RYE BROOK, N.Y. – Rye Brook's Crawford Park Mansion hosted a free information session Monday evening from Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA) to better acquaint community members with the ups and downs of adopting a child.
Joy Goldstein, co-founder and executive director of FFTA, is as an adoptive mother of three who talked about the commitment of adoption.
"We want to stress that this is a forever decision," Goldstein said to the audience of nearly 20 inside Crawford Park Mansion. "We share with you the good, the bad and the ugly."
Forever Families Through Adoption is a nonprofit full service adoption agency located in Rye Brook. FFTA was founded by Goldstein and her husband Michael in 2007 in an effort to realize the couple's belief that "every child has the right to grow up in a loving, nurturing, secure and forever home."
At the free information session Goldstein and three of her FFTA colleagues spoke about the adoption process from a variety of angles, including advice from the agency’s attorney Debra Wolf, who spoke about the legality behind adoptions.
"Adoption is a very emotional process, but it is also a legal process as well," Wolf said.
While Wolf assists prospective parents throughout the process, it is up to each individual applicant to hire their own attorney to finalize the adoption.
"An attorney is like an a la carte service," Goldstein said. "An agency is an umbrella organization that provides in-house services. We provide everything for you."
Goldstein, Wolf, Becca Leitman, an adoption counselor, and Vanessa Bush, an agency social worker, also spoke in depth about FFTA's adoption process. Prospective parents must complete a three hour orientation session, two home studies, parent training and stacks of paperwork. Since FFTA said it pairs children with parents based on in-depth personal profiles, the process is extremely thorough.
"We will get to know you intimately," Goldstein said. "The paperwork is not for the purpose of paperwork. The fact that we're authorized by Albany is a big responsibility on our part. It's our responsibility to determine if you are appropriate."
The agency leaders said an average adoption costs between $25,000-$40,000, although depending on the state the child comes from, it could cost as high as $60,000 and can take anywhere from six to 24 months.