What is Fairbanks Counseling & Adoption?
Fairbanks Counseling and Adoption (FCA) is a private, non-profit agency located in Fairbanks, Alaska. FCA has been providing adoption services since 1977 and is licensed by the State of Alaska, Department of Health and Social Services.
Our Adoption Department assists families and individuals who are interested in adopting a child, and we provide a variety of post-placement services. If you are interested in placing your child for adoption, please visit our Pregnancy Services page.
What is O.C.S.?
The Office of Children’s Services is a state agency involved with child protective services. They are mainly in need of families to adopt older/special needs children. More information is available through OCS at 451-2650.
What kind of children are available for adoption?
Fairbanks Counseling and Adoption places and facilitates the placement of both healthy and special needs children of all ages and racial backgrounds. We facilitate the placement of 15-20 children each year, including local, inter-state and international adoptions.
Special needs children are those who, because of their age, race, sibling status, handicapping condition, or history of abuse, are less likely to be adopted and often require more effort from the adoptive parents to be incorporated successfully into the family system.
FCA assists with international adoptions, and recently we have worked with families adopting from Ethiopia, China, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Burkina Faso (West Africa) and the Philippines.
What does it cost to adopt a child?
For local, healthy infant adoptions, FCA's fee is $16,000.
For special needs and/or interstate/international adoptions, FCA's fee runs between $2,325 and $2,875.
For adoptions from a state foster care system the fees involved are typically low or non-existent, but there could be travel and other miscellaneous expenses. Residents who adopt a special needs child may be eligible for up to $2,000 in reimbursement from the State of Alaska. Military personnel can also receive a $2,000 reimbursement from the Federal government.
FCA adoption fees typically include the homestudy, child research, case management, post-placement follow-up, and support services. For domestic adoptions, applicants should anticipate additional legal and medical expenses. For international adoptions, anticipate fees to the cooperating agency, as well as travel and related expenses.
Presently, there is a tax credit of $13,000 available to families adopting children from the U.S. and internationally. A $6,000 tax credit is available to families adopting U.S. special needs children. Also, FCA offers monthly payment plans. (All fees listed are approximate and web page updates are often delayed.)
How long does it take?
For local and in-country infant adoptions, the time from application to placement cannot be predicted. In most cases birthparents select the adoptive family, so it is not possible to know when that will occur. In the past, waits have ranged from six months to three years, with an average wait of one to two years.
For minority families, the wait is usually less.
For international/interstate adoption, waits vary depending on the country and the cooperating agency, with an average wait of one to two years.
What is the procedure to adopt?
Participation in the adoption program of Fairbanks Counseling and Adoption entails the following basic steps: orientation meeting; application; homestudy; compliance with immigration/naturalization requirements (international adoptions only); referral of a child; placement of the child; post-placement and follow-up/support.
What are some of the requirements for adoptive parents?
All applicants are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. FCA does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, sex, marital status, religion, employment, or financial status. For married families, most international programs require at least one year of marriage. There are many minority children available for adoption and we strongly encourage minority families to apply.
Adoptive families are usually selected by the birthparents. Often there is some level of "openness" with FCA adoptions, i.e. some contact between the birthparent and adoptive parents before and after the placement of a child. Each adoption is unique and is arranged according to the wishes of the birthparents and adoptive parents. FCA acts as a facilitator and mediator in the process.
Most of the birthparents helped by FCA prefer to place their child with Alaskan families. However, we occasionally have a request for an out-of-state family, and we accept completed out- of-state homestudies and family profiles to share with our birthparents.
Does FCA help military families adopt and are there assistance programs available?
Yes, military families often apply through our Agency. Additionally the Department of Denfense's Adoption Reimbursement Program reimburses servicemembers for certain adoption expenses such as agency and placement fees, legal fees and medical expenses. Servicemembers who serve continuously on active duty for at least 180 days can receive up to a maximum of $2,000 per child, but can't exceed $5,000 per calendar year. The department also offers servicemembers who adopt up to 21 days of nonchargeable leave to be used in connection with the adoption. For more information contact your local family support center or personnel office, or call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647.
How do I find out more about adoption?
Call or stop by Fairbanks Counseling and Adoption and make an appointment to speak with an adoption counselor.
We're located at 912 Barnette Street and our phone number is (907) 456-4729.
Our mailing address is P.O. Box 71544, Fairbanks, Alaska 99707.