Adoptive Families Blog

Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.

Mardie Caldwell is the Founder of Lifetime and Certified Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P). Since 1986, Mardie Caldwell has been dedicated to bringing couples and birth parents together in order to fulfill their dreams.

As a pioneer in open adoption, Caldwell is seen as an adoption expert, having made hundreds of media appearances and writing seven books on the subject. Lifetime clients benefit directly from her expertise with a program and services that are cutting edge, as well as hearing directly from her in webinars and other educational opportunities.

Mardie has graciously provided her knowledge, experience, and caring heart to media requests from across the country and around the world. Many people were first introduced to Mardie through one of her appearances in the media as one of the most experienced adoption experts in the United States.

Mardie has more than 150 media credits to her name, including: Larry King Live, The Ricki Lake Show, Marie Osmond’s show “Marie”, ABC News, NBC’s The Today Show, CNN Headline News, CNN’s The Campbell Brown Show, CBS News, NBC News, KGO Newstalk Radio, CNN’s Black in America II, MSNBC, Fox, PBS, BBC, Dr. Laura, and is widely sought for print articles and speaking engagements. Learn more at MardieCaldwell.com.

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Recent Posts

Infant Adoption During Times of Uncertainty

Posted by Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P. on March 16, 2020

Is now a good time to adopt?

Does the worldwide Coronavirus affect adoption plans?

Should we consider adoption in this economic climate?

Are you asking yourselves any of these questions? If so, the short answer is – Yes, now is the best time to start your adoption plan. The world may seem upside down, and the uncertain economic times caused by stock market fluctuations and the effect of COVID-19 on our economic stability are concerning. We, at Lifetime, understand the anxiety both adoptive parents and birth parents are experiencing. This is a time in the adoption world, however, where the number of adoptive parents decreases and the number of pregnant women looking for adoptive parents for their babies increases.

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Topics: Infant adoption, Domestic Adoption, Economy, domestic infant adoption, COVID-19 and infant adoption

How to Adopt a Baby in the U.S.

Posted by Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P. on March 10, 2020

When you look at the stories of American families, you'll find they are all different. Amazing families across the country often begin with an adoption journey.

If you are a hopeful parent waiting to adopt a baby in the U.S., you probably have a lot of questions. Some of the most common questions involve how the adoption process works. This brief guide will walk you through the steps involved in a domestic adoption journey.

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Topics: adopt a baby

The 6 Most Important Questions to Ask Adoption Agencies

Posted by Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P. on February 18, 2020

The adoption professional or adoption agency you hire will impact your entire adoption experience. For anybody considering adoption, it is important to understand as much as possible before you adopt a baby. With hundreds of adoption professionals available, asking the right questions can help you designate a clear path for forward movement in the process.

You will find that many questions provide you with the assistance you need to understand the process as well as to choose an adoption agency. Whether you want to adopt a baby or a child, these questions will prove helpful.

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Topics: questions to ask adoption agencies

What You Should Know About the Adoption Tax Credit

Posted by Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P. on February 5, 2020

The Federal Adoption Tax Credit is an important financing resource for most adoptive parents. Whether you're just starting to look into adoption, are waiting to adopt, or have recently adopted, it's smart to learn about the Adoption Tax Credit. That way, after your adoption is finalized, you'll be able to make the most of the tax credit!

The United States tax code allows for an adoption tax credit up to $14,080 per adopted child per 2019 guidelines. We understand that taxes can be confusing. Even though we're not tax professionals here at Lifetime, we wanted to share some helpful tips to get you started when you file as a new adoptive parent. Here's what you need to know about the adoption tax credit.

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Topics: Adoption tax credit

Am I Too Old to Adopt?

Posted by Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P. on January 8, 2020

Midlife is a time when many people reflect on the lives they have built for themselves and plan for the next leg of their journey. Perhaps you have embraced family life, and your children are now grown, or maybe you've focused on your career and your relationships. You, your partner, and your friends are established in your careers, and retirement is within sight. Your friends lament about being empty nesters soon, but they are excited to relax, engage in hobbies, and travel as they look ahead.

However, this vision for your future does not feel right. You still have energy and love to share with children. Whether you are a parent already, or you desire to experience parenthood for the first time, you may question if adoption is still a possibility. Prospective adoptive parents in their 40s may wonder, "Am I too old to adopt?"   

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Topics: older parent adoption, am I too old to adopt?

What Happens When Adoptive Parents Change Their Minds?

Posted by Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P. on January 2, 2020

Fernando and Angela Martin had struggled with infertility since they first decided to grow their family. They came to our adoption center two years ago to explore their options, but they were not quite ready to pursue adoption. Now, several failed infertility treatments and over $50,000 later, they were ready.  

It only took a few months to locate a birth mother for Fernando and Angela. The eager-to-be adoptive parents met their potential birth mother, Janette, and they really hit it off. Janette thought Fernando and Angela were perfect, and she chose them to become parents to her unborn baby. Shortly after, this adoption took a difficult turn.  

Adopting after infertility invites even more emotional intensity into the already complex adoption process. I saw this when Angela walked into my office one afternoon, anxious and unsure. She said she needed to talk.  

“Janette’s a great person,” she said. “Very positive and outgoing.”

“I knew you’d like each other,”  I replied.

“Yes,” she hesitated. “But we’re declining her offer.”

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Topics: infertility to adoption,, adoption match, adoption disruption

In the Adoption Wait? 7 Practical Tips to Get You Through the Holidays

Posted by Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P. on December 19, 2019

The holidays are a time for celebration, spending time with loved ones, and making happy memories. But waiting adoptive parents might have a different experience. They may feel like they are missing something during the holidays, and it can be hard to explain to others exactly what it is. No matter when you are waiting to adopt a child, you can face ups and downs, but the holidays can make waiting feel even more difficult. I'd like to share 7 practical tips to help you deal with the stress of your adoption wait during the holidays!

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Topics: Holidays, Waiting to Adopt, adoption wait, Christmas, how to handle the adoption wait

How to Honor Your Open Adoption Agreement

Posted by Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P. on November 27, 2019

Finally, the day you've been waiting for has arrived: it's time to bring home your newly adopted baby!

The days of searching and waiting are over, and it's time to begin a new season of life as a parent. Your entire family wants to meet this little one, and this is such a joyous occasion.

It's a very normal reaction to want to focus solely on bonding with your new child. Many families say they'd like to forget the adoption process: the paperwork, the interviews, the rejection, and the long wait. They desire to move on as a typical family. These are understandable feelings for adoptive parents. 

But, amid all your joy, you need to remember and respect the open adoption contact agreement you made with the birth mother. Honoring this agreement benefits the entire adoption triad (you, your child, and the birth family) in these ways:

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Topics: Open Adoption, open adoption visits, relationship with birth mother, open adoption questions, open adoption agreement, open adoption contact agreement

What to Expect at the Hospital When Your Adopted Baby is Born

Posted by Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P. on November 14, 2019

After a long journey of deciding to adopt, completing paperwork, waiting for an adoption opportunity, and getting to know the birth mother, the big day is finally here – it’s time to meet your baby!

The trip to the hospital is the often most anticipated event in an adoptive family's journey. To help you prepare, we've put together this quick guide on your adoption hospital experience. We also answer some of the most common questions that adoptive parents have and share an exclusive adoption webinar about what to expect when your baby arrives!

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Topics: Infant adoption, Newborn Adoption, hospital preferences, hospital bag, adoption experience in the hospital, adoption hospital plan

Celebrating National Adoption Month With a Glimpse Back in Time

Posted by Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P. on November 6, 2019

Happy National Adoption Month! Here at Lifetime Adoption, we celebrate adoption year-round. But November holds a special place in our hearts. This month is recognized across the U.S. as National Adoption Month, and it's the perfect opportunity to share the beauty of adoption.

Today, I'd like to share about how adoptions in the U.S. have changed over the years. Join me as I reveal a peek into the past of how adoption has evolved from a secretive practice to a nationally recognized and celebrated event!

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Topics: Open Adoption, Infant adoption, closed adoption, National Adoption Awareness Month, history of adoption