What are the requirements for becoming a prospective adopting couple?
Couples do have to be married. However, this does not exclude single parents from being a prospective adoptive parent, as the choice of whether a child is placed with a single parent or married couple is ultimately determined by the birth parent(s)’ preference.
How soon after we apply will our home study begin?
Upon attending the initial orientation, you will receive an application. Up to four families are scheduled for the next available education group sessions. The families are chosen on a first come first served basis, so the sooner the application is completed and submitted the better. Generally, it will take 4 to 6 months for an approved home study to be completed. The timeline may be prolonged if information from other sources like references, employment verifications, and clearances are not received in a timely fashion.
How intrusive is the process for adoptive parent(s)?
The process is very thorough and detail oriented. We have to conduct extensive background checks that include child abuse clearances, criminal history, FBI fingerprinting, physician’s statements, income assessments, and in some cases more investigation. We will handle all of this with diligence, care and complete respect for your confidentiality. Your personal information is only shared with prospective birth parent(s), and your permission to release your information will be requested each time there is a birth parent interested in reviewing your file.
What are the costs associated with adopting a child through Catholic Social Services?
There is an initial $100 application fee to begin the process. Then, there is a home study fee of $1,500, or if a home study update is needed, that fee will be between $100-$150. Finally, if a child is eventually placed with you for adoption through our agency, there will be a $5,000 placement fee. Comparison of the sum of our fees to those of other agencies will demonstrate that our fees are very competitive, and generally tend to be less expensive than other options.
Doing so is possible because of the charitable assistance we receive in support of our longstanding mission to promote the choice for life and to foster the health, safety and happiness of every child.
Do we, or the child we eventually adopt, have to remain in contact with the birth family?
Contact with the birth family is not required, unless this was a condition of placement clearly specified by birth parent(s) as their preference. If such a condition exists, it would be clearly expressed on behalf of the birth parent(s) in the materials presented to you as a prospective adopting parent. In some cases, birth parents seek to have an open adoption in which both they and you agree to maintain some level of initial and/or ongoing contact. In this type of situation, Catholic Social Services serves as an effective and helpful intermediary between birth parents and adoptive families. To that end, Catholic Social Services can accommodate both parties with a neutral location to meet, or facilitate conference call opportunities. In other cases, birth parents may choose not to have any contact with either the birth child or adoptive family, or what is called a “closed” adoption. Again, this preference would typically be communicated to Catholic Social Services before the child is born, but may also be the preference of the birth parent(s) over time.
Can we choose the gender of our baby?
Birth parents are invited to express a preference, of course. However, the prospective adopting family is matched with the interests of the birthparents prior to the birth, and in a fair number of cases, the gender of the baby is unknown at the time when a placement decision is made. Ultrasound technology is not 100% accurate; therefore, we always encourage families to be open to accepting a baby of either gender.
What happens after a child is placed with you for adoption?
After the child is placed with you, our social worker will supervise the child’s placement for a 6 month period prior to the finalization of the adoption process. During this time, the social worker will visit your home to gauge the child’s adjustment and developmental progress, and to discuss the goals that should be established and reached in order for the finalization process to be successfully completed.