Beacon House Adoption Services has been placing children since 1989. Headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with additional offices in Florida and Mississippi, they work primarily in the southern United States but have helped facilitate adoptions nationwide. They do not place in New York. Beacon House does not use a waiting list, so as soon as an adoptive family is home-study and contract approved, they are eligible to place.
Beacon House encourages semi-open adoptions, though they facilitate closed and open as well according to the needs and desires of the birth mother and adoptive parents. According to Beacon House, the advantages of semi-open adoptions for the child include a greater sense of identity, a connection with cultural heritage, and prevention of feeling abandoned. With closed adoptions, birth parents can avoid unwanted attention and better move forward with their lives. The agency presents the pro's and con's of each degree of openness, giving birth mothers and adoptive families a balanced perspective so they can make the best choice for their needs.
Beacon House has extremely flexible criteria for adoption eligibility. In general, they simply work within each state's parameters. The steps to the agency's process from start to finish are as follows:
Wait times range from 3-18 months, but most families successfully adopt within 1-2 years of beginning the process. There is variability in this wait time depending on how long it takes to match and how far along the pregnancy is. After matching, birth parents and adoptive parents generally meet face to face under agency supervision and communicate after that through letters or cards sent to the agency. Beacon House hosts several live webinars every month, helping families understand the process, requirements, paperwork, and financing details of adopting with the agency. There is also a specific webinar about home studies and another called Adoption 101. Parent in Progress classes are also available to those who have been matched with a birth mother.
Beacon House clients get free access to their Adoption Finance Coaching System, which includes on-demand webinar trainings, templates, and personalized coaching from an experienced financial planner. The agency will also set up an online cash gift registry specifically for the adoption, where family and friends can contribute to offset adoption costs.
Beacon House lets prospective parents know exactly what fees to expect, including where there is room for variability from case to case. The application fee is always $300 and placement costs $16,500. A home study is $2,000, home study update is $1,000, and a post placement assessment is $350. All fees are paid to the agency itself. In addition, families are responsible for several expenses in behalf of the birth mother, including medical care, residential expenses, legal fees, counseling, foster care, travel, and supervision, which all vary depending on the birth mother's needs. However, the agency gives a projected total of $29,075 of all fees if the birth mother needs one month of care and $33,075 if she needs three months. Though an adoptive family may pay more or less, it is helpful to have a breakdown of fees based on what families have paid in the past. Payments are made as services are rendered. After an application is accepted, there is a contract fee of $2,500 that is non-refundable, but would roll over to another situation if an adoption doesn't go through. The first half of the agency placement fee is paid at the time of match, and this is at risk if the birth mother were to change her mind. The second half of the placement fee is paid once the adoption consent is signed and is never at risk for loss. The home study fee is paid when the home study is done, birth mother expenses are paid monthly after a match with a birth mother, etc. Families can use credit cards via PayPal for some fees to free up cash for payments that can't be paid with credit. If a birth mother decides to parent, the agency does their best to allow an adoptive family to stay as close as possible to their original budget. Such families become priority families, making them eligible for a "drop in." A drop in is a situation in which a birth mother approaches agency workers at 8-9 months pregnant and possibly even in the hospital in labor. This significantly reduces expenses for the matched family.
Though the agency is very upfront about all fees and expenses from the outset, they do require a non-refundable contract fee of $2,500. Additionally, half of their placement fee, paid after matching with a birth mother, is at risk if the birth mother were to choose to parent. This is in addition to the birth mother expenses the family is paying month to month. These non-refundable fees really add up and can break a budget, especially if multiple adoptions fall through for a family. They do not support limiting the sex of a child as a criterion of adoption, which is intended to decrease wait times but may deter parents with certain preferences.
They tell birth mothers what they want to hear, I was promised pictures of my daughter when I requested them, the only picture I have of her is her birth picture from 25 yrs ago , my file was suspiciously lost, they only care about the money they are going to get for your baby...I thought I was doing what was best for my baby girl but my heart still holds an empty place for her, I love you baby girl and momma has never forgotten holding you for just those few short moments before they took you away....
I have been working with Alise & Cindy at beacon house for about 4 months. Alise was very kind & understanding to my situation! Anytime I needed either of them they were there for me! The moment I saw the pap's portfolio I loved them instantly & knew without a doubt they would make wonderful parents! The mother & myself are very similar & I felt a strong connection to her! We communicated through email so we could get to know each other. I gave birth tues @9:18 am to a beautiful tiny baby girl! 6 lbs 1 ozMy husband & myself wanted to spend time alone as a family with her before we asked for the pap's to come & meet her but....all that time I was struggling with terminating my rights! I thought because I've chosen adoption many years ago this would be easier but....it was so much harder! After afew hours my husband & I looked in each other's eyes & he said exactly what I wanted to say "I can't do this! This is my daughter & I need her & she needs us!" With tears streaming down my face I felt such a deep sadness for these 2 wonderful pap's that had been waiting for months to bring her home! I was told by afew people that the adoption agency was going to threaten me , make me feel guilty for wanting to raise my baby! I was nervous & sad because I never intended to hurt anyone & I became close with Alise! This morning I mustered up the courage to message her & let her know we decided to keep our daughter! NOT ONCE WAS SHE UGLY OR THREATENING! SHE DIDN'T EVEN MENTION HOW MUCH PAIN THIS COUPLE WAS IN! SHE TOLD ME SHE UNDERSTOOD & THEY WOULD ALWAYS BE HERE FOR US! My heart aches for this couple that I've come to know as our daughters parents & I pray they find peace & comfort in knowing that their is a baby out there for them! I am a very loving & giving person so this is hard for me but... I have to think about my family too! Unfortunately all adoptions don't turn out the way everyone planned & when they don't the effects can be soul crushing! Trust me I've been on the recieving end because I placed a daughter years ago but I was so young & did what I felt was best for her at that time. I noticed most of the reviews ended up with a adoption so I wanted to write one with a different ending! I'm writing for the pregnant scared girl that finds herself in the unfortunate situation that she feels the need to place her baby for adoption. I want her to know that BEACON HOUSE is a excellent adoption agency to have on your side! They are supportive & kind! Anyways I'm sorry this is so long but I'm sitting in my hospital bed while my daughter is sleeping so I figured this would be a good time to write this. Thank you for everything Alise & Cindy! Y'all are truly wonderful people! Also if the couple I chose ever sees this I want you to know I will think of y'all everyday & I'm truly sorry! Sending prayers sincerely S
I am an attorney that has worked with Beacon House for many years. Beacon House originally came to my attention as the Agency to fix problems that had been generated with a group of international adoptions. The Agency and its Director Anne performed above any expectations and completed the adoptions that had become bogged down. I was understandably impressed. The Agency that I work with then began to receive contact with Beacon House on domestic adoptions. Once again Beacon House performed it's responsibilities to the best possible extent. Adoptions are naturally subjected to many influences that can affect the outcome but it is the process that requires a human touch given all of the sensitivities. I continued to be impressed by their efforts and yet compassion for the birth parents going through difficult times. Adoptions must be voluntary and with knowledge. Beacon House never lost sight of their responsibility to all of those involved and ultimately the best interests of the child.
We are a French gay couple, but live in the United States. We are finalizing, our newborn son ‘s domestic adoption, with Beacon House. Our process, which started 6 months ago when we have been matched, went very quickly and smoothly; and was undertaken as it should be. The communication has always been regular, honest and positive. Anne, who has been our interlocutor since the beginning, always knew how to play her interface role with skill and efficiency. We warmly recommend Beacon House.
As an attorney, I have worked with several adoption agencies and, hands down, the team at Beacon House provides superior service and care to those seeking to adopt, as well as, surrendering mothers. It is with personal experience that I can say Beacon House carefully guides all those involved through the adoption process. I have witnessed the extent to which surrendering mothers are cared for, and I have been involved with Beacon House long enough to know the numerous friendships developed on all sides, which is something that I can not say about most agencies.
After struggling with unexplained infertility, God had a plan that was far grander than anything my husband and I could have ever asked for. Both of our adoption experiences through Beacon House were nothing short of amazing. The staff took wonderful care of our birth mom all the way through the process, while also remaining in constant contact with us. The adoption process can be confusing and emotional, but the staff (Ms. Alise, we love you!) understands the journeys a birthmother and an adoptive family take. They walked us through the process never missing a step. We were treated as family from our initial meeting through to the blessings of being matched with both our daughter and son (biological brother and sister). We love and cherish our two blessings more than words can ever express. We will always be grateful for the gift of family that Beacon House and our precious birth mother gave to us!! Thank you Beacon House, The Castello Family
On Friday we received an email from the agency suspending our contract because of the review I wrote on here. I stand by my review. They claim that, "Your accusations and public statements have been less than truthful "If you ask questions about what YOUR money is going for they have the right to terminate your contract" - that is a patently untrue statement and not at all what our contract says. We itemize our accountings in order to provide that exact information to adoptive parents. Every member of the staff has treated you with respect during your entire process, and what you did was unreasonable. Now keep in mind they have 180 days to get their accounting in order prior to having to send the itemized to you. What you do get at match is this Total $38,550.00 Contract fee already paid (2,500.00) Total $36,050.00 Sept $14,500.00 Oct 3,000.00 Nov 3,000.00 Dec 3,000.00 Jan 12,550.00 Now how are we suppose to know what we are paying for? Here is what a section of the addendum states---word for word that we did NOT sign. We have added Section 2.3 A(3), which makes it incumbent upon you, as adoptive parents to advise us if you have any objections to any line item on the estimate of costs at the time of match with a birth mother. Since Beacon House estimates include any legally permitted costs, expenses and /or fees for each placement, it is imperative that we know if you have objections to payment of a specified item, for whatever your reason. Failure to advise us of any objection at the time the estimate is received will result in the forfeiture of that right later, after placement or disruption. Further, since we do pay legally permitted costs, expenses and fees, the agency has the RIGHT TO TERMINATE YOUR CONTRACT WITH US IN THE EVENT THAT YOU EXPRESS OBJECTIONS TO CERTAIN LINE ITEMS. Now that you can see what we have seen you can make your own informed decision. This review is not because we had a disrupted placement. We planned on making this review no matter of our outcome. We totally understand a woman's rights to parent and would NEVER object to her choice. Our issue has been with the way WE have been treated. In the email it states that they were constantly updating us on the situation following the disruption...okay baby was born Dec 20th ..we were not notified of this until Dec 23rd..after I sent several text and emails. That was the only conversation we had with the agency until 1/4/16 and once again I contacted them to find out what was going on. We received 4 more emails in Jan---I initiated all of them. In Feb the sent us an email about financials which we needed for taxes. Do your own research, but pick an agency that if you do have a disruption that the money you paid minus mothers expenses gets rolled into another match. Make sure before you sign you have that in writing. We made that mistake because they word it as any unused funds in escrow account. Be careful. We are not out to hurt anyone...we just want potential adoptive parents to be aware of what we went through because it is overwhelming and emotions are high. Good luck