Without a doubt one thing you will have while going through the adoption process is questions. This is to be expected and asking questions is actually encouraged. Without asking questions you will not know what obstacles lay ahead. It’s also important to remember that whereas a Hague adoption requires the adoption agency to obtain and share with you as much information about the child as possible, a non-Hague adoption does not require the agency to provide you with any of the child’s medical records. Ask the adoption agency for their current Hague certificate, and look for a letter of good standing from the State Department’s accreditation program.
When you reach the referral stage you’ll have already chosen the country from which you wish to adopt and you will have been found eligible and suitable by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and completed a homestudy. Finally, when your chosen country has approved your application, you’ll be matched with a child.
The matching process begins when the central adoption authority of your chosen country sends you and your adoption service provider an official report on the child. This is will be your opportunity to have many of your questions answered.
Of all the obstacles and succeeding victories, none are quite as exciting as being matched with a child. Always keep the lines of communication with your caseworker open to be certain the child referred to you is the right fit for your family.
Under the Hague Accreditation and Approval Standards, a Hague Certified adoption agency must provide you with the medical, social, and psychological information they have available. Information included in the initial referral may include answers to the following questions:
- When was the child taken into custody by the country or child welfare authority?
- What was the child’s condition when he was taken into custody?
- Does the child have any history of significant medical problems that required the need for hospitalization?
- Does the child have any special needs?
- Can you give me an account of the child’s prenatal, birth, and growth and development?
- What can you tell me about the birth family?
- What is the child’s cultural, racial, religious, ethnic and linguistic background?
- In what homes or orphanages has this child previously been placed?
- Do you know of the existence of any siblings this child may have?
Ideally, every report on every child would contain all of this information, but information can be lost or misplaced. The situation is different for each child. Sometimes the child’s birth parents are not known. Sometimes the country does not have access to reliable medical care or testing procedures to test for illnesses. Sometimes the information is just not there to be found.
This should not discourage you from finding out as much as you can about your potential child. Once you have been matched with a child, you will be given anywhere from to weeks to 72 hours to decide whether this child is a good fit in your forever family. If you have additional questions that are not answered in the referral information, now’s the time to ask. We encourage all adoptive families to request all the information available.
Are you interested in adoption? New Beginnings now offers international adoption programs with the countries of Poland, China and Taiwan.