions concerning adoption. FIA is committed to open adoptioninclusiveness, and providing lifelong support to all members of the adoption circle.

Our Sponsor

ORM Fertility is proud to support our gay male patients’ journey to parenthood. Gay men wishing to build their biological family will need the help of an egg donor, gestational surrogate, and in vitro fertilization (IVF). Our ingrowing website offers information and resources to make it easy for you when you start your research on becoming dads.

For over 30 years, ORM Fertility has been at the forefront of fertility treatment, providing personalized patient care, cutting-edge technology, and some of the highest success rates in the industry. We are honored to be a trusted resource for the LGBTQ+ community.

Inclusivity is not just a buzz word to us. We pride ourselves in being a truly welcoming clinic and helping all families grow. Our expert team walks parents-to-be through every step of their fertility journey. Our treatments include intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF), donor sperm, donor egg, gestational surrogacy, genetic testing, and fertility preservation.

Episode Credits

Co-Hosts: Yan Dekel, Alex Maghen
Guest: ‘Friend in Adoption’ Tara Saltis and Jean-Charles DeOliveira Scappaticci
Opening Theme: Hercules & Love Affair, “Leonora” buy here
Articles Related to this episode:
Supreme Court agrees to hear case of religion vs. gay rights over foster care (Los Angeles Times)

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