The Adoption Screening Process:
Knowing the ins and outs of the adoption process will help assure you that your child is going to be in good, loving, and capable hands, and will also help you demystify the process in general so you feel fully informed about how parents are chosen.
Different aspects of adoption laws can vary from country to country, depending both on the child’s home country and the Adoptive Parents’ home country, especially if they are not already in the same nation. However, there are some general, universal adoption screening processes that ensure the quality and dedication of the Adoptive Parents:
1) They will be observed under the conditions of a home study, which include home visits.
This is the biggest and most important part of the process, because it enables the adoption professionals to examine how the family lives and evaluate whether they are suitable for adoption. This stage is also vital for properly matching a child to a fitting family, particularly if the child is a bit older.
This can take many different forms depending on the state agency conducting it. However, with very few exceptions, home visits are a vital part of this study. The state wants to make sure, ultimately, that the family’s home is comfortable and friendly to children. Such questions that are analyzed within the home are:
- Will the child have a suitable room?
- Will they be living in a safe, childproof environment that poses no risks to them?
- How will the child fit in culturally?
Either during these home visits or in a separate location, the couple is also interviewed several times, both separately and together. The interviews tend to cover topics about the couple’s relationship and about their motivations and preparedness to adopt. Many couples, which desire to adopt, are doing so because they may not be able to conceive or have biological children on their own, which may be investigated further during this stage.
Home visits are also an excellent way to determine the general readiness of the family on a physical and emotional level. It is easy for those experienced in this field to know whether a family really is ready for the intense commitment that a child brings, and the investigators will keep their eyes peeled for those signs.
These comprehensive home visits are a great discernment on whether a family is ready to accept a child into their lives, and they tend to “weed out” the families who are not ready to give the child the love and attention that he or she deserves.
Only the most suitable families are given the blessing and responsibilities of raising another’s child. Most couples that enter the adoption process genuinely desire to have a child be a part of their family and do not take this decision lightly. They are passionate parentstobe and will not weaken when the investigation becomes critical because they have prayed for a child for so long. Knowing this, Adoptive Parents have a special kind of love to offer their adoptive child, because that child is a miracle that never seemed possible until adoption.
2) They will undergo extensive background checks.
The home study agency will know about almost every aspect of the Adoptive Family. They will know the family’s marriage history, employment records, community involvement, income information, education, extended family trees, birth certificates, and even some information about the Adoptive Parents’ parents. The home study agency will collect and carefully examine all of this given information. No detail is spared. The Adoptive Parents must also undergo medical tests to ensure they are physically prepared to take care of a child, and to generally make sure that nothing will stand in the way of a happy, healthy relationship.
While these are not exactly “tests,” it still goes without saying that Adoptive Families must have references to extensively recommend them for adoption. This kind of screening usually ensures that Adoptive Families are not just ready for adoption, but are also active, compassionate members of their community with topnotch reputations. Typically, the family’s closest friends, coworkers, and church members will be interviewed in order to give a testimony of the family’s readiness.
3) They must attend many classes and trainings to prepare themselves for this responsibility.
The trainings cover a wide variety of topics, from the process itself to the actual howto’s of child rearing. They also receive training and advice on how to build a proper relationship and standard for communication with the Birth Parents. These workshops help build a foundation to help Adoptive Parents think about how they are going to raise the child so that he/she feels loved and supported all through development.
This entire process usually takes around six months to a year, and is not for those who don’t have the determination and the stamina to undergo it. The screening process is lengthy, and is personal to the brink of feeling invasive. Every aspect of the Adoptive Family’s lives is scrutinized, and their physical, mental, and emotional well- being must be at the top of its game in order for them to even be considered for adoption. This factsheet goes into even more detail about the general screening processes and what you should expect that families have done to be considered for adoption.
Every ANLC adoptive family is thoroughly evaluated in an adoption homestudy process done by the state they live in. This includes assessments of their marital stability, financial situation, lifestyle, and medical history. Then fingerprints will be taken to verify there is no record of criminal activity or child abuse. Their home will also be inspected by a social worker to ensure it is a safe environment for a child. ANLC also provides extensive education on adoption and parenting for all of our adoptive families. After all of these requirements are met, the family may go before the adoption judge and finally be declared a permanent family.