The first step in any adoption is attending an Adoption Orientation. Our orientations are designed to give you a broad overview of the adoption process. We will give a two hour presentation, provide you materials to read over, and will answer any questions you may have about foster care adoption.
If you wish to be assessed for adoption after attending orientation, and if you meet our agency’s statement of need, you will then be provided an adoption assessment packet to complete at your own pace. You will also have an assigned Recruitment Family Specialist to answer all of your questions as you begin the assessment process. Once you have completed and submitted the adoption assessment packet, then you will begin meeting with an adoption worker for home visits, clarification regarding your paperwork, and to set up clearances.
Who Can’t Adopt?
There are certain factors that may preclude you from adopting a child. The assessment process is very comprehensive and is designed to help us ensure that we don’t have any concerns about a child’s physical safety and or mental well-being in your home.
The Family Assessment process usually takes 120 days to complete, depending on factors such as worker caseload and family cooperation. Assessments are prioritized based on the types of children waiting and the characteristics of families who have applied. The process consists of a number of meetings at the home as well as personal interviews. What you see below is just a list of the basic information that is required of all applicants. Please note that additional information may be required based on your home, family composition, health status etc. We will ask you for information in the following areas:
A complete history and evaluation of your current family life and past experiences — and how they will affect your capacity to parent an adoptive child.
All household members will need to provide a medical history and a recent physical (within one year).
Why So Much Information?
By state law, families must be approved through the Family Assessment process before a child can be placed in their homes for adoption. During the assessment, your social worker will talk with you about your motivations and expectations for adoption. It also gives the adoption worker a chance to get to know your family and inspect your home for safety.
If this seems intrusive and/or overwhelming, we completely understand. The reason we are so thorough is to ensure that foster children who have previously experienced abuse and/or neglect experience safety in their forever homes. Keep in mind that we really want to approve safe families and will help you through this intensive process from start to finish.