Domestic Program


Journeys of the Heart is a non-profit, licensed and accredited adoption agency, that has been placing infants and toddlers since1993 and is highly experienced in facilitating domestic placements and working with expectant parent(s).

In the Identified Adoption Program, prospective adoptive parents locate expectant parent(s) through sources outside of Journeys of the Heart. Adoptive parents may identify expectant parent(s) or birthparents wanting to plan an adoption for a child who has already been born through their own advertising, networking, word of mouth or an attorney.




Adoptive parent(s) must be over the age of 21.




Wait Time

75% of families had a placement within one year.


Either the prospective adoptive parent(s) or the expectant parent(s) must live in Oregon or Washington

Domestic Adoption - Journeys of the Heart

After identifying the expectant parent(s) or child, Journeys of the Heart can provide services to both the adoptive family and expectant parent(s) that can include:

  • Home Study, Education and Post Placement Services for Oregon and Washington Adoptive Parent(s)
  • Preliminary assessment meeting with expectant parent(s)
  • Counseling with the Expectant Parent(s) before the child is born, at the hospital during placement and post placement. . Counseling can include review of options, the grief process, and other issues that may be pertinent to the expectant parent’s specific situation.
  • Create a budget approved by expectant parent(s) and adopting parent(s) and facilitate payment of living and medical expenses.
  • Assisting expectant mother in locating prenatal care and insurance (if needed)
  • Gather expectant parent(s) past medical records and social history, as well as extended family medical history.
  • Complete drug & HIV screening of the Expectant Mother
  • Develop agreement for post-adoption openness and hospital birth plan
  • Coordinate with the hospital and handle discharge of the baby and birth mother
  • Develop legal paperwork and supervise signing by the adoptive family and biological parent(s)
  • Coordinate Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) approval for expectant parent(s), if applicable
  • Obtain Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) approval, when applicable
  • Provide documents required for finalization

JOH staff gathers information about the medical and mental health history of the expecting mother’s family. The accuracy of this information will vary depending upon the expecting mother’s knowledge of her family. There may be no information available about the father.

Families will need to send JOH their approved home study or have one completed by JOH-Oregon or JOH-Washington if the family resides in these states. Families also need to complete a portfolio that will be shown to expecting mothers considering families. JOH has good instructions for putting together a successful portfolio and will review the draft copy.  Suggestions may be made and changes should be made. Ten copies of the portfolio (five for each office) are necessary because they are not always received back from expecting parents. Families may be asked to replenish the supply, as necessary. Expecting mothers almost always choose the adopting family and start a relationship with them during the pregnancy.

Photo listings and Family Letters are posted to the website where expecting parents can view and get to know the adopting parents better.  This is a powerful family-building tool.

Why select the Identified Adoption Program?

This program is set up for families who would like to help lower adoption costs by privately locating a potential expectant parent(s), but still have the support services an adoption agency provides. Once the adoptive family has identified an expectant parent, they refer her to Journeys of the Heart to receive 20+  hours of comprehensive support, counseling and legal services. Adoptive families can choose to retain attain an attorney for pre-adoption support and legal advice, but it is not necessary. Journeys provides detailed and individualized care in support of the adoption. Adoptive families are also not directly participating in communication regarding financial assistance, which allows families to focus solely on the relationship with the expectant parent(s)s and strengthen the possibility of adoption?

Why use Journeys of the Heart?

Journeys of the Heart has nearly 20 years of experience with successful domestic placements and working with expectant parents and adoptive families. JOH staff is trained in adoption support and are fully versed in state law and procedures.  Program Coordinators strive to develop a trusting relationship with each expecting parent, which can help strengthen their adoption decision. Comprehensive counseling and advocacy are part of the services provided.  With Journeys’ vast experience in adoption, we can help guide the adoption both before and after placement, and help to nurture this important relationship.

Who is eligible for the Identified Adoption Program?

If adoptive parents reside in Oregon, Washington or Illinois, Journeys of the Heart can complete your home study and education requirements either while you are in the process of identifying your adoption match or after you have identified a match.  Journeys can also work with home study ready adopting parents.

If adoptive parent(s) reside outside of Oregon, Washington or Illinois and you have identified an expectant parent(s) or child in one of the 3 states we are licensed in, Journeys of the Heart can provide a full range of adoption related services to the adoptive parent(s) and expectant parent.

How to start?

Adopting parents who enroll in the program will fill out the application and complete the additional paperwork.  Following the submission of documents, JOH staff will contact the adoptive parent(s) regarding the next steps of the process.

Whats Next?

Learn about the Domestic Adoption Process and take the first step in starting your family!

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