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- Domestic Adoption
- International Adoption
- FAQ’s General
- FAQ’s International Adoption
- Famous Adoptees
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Adoption and Depression
This blog post was written by Helaine Sanders, along with Adoption STAR. Since I have a depressive illness, doctors made sure I understood that if I chose to give birth to a baby, I would be a candidate for postpartum depression (PPD).
Getting Started With International Adoption: 12 Steps
The following is a generalized overview of how to start the international adoption process with Adoption STAR for our primary provider program. If you have any questions at any time during the process, please do not hesitate to contact the agency directly.
Step 1 ~ Selecting the Country You Wish To Adopt From
Step 1 and 2 can be interchangeable. Sometimes an adoptive family falls in love with a country and just knows they wish to adopt form that country. In that case, they research which adoption agencies have an international placement program within that country. Be sure to check the requirements that country has for their adoptive parents as some countries are stricter than others and have age, marriage length and other qualifications. Sometimes an adoptive family selects a primary provider agency first because they are comfortable that the agency can provide them with the support necessary to pursue an international adoption. If you choose your agency first, be sure that they have country programs that you qualify for. We hope Adoption STAR is one of the stops you make along your journey.
Step 2 ~ Contacting Adoption STAR for a Primary Provider International Application
You may obtain an international application and informational packet by calling us, by emailing us or by completing the registration request form on our website. If you call the agency, you will immediately speak to a friendly, helpful and knowledgeable staff person who can answer any questions you may have.
Step 3 ~ Completing the International Application
It is helpful to know what country you would like to adopt from at this point as each country program has their own set of paperwork. You may feel overwhelmed once you open the application packet as it is lengthy and takes a bit of time to review. There is also a fee agreement to read and of course additional literature on Adoption STAR and our services and programs. Adoption STAR staff is available to answer any questions you may have while you review and fill out the application. After you have completed the application, you just drop it in the mail to us.
Step 4 ~ Welcome to Adoption STAR
Once we receive your registration packet, we will review it to make sure all sections are complete. If all is in place, you have become a client of Adoption STAR. Welcome! If it is geographically feasible for you to attend a personal consultation meeting with one of our family advocates, we will schedule that for you. If you are unable to meet, then a telephone appointment will be scheduled. If you reside in NY, FL or OH, you will receive the important adoptive parenthood pre-parenthood educational manual, and your home study packet. If you reside in another state you will receive a second part to your application that will guide you to the steps for obtaining a home study in your state. Whether you are working on your home study materials for Adoption STAR or forms for out of state clients, all paperwork will be returned to Adoption STAR as we build your client file.
Step 5 ~ The Home Study
NY, FL and OH residents:
If you reside in a state in which Adoption STAR is authorized/licensed, Adoption STAR will complete your home study for you. There is no separate application for the home study. Upon receipt of the home study fee, you will be supplied a home study packet that provides comprehensive instructions and documents as per the state you reside so the home study will comply with the regulations necessary to complete an adoption home study. Once all the home study paperwork is received, you will be contacted by a social worker that will meet you at your convenience for the home study visits. Adoption STAR believes a home study should involve an educational approach and we work hard to provide a welcoming and non-threatening home study process.
Residents in other states:
If you do not reside in one of the states that Adoption STAR is authorized/licensed, you will be required to obtain a home study by a licensed adoption agency in your state. Feel free to ask Adoption STAR for referrals. Adoption STAR will provide guidelines to your home study agency and also send your agency a International Adoption Supervised Provider Agreement. Adoption STAR does not charge a fee for reviewing the other agency’s home study. Though you are not experiencing a home study with Adoption STAR, we will still provide you with helpful information about obtaining pre-parenthood adoption education.
Step 6 ~ The Educational Requirements
As a Hague Accredited Agency, Adoption STAR values pre-adoption education and exceeds the recommendations necessary to adopt internationally. Adoption education and preparation specifically to adopt internationally is imperative. Whether you reside near Adoption STAR or not, we will assist you in obtaining your educational credits. The process is not tedious but actually filled with incredible educational opportunities provided to you in a number of creative ways. We hope you embrace the learning process.
Step 7 ~ The Dossier
When one plans to adopt internationally there is much paperwork to generate in order to be approved from US Immigration. Adoption STAR will provide you with a dossier template and checklist for the country you are planning to adopt from. In addition, Adoption STAR will review your dossier before sending it out to be sure that all the required documents and pertinent seals are in place.
Step 8 ~ Ready and Waiting
Once your home study is completed and approved and your dossier has been submitted and accepted, you are now considered ready to learn about an available child or children. Of course each country has its own requirements and time frames. For some this may be immediate and for others a child referral may take months to years.
By being ready and waiting have reached a milestone as you have learned so much and now are at a new and exciting stage in your adoption journey.
The Agency appreciates that both the decision to adopt and the process of adoption can be difficult for many individuals and families. The adoption process is very often filled with moments of hope, as well as moments of disappointment. Applicants who view the process as discouraging or have an overall negative view of the process are more likely to feel unhappy and unsuccessful in the program. Planning for the possibility that plans will change is a key element to keeping calm and stress free while going through the adoption process. Applicants who remain optimistic and view the adoption process as a journey filled with learning experiences are more apt to feeling happy and successful in the program.
The healthiest way to be “ready and waiting” is to continue your adoption education as adoption is life-long and does not end with the placement of a child. There is so much to learn about adoption and parenting, so embrace this time.
Step 9 ~ Child Referral
When you learn of a child referral, you will receive information on the child, his or her development and medical situation. Depending upon the country, you may receive photos of the child. You will be provided with a time period in which you decide to accept or decline the referral.
Step 10 ~ Travel To Your Child’s Country of Origin
Most countries require that you travel to meet the child. You may be required to travel just once or twice. Depending upon the country, you will be provided with expectations as to travel time, time in the country and what to bring with you. Adoption STAR works closely with their foreign service providers so their families will have a great deal of hand-holding and support during their time abroad. In most countries you finalize the adoption there, and may chose to re-finalize upon returning to the United States.
Step 11 ~ Post Placement Period
After you return home with your child, your home study social worker will contact you to arrange the required visits known as post placement supervision visits. The number of visits will be based on the country’s requirements, as well as the requirements of your home state, which ever is greater. The post placement period is an important time to share your family’s milestones as well as challenges. Click here to view the Post Placement Questionnaire for International Adoption to see the important areas that will be covered during the post placement period.
Step 12 ~ Post Adoption Support
Post placement is the period of time after placement but before adoption finalization. Post adoption refers to any time after the finalization of adoption occurs. Post adoption support is crucial to the healthy and stability of the adoptive family. Adoption STAR provides post adoption support via support groups, online groups, counseling, post adoption educational workshops, and by providing additional resources and referrals.