Beginning the Adoption Journey
Congratulations! You have decided to embark on one of the most awe-inspiring, tedious, roller-coaster quests of your lifetime… the journey to become an adoptive parent. The staff at Hannah’s Hope is eager to assist you in making your dream of bringing home a child come true. Here’s some information to get you off to a smooth start:
You will need to gather the following types of information in order to complete your application and home study packets: financial documents (bank account, loan records, credit card balances, previous years W-2s and tax documents, etc.), medical records for you and anyone who lives in the home with you (including pets!), identifying information (driver’s license, marriage license, military records, birth / death / marriage certificates, divorce / adoption decrees, SS cards, etc.) and photos of your family and home. FYI… There is a reason behind the madness: for every fact your caseworker states about you in your home study, there must be supporting documentation in your file.
Pay attention to detail… skipping a step or omitting a document can cause delays in your process. Please be aware that you bear the obligation of full disclosure throughout the adoption process and falsifying information (or knowingly failing to disclose information) can be a deal breaker and stop your adoption quest in its tracks.
View your agency and caseworker as your ally not your adversary on this adoption journey. There will be times when you may feel that everyone is telling you “no” or “not yet” when you are dying to hear “YES!” but keep in mind that the agency is obligated to uphold legal and ethical standards in its practice. It will take all of us working together to make your dream come true.
Make your peace with the fact that there is a process for adoption (driven by legal and ethical structures) that applies to everyone. Exceptions cannot be made. No one is picking on you… the same rules / expectations / procedures apply to everyone.
Hannah’s Hope is a non-profit agency, but fees are still applicable for professional services. You wouldn’t expect your doctor or accountant to perform a professional service on your behalf without compensation and the same rule of thumb applies here. (Also, along that same train of thought, plan to make yourself available for appointments with agency staff during the business day. There may be an occasion when the circumstance allows for an evening or weekend meeting, but as a rule of thumb, appointments take place during the business day.)
Know that the home study process is… going to feel invasive, require you to be vulnerable and the educational components are designed to challenge you to expand your comfort zone and engage in the real issues related to adoption and parenting. Our goal is to give you the strongest foundation possible on which to build your family.
We strive to achieve a 24 hour call back time for messages received during the business week. Your caseworker will alert you if she will be unavailable for any period of time.
Kick-start your home study process by providing ALL materials requested when you submit your packet (including your check!) then gain as much from the experience as possible by fully participating in both the interview and educational process.
Your caseworker cannot read your mind. If you have a question about something, ASK – don’t make assumptions.
Unfortunately, the adoption process is fluid…, we cannot give you an exact time when you will be matched and / or achieve placement. You undoubtedly will feel as though you are living in limbo for a period of time once you become approved as a waiting family.
Enlist a community of support who will hold you in prayer during this winding journey.
We wish you well as you begin your adoption journey and consider ourselves blessed to be able to share in this journey with you.