At Adoption STAR Every prospective adoptive parent must complete at least 40 educational credits prior to child placement. Credits do not necessarily equal hours spent on an activity. For the exception of the home study educational classes, couples are not required to complete the same activities. Couples may attend or complete the same or different optional activities, as long as each person ends up with at least 40 credits. The credit system is an honor system. The Agency asks that clients take it seriously as it was created to prepare you for adoptive parenthood and to assure that the best interest of all children are being served.
How will I obtain the other credits necessary?
ADDITIONAL LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES = 4 CREDITS EACH
You are encouraged and welcome to attend any of the workshops or training activities conducted by Adoption STAR. You will find these listed on the Adoption STAR website calendar.
AGENCY ASSISTED PRIVATE TRACK TRAINING = 5 CREDITS
For those interested in pursuing a domestic adoption, this private consultation with an experienced adoptive parent coach and mentor provides a comprehensive training to be incredibly prepared for increasing one’s opportunities to adopt domestically.
FREE ONLINE WORKSHOPS = 1 to 2 CREDITS EACH
Adoption Learning Partners provides 3 online adoption courses:
1. Becoming Your Child’s Best Advocate: Help for Adoptive Parents = 2 credits
2. Adoption Tax Credit = 1 credit
3. Maintaining Connections = 1 credit
FEE BASED ONLINE WORKSHOPS = 2 to 6 CREDITS EACH
Adoption Learning Partners provides several excellent online adoption courses for reasonable fees. This is an excellent resource for those considering an International Adoption:
1. With Eyes Wide Open = 6 credits
2. Medical Issues in International Adoption = 4 credits
3. The Journey of Attachment = 2 credits
4. Conspicuous Families = 2 credits
5. Adopting the Older Child = 2 credits
6. Lifebooks = 1.5 credits
Adoption STAR Podcasts are also a valuable free resource.
Examples of Adoption STAR Podcasts include:
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
- Adoption Tax Credit
- Adoption and Social Media
ADOPTION VIDEO = 2 CREDITS
- I Have Roots and Branches, Personal Reflections on Adoption
- Off and Running
- Live and Become
- First Person Plural
- In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee
- Somewhere Between
- China’s Lost Girls
- Wo Ai Ni Mommy
- Bulgaria’s Abandoned Children
INFANT/CHILD CPR = 3 CREDITS
A suggested list of CPR educational sites throughout NYS will be provided upon request.
INFANT CARE CLASS = 5 CREDITS
A special class geared just for adoptive parents to be and those who recently adopted.
ADOPTIVE FAMILY SUPPORT GROUP = 4 CREDITS
Join SOFIA (it’s free!) and attend at least one SOFIA event.
ADOPTIVE PARENT MENTOR = 2 CREDITS
Meet and talk extensively with an experienced adoptive family that has already adopted from your child’s country and/or adopted a child like the one you hope to adopt. Upon your request, the agency can provide names of adoptive parents who have volunteered to be on a mentor list.
ADOPTIVE PARENT ONLINE SUPPORT = 1 CREDIT
Once your home study is approved, join, share and learn from the Adoption STAR Yahoo Group.
IDENTIFYING LOCAL PARENTING RESOURCES = 1 CREDIT EACH
Identifying the following individuals/services will help you get a healthier start on your adoption journey:
1. Pediatrician – Identify a pediatrician who is adoption friendly. If you are contemplating an International Adoption, work hard to identify a pediatrician who has experience with International Adoption. Make sure this pediatrician is accepting new patients, willing to speak to you if you have questions about a referral and be available to see your child shortly after placement.
2. Early Intervention – Whether or not you are hoping to adopt a child with special needs, becoming a parent entails being prepared for potential special needs. Find out how to access Early Intervention services in your county for a child under 3 who may be at-risk for or have special needs or developmental delays. If you specifically are seeking to adopt a child over 3 years old, check with your school district about how to get your child tested for the possibility of delays in development and/or learning issues, and also what kinds of programs are available for children who have general speech delays or for internationally adopted children do not speak English.
3. Child Care – If you will be using child care or day care, locate appropriate services, visit them to see if these meet your needs and your child’s; find out if there are waiting lists or other requirements, and how to sign up to reserve a space for these services after (or right before) your child arrives home.
ADOPTION BOOKS = 1.5 CREDITS EACH (READ AS MUCH AS YOU DESIRE, HOWEVER FOR CREDIT, MAXIMUM COUNT ALLOWABLE = 6 CREDITS)
Amazon or Tapestry Books are good resources to find adoption related books for professionals, adoptive parents, birth parents and adoptees of all ages.
Suggested Adult Books on Adoption:
- Raising Adopted Children, by Lois Melina
- Adoption is a Family Affair! By Patricia Irwin Johnston
- The Post-Adoption Blues by Karen J. Foli, Ph.D. and John R. Thompson, MD
- Attaching in Adoption, by Deborah Gray
- Parents, Real Children, by Holly van Gulden and Lisa M. Bartels-Rabb
- Adoption Parenting, by Jean McLeod and Sheena Macrae
- The Primal Wound, by Nancy Verrier
- Cross-Cultural Adoption, by Amy Couglin and Caryn Abramowitz
- Toddler Adoption, by Mary Hopkins-Best
- Beyond Good Intentions, by Cheri Register
- The Complete Book of International Adoption, by Dawn Davenport
Suggested Children’s Books:
- How I Was Adopted, by Joanna Cole
- One Wonderful You, by Francie Portnoy
- The Red Blanket, by Eliza Thomas
- Horace, by Holly Keller
- This Is How We Became a Family by Wayne Willis
- Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies, by Ann Turner
- We See the Moon, by Carrie Kitze
- Kids Like Me in China, by Ying Ying Fry
- I Love You Like Crazy Cakes, by Rose Lewis
- Max and the Adoption Day Party, by Adria Klein and Mernie Gallagher-Cole
- Three Names of Me, by Mary Cummings
- A New Barker in the House, by Tomie dePaola
- Seeds of Love, by Amy Ebejer Petertyl and Jill Chambers
CULTURAL ACTIVITIES = 2 CREDITS EACH ACTIVITY
If you are adopting internationally at least 6 of your credits should be related to exploring the culture of your child’s country (language, region, and heritage.
Here are some ways you might explore your child’s heritage:
- Watch a videotape about the country, history, and culture
- Read a book or take an online course on the country and culture
- Study a language tape or take language lessons or a language course
- Attend a service of the primary religion of that country (if it is different from your religion) and talk with the members of that group
- Attend a cultural event in your community
- Create a cultural continuity plan
If you are planning on a transracial domestic adoption, here are some links to get you started on identifying what cultural activities you may wish to explore:
- Black Hair and Skin Care
- Family Involvement in Early Multicultural Learning are
- Activities that Promote Racial and Cultural Awareness
- African-American Heritage in Buffalo & Erie County
- African American Cultural Center, Buffalo, NY
Annually many adoption conferences are held throughout the U.S. Here are just a few popular ones:
If you identify additional learning opportunities such as adoption or parenting conferences, workshops, seminars, etc., they may be able to count toward your required credits. Each class of 2 hours or more could possibly equal 2 credits. Please speak to your Family Advocate to receive permission to count your additional activities toward your required credits, or for further educational ideas.
Read More on What is Happening at Adoption STAR: Our Calendar of Events for 2013