What are the requirements for becoming a prospective adopting couple?
Adoptive parents must be over 25 years of age to be considered. Couples must be married and actively participating in the Catholic Church. 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. Once the application is submitted to Catholic Social Services, families are scheduled for the next available educational group series. 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 months for an approved home study to be completed after the educational series is completed by the couple. This 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 Home Study process is very a thorough and detail oriented process. 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 information. We will handle all of this with diligence, care and complete respect for your family’s privacy. 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.
Do we, or the child we eventually adopt, have to remain in contact with the birth family?
Contact with the birth family is encouraged but not required, unless this was a condition of placement clearly specified by birth parent(s). 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 some 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, a 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.
How much does Adoption cost with Catholic Social Services?
The costs involved in adopting a child with Catholic Social Services are approximately $10,000. This cost includes all fees associated with Adoption including education, the home study, updates, reports, placement and post adoption visits. This DOES NOT include legal fees from the Attorney you select. Attorney fees vary but you can expect to pay another $5,000 at minimum to the Attorney you choose to handle your baby’s adoption.