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Adoption in Nevada: Addressing the need for support and conversation

Raquel and Brian are adoptive parents of a 2-year-old.
Raquel and Brian A.

Raquel and Brian are adoptive parents of a 2-year-old.

Adoption is a complex topic. It’s a process that can bring a lot of joy to some families… some who wait years and for the chance to become parents. It’s also something that can be painful to talk about.

In recent years many birth parents, adoptive families, and adoptees themselves have publicly shared their struggles, sometimes even their traumas going through this experience.

These stories have changed the way adoption is talked about and they’re bringing attention to the needs everyone involved has. What kinds of support systems are out there for birth families, adoptive families, and adoptees?

Alex Hoops, director of adoptions for Loving Hearts Adoption Services, said her agency works with all three components of what she called the “adoption triad.”

“We have adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth parents,” she said, “and we provide support to all three members throughout the entire adoption process, which is lifelong.”

She said adoption can take up to four years, but two is about average and can cost between $10,000 and $30,000, depending on income.

Hoops said new adoptive parents can expect “we are going to work very closely with them for at least six months, to ensure that the child and the family are having their needs met, that appropriate bonding is occurring, and to make sure that it is the most appropriate placement for that child.”

She said her agency can be a point of contact and facilitate communication among all parties children grow into adults and begin to wrestle with the issues involved in being adopted.

“Having that open connection with their adoptive family and relationship with their birth family as well can assist them in that process,” Hoops said.

Alex Hoops, director of adoption, Loving Hearts Adoption Services; Raquel and Brian A., adoptive parents

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Kristen Kidman is a former senior producer at KNPR’s State of Nevada and is proud to be from Las Vegas.