Choosing an Adoption Agency to Ensure Adoptive Families are Screened
Naturally, birthmothers want to ensure that the family they choose is ready to adopt their child. A mother’s instinct and love for her baby need to be reassured. That is why every adoptive family goes through an extensive screening process to develop an approved family profile to share with the birthmother. The future of adopted children is the highest priority.
Adoption agencies conduct the screening before adding names to their list of approved adoptive families. It begins with two steps: a home study and an in-depth process to determine their commitment to parenting. Finding a few encouraging matches that meet the birthmother’s criteria gives her the very best choices.
Step One – Home Studies
A person or couple must complete a home study to be legally eligible for adoption. Each state has specific requirements and a social worker investigates to discover information regarding their past and present situations. It will be analyzed to decide if they are eligible to adopt.
A home study for potential adoptive families includes the following:
- In-home visit and evaluation by a licensed social worker to be sure it is a safe environment
- Collection of documents, such as financial documents, marriage licenses, birth certificates, etc.
- Criminal and child abuse background checks at state and federal levels
- Individual interviews with each family member to get to know them and be certain they are ready for adoption
- Health and psychological evaluations by licensed medical professionals
Choosing an adoption agency to help with the adoption process ensures no one overlooks past felonies, health problems, financial issues, and more. The knowledge gained about the adoptive family makes it easier to imagine what life would be like growing up in their family. There is a considerable amount of time and paperwork to meet the goal of ensuring the family will raise and protect the child, providing love and guidance throughout their life. If the hopeful parents don’t meet the necessary conditions or complete the extensive process, they will not continue in the adoption process.
Step Two – Adoption Agency Evaluation
Potential adoptive parents need to understand the seriousness of their commitment. They must demonstrate that they are prepared for the complex adoption process and responsibilities of parenthood. An in-depth conversation takes place to gauge what prospective parents envision for their adoptive family. Adoption agencies and social workers are evaluating their motivations to adopt, the health of a couple’s marriage, parenting styles, and adoption preferences and goals. If the adoption agency believes the placement of the child would not be successful, they will not approve the family to continue to work with their agency.
Adoptive Family Profiles
After an adoptive family has been screened and approved, an adoption professional helps them create a profile to show a potential birthmother and find a good match. A family will complete more documents and answer a variety of questions to make sure they are a good fit for the pregnant women working with the adoption agency.
Adoption agencies also educate applicants about open, semi-open, or closed adoption to determine the comfort level for the amount of information shared between adoptive families and birth mothers. Most agencies prefer at least a semi-open adoption to share important genetic health history. Some parents may not want any contact with the birth mother after the child is born, while others will continue a relationship long after. The adoptive family and birth mother must agree about what the future will look like.
Your Screening Process
Families approved by an adoption agency are good people who are ready to start or add to their families. But not every family is right for every birth mother. Continue to browse through matched profiles and ask to meet with the family to ask questions and interact directly to get to know them.
During the process, birthmothers should feel free to discuss any concerns about the adoption process or potential family with their agency professionals. It’s important to understand that the screening process won’t end until you sign the consent paperwork after the birth of your baby. If halfway through the adoption you decide the adoptive family is not the best fit, you can change your mind.
Choosing an adoption agency and finding the right family is an emotional process. If you’ve decided to move forward with an adoption plan, use a reputable adoption agency that screens potential adoptive parents and helps a birth mother feel confident about this difficult decision. When searching for an agency in Florida, contact Heart of Adoptions to learn more about how we bring birth mothers and potential adoptive families together. You can also reach us at 1-800-GO-ADOPT or [email protected] to get professional advice