These days, the world is at our fingertips through the magical technology on our phones. Our home screens are often full of brightly colored squares called apps. Sometimes, our phones hold so many apps that we have to categorize them and organize them into folders.
There are apps for almost anything — even adoption!
Finding birth parents seeking families and children needing homes has never been easier. Believe it or not — “there’s an app for that!”(R) Through the iTunes Apple Store, adoptive parents are able to download apps that will help them match them. Many even come equipped in multiple languages. All the apps mentioned below are free to download and compatible with iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
The National Foster Care and Adoption Directory (NFCAD) – created by ICF International, Inc., the NFCAD app allows adoptive parents to search by location or state, and helps filter out adoption organizations, support groups or state resources. It includes a map view when displaying agencies or organizations. When using the app, adoptive parents can save and share their favorite contacts. It is marketed as a “quick and easy way to access foster care and adoption contacts” on the iTunes App Store and requires an iOS 8 or later.
Adopt Match – is strictly an adoption matching service, and for those already established with an AdoptMatch approved agency or attorney. Its creator, AdoptMatch LLC, helps connect adoptive parents to expectant mothers. The main purpose of the app is to ensure that adoptions are handled legally, ethically and compassionately. Pre and post adoption counseling are available for both adoptive and birth parents. On the iTunes App Store, it requires an iOS 9 or later.
The Adoption App – created by an Adoptive Mom, this International and Domestic Adoption App helps guide and organize its users’ adoption journey. Key features include detailed home study information, checklists, and a separate calendar for adoption-related meetings and appointments. It also provides a list of resources where adoptive parents can read success stories and other useful articles on adoption and motherhood.
Other free apps include: SmartAdoption, Open Adoption, Angel Adoption Families.
Remember the days of planners, wall and desk calendars, sticky notes and colored pens? There are apps for that, too — free to download on iOS and Android devices.
Evernote – basically acts like a personal assistant. It is specifically designed for organizing, scheduling, recording notes and archiving. Adoptive parents can store all adoption and home study paperwork, and program reminders for upcoming appointments and important details. This app can also capture text, photo and audio notes from several different devices. For best results, it is recommended that adoptive parents use Evernote alongside The Adoption App mentioned above.
Level Money – helps with the financial aspect of adoption. It helps adoptive parents plan ahead and calculate a specific amount to set aside. It then determines a daily, weekly and monthly budget, tracking expenses and ensuring accurate spending.
Waze – a useful travel app, especially for any trips out of state. This app chooses the best route, factoring in traffic and delays while en route. If there are any road closures, accidents or other unexpected changes, it will provide alternative roads.
Google Translate – is especially helpful for adoptive parents traveling internationally. It uses talk-to-text and instant-photo translation and offers translations for over 90 languages. For phones with no global data plan, adoptive parents can download the language package needed beforehand and use without racking up roaming charges or overages.
I’m Expecting – allows adoptive parents to receive updates about the birth mother and baby. Each week, adoptive parents will get a detailed description of the baby’s development and any physical changes the birth mother may be experiencing.
Welcome to parenthood! Life will no doubt become a bit hectic once your new son or daughter arrives home, but guess what? “There’s an app for that!”(R)
Today’s Adoption Babybook – was originally created by an adoptee. This digital scrapbook captures the first 1095 days of the child’s and parents’ lives together. Through questions regarding their home life, social worker, and the adoption process, it puts together an interactive album, making a powerful tool when discussing adoption with your child. The pages of the album can even be exported and printed to form a completed book.
Doctor on Demand – is great for last-minute doctor visits. From the comfort of home, adoptive parents are able to meet virtually with board-certified doctors for $40. It’s a good option for something in a pinch.
Baby Connect ($4.99 for iOS and Android) – tracks all of your child’s needs. Feedings, diaper changes, activities or medication doses — it’s all in one place. Adoptive parents can authorize grandparents, babysitters and anyone else necessary to use the app, too. The app records daily and weekly averages, providing accurate information for doctors and social workers.
Other free apps include: Total Baby, Sweet Baby or the Cozi Family Organizer.
Research thoroughly before downloading. Especially if the app isn’t free. Marketing ads will make all apps sound like an answered prayer, but some may fit your needs better than others. The nice thing about free apps is that you can easily download and test them out. If it doesn’t end up being what you’re looking for, they can be deleted off your device. Simple.
Reading over the descriptions provided before downloading, and any reviews available, is helpful as well. Each user will have varying opinions, of course, but you’ll get a good idea of the overall feeling about the app at least. That is, if there’s an overwhelming positive or negative response.
The right apps can improve the adoption process for prospective parents. There are so many good options out there. But remember — apps do not replace adoption agencies or attorneys. Keeping this in mind will help you choose the ones that are best for you. Never hesitate to consult with an actual agency or attorney, though.
“10 Best Apps for Adoption.” Adoptive Families, 25 Oct. 2016, www.adoptivefamilies.com/adoption-process/best-apps-for-adoption/.
“A Better Way to Match Expectant Parents with Adoptive Families.” AdoptMatch, adoptmatch.com/.
“An International and Domestic Adoption App.” TheAdoptionApp, theadoptionapp.com/.
LLC, AdoptMatch. “Adopt Match.” App Store, 7 May 2017, itunes.apple.com/us/app/adopt-match/id1153109861?mt=8.
mmstudio.si. Tody’s BabyBook, www.tody-babybook.com/e-memory-adoption-baby-book.html.
“National Foster Care & Adoption Directory Mobile App.” National Foster Care & Adoption Directory Mobile App – Child Welfare Information Gateway, www.childwelfare.gov/nfcad/app/.
“The Most Helpful Smart Phone Apps for Adoption.” AdoptHelp, 12 Sept. 2018, www.adopthelp.com/helpful-smart-phone-apps-for-adoption/.