Next Steps - International Adoption
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After we receive your application, the staff will review it, and if necessary, will explore any significant background issues (prior arrests, physical or mental health issues, abuse/neglect, addictions). You will then be matched with your social worker, who will guide you through your adoption journey. She will send you an outline to help you write an autobiography. After you send in your autobiography, your social worker will contact you to schedule a preliminary interview. The preliminary interview begins the Family Assessment (home study) process.
Family Assessment and Education (Home Study)
Catholic Charities has the responsibility of assessing prospective parents’ suitability for adoption, and for preparing them to be the best adoptive parents possible. Our assessment and education process includes individual and couple interviews in our office and a home visit. These meetings help your social worker get to know you well and help you to develop a personalized adoption plan. In addition you will attend two adoption education classes, where you will meet other prospective adoptive families and will learn about the unique issues and challenges of being an adoptive family.
Services After the Home Study and Before Placement
We have found that the waiting period before your child’s placement can be one of the most difficult times for you. Catholic Charities offers continuing opportunities for support, education, and contact with other waiting families and our staff. We offer and Infant and Toddler Care course for adoptive parents, we provide a monthly support group, and ongoing individual support from our staff.
When you receive a possible referral of a child, we can provide referrals to medical and developmental professionals to help you interpret and evaluate the information.
Post Placement Services
Following the placement of your child, we will provide post-placement services to help you and your child adjust to each other. Many countries require that your placement agency send reports for several years after placement. Your post placement period will vary depending on the country from which you are adopting. Your social worker will meet with you in your home and in our office during this time. We will also assist you to finalize (or re-finalize) your child’s adoption in court, and to apply for your child’s U.S. citizenship, if necessary.
Services After Adoption Finalization (Post Adoption Services)
Your adoption journey does not end with finalization in court. At Catholic Charities, we believe that adoption is a lifelong journey, and we are committed to providing ongoing post-adoption services for all members of the adoption circle at all stages of your family’s life.
These post-adoption services include annual social and cultural events for adoptive families, workshops for adoptive parents and children on the unique aspects of adoption, brief counseling and consultation services for adoptive parents, communication with some countries regarding contact with your child’s birth family, and search and reunion services for former domestic adoptees and their birthparents.