Adopting During COVID-19: An Interview with Adoption Attorney Faith Getz Rousso

Adoptive parents during corona virus

Perhaps no one understands staying optimistic during times of uncertainty quite like adoptive parents. So even during these unprecedented times, it isn’t surprising to learn that so many are still moving forward with their plans to adopt. COVID-19 has impacted almost every aspect of our daily lives. And yet adoptions are still taking place and women are connecting with hopeful parents. Even with all these challenges, an adoption journey does not need to go on pause. recently had the pleasure of speaking with New York-based adoption attorney Faith Getz Rousso about the current state of adoption during the Coronavirus pandemic. As expected, she has some encouraging words for adoptive families. Despite financial uncertainties, health concerns, and quarantine fatigue, her advice to adoptive families remains consistent: if you can’t picture your future without being a “mommy” or “daddy,” don’t give up your search and most certainly, never give up hope.

What are you hearing from your families during the pandemic? How are they holding up? I believe most of my families have a lot of time on their hands, as the majority are working from home. I am hearing a more “cynical” response to being contacted by an expectant parent. There are a lot of “arm-chair” investigators who are spending an enormous amount of time searching for the expectant parent on social media and on the Internet. It is unusual for our clients to call me and say, “I was contacted by --- and I saw their FB page, and their IG, and they have Tik-Tok videos, and maybe a boyfriend named... and a dog .... and .....” It is more typical, to receive a heads up that an expectant parent contacted them, where they are from, and possibly a due date.

What are the effects of all this free time? Adoptive parents now have a lot of time to overthink each communication, which causes anxiety. There is also a lot of time to consider the “what-ifs”. Being permitted to travel out-of-state is a potential issue that many clients are questioning and causing them stress concerning the logistics of getting to the birth of a baby for placement.

In your opinion, what will the post-COVID-19 adoption world look like? At the risk of sounding cliché, there will probably be a lot of births 9-10 months from now. With this influx of babies, I think for the first time in many years, there will be fewer adoptive parents than babies being placed for adoption. The uncertain economic climate will most likely take a toll on both expectant parents and families that were considering adopting. Unfortunately, expectant parents who may be in crisis and having a difficult time supporting themselves will look for stability and safety or their child. It will be reassuring for them to know their child is being loved and protected even in unpredictable and dubious times.

Tell us about some of the challenges adoptive parents may face as a result of COVID19. Speaking about finances and adoption in the same breath is taboo. Unfortunately, the reality of adoption is that expectant parents often place their baby for adoption because of their financial situation. They are not able to provide for themselves and a baby, or they don’t have a stable housing situation or support of their families. It is unfortunate, but I believe that there will be more babies placed for adoption, and many expectant parents will be requesting adoptive parents to provide assistance with their living expenses. As a result, this will filter the adoptive parents who cannot provide the approved expenses relating to the birth and pregnancy that an expectant parent may require due to their own financial situation post-Corona Virus.

What would you like to say to families that are considering stopping their search? Look in the mirror. Can you imagine your future without being a “mommy” or “daddy”? If not, then don't stop your search. Tweak it. Spend more time getting yourselves out there in ways that don’t cost a lot of money. Follow more people on IG. Respond to other’s posts. Speak to your friends, family, clergy, physicians, and let them know that you WILL be forming your family through adoption. Stay positive. Remember, your life is awesome now ... having a baby will make it better. Lean on your friends and family for support, you are fortunate to have people in your life that love you and want to help make your dreams come true.

Can you offer adoptive parents any encouraging words or advice during this tough time of financial uncertainty? Create a budget. It doesn’t have to be all about the money. If you can’t spend a lot of money on GoogleAds or newspapers ... stay on an adoption website (i.e. and then supplement your outreach through friends/family and social media. Make small changes in your lifestyle, don’t eat out as much, stay local rather than go on a lavish vacation, give meaningful gifts rather than extravagant presents. Speak to your adoption professional about the various grants and loans available to adopt. The bottom line is don’t give up on your dream of being a parent.