International Adoptions

International Adoptions

ABC Counseling and Family Services assists families through a Home Study and Post-Placement Supervision, but we are not a placing agency for International Adoptions. Though we are not currently Hague Accredited, we are able to provide International Home Study services for most countries, including some Hague countries. Families that work with an International Placing Agency that is not in Illinois, or are pursuing an independent international adoption, need an Illinois agency to provide the Home Study and Post-Placement Supervision. We are well-versed in making sure your paperwork meets all of the appropriate standards.

The procedure for an International Adoption is below.

A. DETERMINE COUNTRY AND PLACING AGENCY

  1. It is important to choose a reputable international placing agency, as well as a country with an established adoption program. Most international agencies will assist you step by step through the entire process. To learn about various countries adoption process, please go to: http://adoption.state.gov

 B. PRELIMINARY INTERVIEW

  1. Before a home study is initiated, couples will be interviewed.  During this interview, the process of foster care licensing will begin.  The State of Illinois requires that adoptive applicants to obtain a foster care license, if they are seeking an agency placement.  ABC will assist you in obtaining your foster care license.
  2. An autobiography, as well as other written exercises, are required during the Home study process. The handouts and worksheets are distributed during the preliminary interview. ABC and the applicants work cooperatively to assess the applicants’ ability to successfully parent an adoptive child.
  3. All applications and handouts need to be returned to ABC one week prior to the home study visit.

C. COMPLETION OF THE HOME STUDY PROCESS

  1. The home visit is the time when ABC will check for compliance of foster care licensing standards.  This is most certainly not a “white glove inspection”.
  2. Sometimes additional office interviews are needed to complete the home study process.  These may be individual or conjoint interviews.
  3. The home study is written and kept in the case files.  It is the property of ABC and will be released only to a court at the time of finalizing the adoption.  Exceptions are made in certain cases such as interstate adoptions, and international adoptions where another agency has requested a copy of the home study.
  4. Applicants are notified of their approval once all of the home study requirements are fulfilled.
  5. Each adoptive applicant who has been approved for adoptive placement, but has not yet received a child, shall have a home study update every year as required by Illinois Foster Care licensing standards.  The cost of the update is listed under the section entitled “potential additional fees.”

D. FURTHER REQUIREMENTS BEFORE PLACEMENT

  1. Applicants are required to attend our DCFS approved adoption seminar, to meet the educational requirement of an Illinois Foster Care Licensed home.
  2. Applicants are expected, but not required, to attend baby care and/or parenting classes if this is their first child.
  3. Applicants are expected to, but not required, attend a certified CPR class prior to placement.

E. PLACEMENT

  1. Placements may occur at the appropriate hospital, ABC office, or at another designated location.  At that time, the couple will sign certain documents acknowledging their responsibility to care for the child and acknowledging receipt of background information on the birth parents and the child.
  2. If foster parents have cared for the child, adoptive parents will have the opportunity to meet with and ask questions of the foster parents.

F. PRE-FINALIZATION ADOPTION SERVICES

  1. ABC will provide pre-finalization services to the adoptive parents and the child from the date of placement until the issuance of the final decree of adoption.  The pre-finalization period shall be no less than six months from the time of placement.  Three face-to-face home visits will be made by the supervising adoption caseworker during the six-month period.  If finalization does not occur during the six-month period, monthly visits will continue until finalization does occur.  The agency will supply the court with the necessary documentation for finalization such as a copy of the home study, surrenders, and a final progress report.

G. POST-FINALIZATION ADOPTION SERVICES

  1. The agency shall remain available to birth parents, adoptive families, and adoptees to provide counseling, education, or consultation on adoption issues after the final decree of adoption has been issued.  ABC believes that adoption is a life-long experience.
  2. Pictures and letters from the adoptive family may continue to be sent from the agency.  These will be forwarded on to the birth family for as long as there is mutual consent.