International Adoption Services

///International Adoption Services
International Adoption Services2018-06-29T16:36:19+00:00

International Adoption Services

The experienced adoption professionals at Catholic Charities provide extensive support and guidance through all phases of the adoption process.

Kidsave 2018! Join Us!

Each year, we partner with the child advocacy organization called Kidsave to help to bring Colombian children to the U.S. for five weeks in the summer. Click here to view a pdf. 

Contact Adoption Services at 667-600-2411 or
email families@cc.md-org.

 We are accredited by the Council on Accreditation

Catholic Charities employees, agents and international partners do not under any circumstances give money or other consideration directly or indirectly to a child’s parent(s) or other individual(s), or an entity, as payment for a child or as an inducement to release a child.

Learn About International Adoptions with Catholic Charities

  • Our thorough education and training for prospective parents helps you to prepare for adoptive parenthood.
  • Our ongoing support for adoptive parents throughout the process, offered by your social worker, until a child is placed in your family.
  • Our program matches you with one social worker throughout the process who provides you with personalized services.
  • Our knowledge and experience in providing ethical adoption services and supportive counseling to adoptive parents over many years.
  • Our excellent relationships with foreign adoption agencies and cooperating U.S. agencies.
  • Our valuable resources for medical and developmental pre-placement child referral assessments.
  • Our commitment to the lifelong needs of those touched by adoption through ongoing post adoption services for adoptive parents, adoptive families and adopted persons.

1) Application

Download an application:

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.

2) Home Study (Family Assessment and Education)

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 an 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.

3) 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. 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.

4) 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.

5) 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, information about area 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 birth parents.

Q. Why should we choose Catholic Charities?

A. Our experience, excellence and reputation! Catholic Charities has a staff of caring professionals, including some who are adoptive parents, with over 100 combined years of adoption experience. We have placed approximately 3,900 children born in the U.S. since our services began in 1943, and since 1979, we have placed 3,300 children born in other countries. We were one of the first agencies to receive Hague Accreditation in 2008. Hague Accreditation attests that Catholic Charities is in compliance with the Hague Convention, an international treaty created to ensure that inter-country adoptions are in the best interests of children. We are well known for our excellent adoptive parent preparation and our ongoing support throughout the process.


Q. Who are the children?
A. Catholic Charities provides international adoption placement services for toddlers, older children and biological sibling groups. These children include healthy children and those with special needs who are identified by cooperating agencies overseas. The children are primarily from the Philippines, China, Colombia and Nigeria who have become legally free for adoption because their birth parents are unable to care for them. In most cases, childless applicants may not specify the gender of their prospective adopted child. The exception is China, where it is possible to request the placement of a girl.


Q. Do you offer financial assistance?

A. Catholic Charities has partnered with Your Adoption Finance Coach to assist adoptive parents with creating a customized financial plan to make their adoption dreams come true. This service is available to adoptive parents who have an approved home study through Catholic Charities of Baltimore. For more information about this service, contact us today.


Q. How long does it take to adopt?

A. Placements are currently made within two to three years from the completion of the home study, depending on the country.


Q. Do we have to be Catholic?

A. Catholic Charities has no religious requirements; however, some international sources do have religious requirements.


Q. Do I have to be married?

A. There are some international programs that accept single applicants. We usually require that couples be married for a minimum of two years at the time of the application, although some countries have more restrictive requirements. Other countries may have more flexibility in their marriage requirements, and if you have been married for less than two years, we will consider your application on a case-by-case basis.


Q. What are the age requirements?

A. Catholic Charities’ minimum age for adoptive parents is 25. For international adoption, the agency prefers that clients be under 55 years old for most children. International sources may have more restrictive requirements and older parents might only be considered for an older child.


Q. Can we pursue infertility treatment as well as adoption?

A. We know that many families begin to learn about adoption while still involved in infertility treatment; however, we believe that applicants need to discontinue infertility treatment before proceeding with the adoption process. Our goal is to ensure total commitment to adoption and full acceptance of the adopted child. The emotional strain of infertility treatments may interfere with the applicants’ ability to commit to the adoption process.


Q. Can we adopt if we have had a serious illness or mental health concern?

A. Applicants must be in good physical and mental health with normal life expectancies. Catholic Charities requires additional documentation for applicants with significant medical conditions, psychiatric treatment, individual and/or marital counseling, past or present. If drug/alcohol or other addictions/dependencies have been a problem, at least three consecutive years of recovery must be demonstrated in addition to participation in either a specialized addictions treatment program and/or a Twelve Step program. Depending on the circumstances, Catholic Charities may also request an additional evaluation by appropriate specialists. The information provided from these sources will assist the agency in making a complete assessment. Some countries are more restrictive in their medical requirements for adoptive parents.


Q. Can I adopt if I have a previous arrest?

A. Some criminal histories will prevent applicants from adopting. These include serious crimes such as murder, first-or second-degree assault, kidnapping and crimes against children. Other offenses will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and our decision will take into consideration when the offense occurred, mitigating circumstances and current functioning. All offenses, including arrests that were not prosecuted, juvenile records and expunged records, must be disclosed, even if they have been expunged.


Q. Can we pursue more than one type of adoption at a time?

A. Upon beginning the adoption process with Catholic Charities, clients are required to work exclusively with our agency and to withdraw their applications from other adoption agencies. Through the international adoption services, clients usually work with only one international source at a time. The home study in all adoptions is prepared for the specific type of adoption and is country specific in content; however, approved parents may decide to move between agency programs after a period of time or under certain circumstances.


Q. How much parental leave is expected after placement?

A. Our policy on parental leave has evolved through the years of witnessing the successful bonding and attachment in families when parents invest extended time and attention to the needs of their newly adopted child. Therefore, if you are adopting a child who is not yet school-aged (5 years and under), we require that one parent take at least a three-month maternity/paternity leave following placement. This may be shared by both parents in monthly or six-week increments and includes travel time when required. Families who are adopting school-aged children (6 and over) should plan on at least one-month leave to help your child adjust before enrolling in school. Your individual parental leave plan will be discussed with your social worker.


Q. Special Issues

A. Discipline and Corporal Punishment: Catholic Charities adheres to the policy on physical punishment mandated by the Maryland Department of Human Services, the agency which licenses private child placing agencies. DHS has articulated a clear policy against the use of corporal punishment of foster and adopted children (available on request). Please be aware that as adoptive parents, you must make a sincere and genuine commitment to developing a disciplinary policy that does not involve corporal punishment.

Catholic Charities (C.C.) is a private, non-profit, Maryland-licensed child placement agency serving applicants of all faiths. Our adoption program is entirely financed through adoption fees and donations, without any private or public subsidy. Services cannot be provided unless all fees are paid at the times indicated below.

The adoption service fees paid to Catholic Charities are determined by the program selected. All families pay for the Pre-Adoption Assessment/Education (Home Study) and Post-Placement Services. Applicants adopting from Columbia, Nigeria and the Philippines pay a Placement Fee. Applicants adopting from China and all other countries will work with another agency for placement services. In those cases, placement fees will be paid directly to the other agency.

These are current fees and are subject to change during the process. The current placement/program fees may not be in effect at the time that an assignment is made by the overseas child placement agency.

Catholic Charities also works cooperatively with other adoption agencies that place children from a variety of countries. For more information about any of these agencies, please call our office. We also work with families who have located their own legitimate source in any country that permits international adoption. Please be aware that every international adoption must have a U.S. adoption agency who is willing to act as the “Primary Provider” in the case. This means that the Primary Provider and the foreign country’s Central Adoption Authority must develop a Memorandum of Agreement, outlining each agency’s responsibilities in the case. Catholic Charities can develop these Memorandums of Agreement on a case-by-case basis.

FOREIGN COUNTRY COSTS – NON-CATHOLIC CHARITIES SOURCES

It is the responsibility of the adoptive applicants to verify the amounts they will be charged by the networking agencies as we do not continually update these fees. These fees are subject to change during the process.

China – Holt International Children’s Services: (541) 687-2202 | www.holtintl.org

Madison Adoption Associates: 302-475-8977

Catholic Charities has partnered with Your Adoption Finance Coach to assist adoptive parents with creating a customized financial plan to make their adoption dreams come true. This service is available to adoptive parents who have an approved home study through Catholic Charities of Baltimore. For more information about this service, contact us today.

In collaboration with Kidsave, a child advocacy organization, Catholic Charities brings Colombian children to the United States each July and August for a “Summer Hosting Program.” The program brings Colombian children, ages 10-14, who are growing up in orphanages and foster families, to communities across the U.S. to stay with host families for a 5-week summer visit. During their stay, the children experience life in a family, attend summer camp and meet prospective adoptive families. Some host families may decide to adopt the children they host. All host families advocate to help the children find an adoptive family.

Host families can live anywhere in the United States. To learn more about hosting this summer, attend a free orientation webinar. View all upcoming webinar dates on Kidsave’s website here: http://www.kidsave.org/summer-miracles-events/

Questions? Contact Bevin Kloepper at bevink@kidsave.org or 310-642-7283.

Procedure Statement: Procedure for non-employee grievances at Center for Family Services

Rationale:   As part of Center for Family Services commitment to fair and equitable treatment of the children, families and referral agencies we serve and our dedication to consumer feedback as a quality improvement tool, a formal process for grievances is employed.

Procedure:

1.              Clients and treatment team members (including children, birth parents, legal guardians, adoptive parents, adopted persons and referral agencies) are to receive and review the grievance procedure during their initial orientation to the agency.

2.              A child, child’s parent or guardian, referring agency representative, adoptive parents, adopted persons, visitor or any other person connected with Center for Family Services is encouraged to share a concern, complaint or grievance at any time.

3.              Any prospective Adoptive Parent, Adoptive Parent or birthparent who wishes to lodge a complaint about any of the services or activities of the agency (including CC’s use of Supervised Providers), especially those complaints that he or she believes raise an issue of compliance with the Hague Convention on International Adoption, the Intercountry Adoption Act, or the regulations implementing the IAA, is encouraged to do so. Complaints may be lodged with any CFS adoption staff member.

4.              Treatment Foster Parents who wish to appeal a decision regarding the placement or movement of a child can request an Administrative Hearing as outlined in COMAR 07.01.04. The Center for Family Services will help facilitate this hearing. See also COMAR 07.01.04 (attached)

5.              A concern, complaint or grievance may be expressed to any staff member at Center for Family Services.

6.              A staff member is required to share with his or her supervisor any concern, complaint or grievance that is brought to his or her attention within 24 hours.  If necessary and the issue is unresolved, the supervisor will then assign authority for the investigation and corrective action plan. Any staff member against whom a grievance has been made is prohibited from having authority over the investigation.

7.              The staff member responsible for the investigation must document the grievance (if not already documented) and any action taken. The complainant will receive a formal notice of receipt of the grievance within 72 hours of filing with a copy of this Grievance Procedure.

8.              The staff member who receives the authority for investigating the grievance is responsible for sending the initial correspondence and will take corrective action when necessary.  The investigation will be completed within 30 days.

9.              Any CFS employee who is the focus of a grievance will be informed of the grievance against him or her and will be interviewed as part of any investigation.

10.           All allegations of mistreatment of a child must be investigated immediately.  (refer to Catholic Charities/DHR Reporting policies).

11.           Any client or team member who introduces a grievance will receive a letter of response from the investigating staff member or supervisor as soon as the investigation is complete.

12.           Any decision regarding the grievance may be appealed to the Appeals Committee (a Sub-Committee of Quality Council), with assistance from staff as needed.  The appeal must be submitted to the Appeals Committee within 5 business days of receipt of the decision. The Appeals Committee will hear the appeal within 30 days of receipt of the appeal.  The Appeals Committee will be responsible for informing involved parties within 24 hours of the committee’s decision and following through with any corrective action resultant to the appeal.

The decision made by the Appeals Committee is the final process of the CFS Grievance Procedure. However, in Hague Convention Adoptions, Prospective Adoptive Parents, Adoptive Parents and birth parents may also lodge separate complaints with Department of State. To file an online complaint, go to: https://adoptionusca.state.gov/HCRWeb/ComplaintForm.aspx.  In emergencies, please contact the U.S Central Authority for the Hague Convention in the Department of State Call Center toll-free at (888) 407-4747.  Call Center hours are from 8 a.m. to 8  p.m. EST. If you need assistance after hours, an automated message will direct you to an emergency duty officer for assistance.

13.           The completed grievance form and any appeal findings will be sent to the Risk Manager, Supervisor and the individual(s) who is the focus of the grievance (if applicable).

14.           The Risk Management Committee, as part of Center for Family Services CQI process, will track and review grievances quarterly. All grievance forms will be stored in a Grievance Log maintained by the Risk Manager. The Risk Manager can be reached at 410-252-4700.

15.           Corrective action resultant to identified trends in the Grievance Log will be pursued or delegated for improvement by the Risk Management Committee and Quality Council.

I/We have read the Grievance Procedure and understand my/our rights and responsibilities as it pertains to this process:

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Catholic Charities employees, agents and international partners do not under any circumstances give money or other consideration directly or indirectly to a child’s parent(s) or other individual(s), or an entity, as payment for a child or as an inducement to release a child.

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