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Adoptions. “There are no unwanted children, just unfound families.”— The National Adoption Center. Values and Assumptions Exercise. Learning Outcomes. Describe the legal requirements for adoptions Understand the key elements of the adoption process, including the unified home study

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“There are no unwanted children, just unfound families.”—The National Adoption Center

Values and Assumptions Exercise

Learning outcomes

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the legal requirements for adoptions

  • Understand the key elements of the adoption process, including the unified home study

  • Prepare the child and family

  • Explore the open adoption arrangement


What is Adoption?

Laws that apply to adoptions

Laws that Apply to Adoptions


  • ASFA

  • ICWA

  • ICPC



  • RCW 26.33

  • WAC 388-27

Who can adopt

Who Can Adopt?

Children available for adoption

Children Available for Adoption

  • 1,667 foster children ready for adoption (as of 9/2013)

  • Range in age

  • May be part of a sibling group (2 or more)

  • Represent diverse ethnic and cultural populations

  • May have medical, mental and/or physical health issues

  • May have developmental delays

  • May have developmental disabilities

  • May have been exposed to drug and alcohol use/abuse

When adoption becomes a goal

When Adoption becomes a Goal

  • Parents unable to reach case plan objectives

  • Relinquishment of parental rights

  • Termination of parental rights

Transferring the case

Transferring the Case

Make sure to provide comprehensive assessment information:

  • Relative search

  • Medical/social history

  • Cultural history

  • Conduct a shared planning staffing

  • Activities to help the child cope with loss and manage change

Matching a family and child

Matching a Family and Child



Unified home study

Unified Home Study

Pair n Share:

  • What do you believe to be the most pertinent and informative questions that need to be asked of potential adoptive parents?

  • How do you believe all of the information is going to be used to determine the eligibility of a potential adoptive family?

  • Are there answers to any of the questions that you believe would immediately disqualify a family interested in adoption? Why?



To keep an eye on the

Preparing the child and adoptive family

Preparing the Child and Adoptive Family

Stages of the Adoption Process

  • Placement

  • Honeymoon

  • Pre-Finalization

  • Post Finalization

    Common themes to be addressed:

  • Answering the child’s questions - based on developmental stage

  • Signs of grief, loss, and trauma - by developmental stage

  • Creating permanent connections and an identity of belonging

  • Creating a family identity that celebrates the child’s adoption journey

Don t forget the family of origin

Don’t Forget the Family of Origin

  • We partner throughout

  • Adoptive planning

  • Opportunities for involvement

  • Services for birth parents

Open adoptions agreement

Open Adoptions Agreement

Are beneficial to:

  • Maintain positive relationships

  • Maintain and celebrate all the important people in a child’s life

  • Allow the child to resolve losses with truth rather than fantasies

Adoption support

Adoption Support

  • Offsets some costs related to:

    • Adoption process

    • Child’s special needs

  • Eligibility and amount determined prior to adoption

  • Family must apply

  • May be amended post adoption

The adoption legal process

The Adoption Legal Process

  • Match family and child

  • Adoption support settled

  • Adoptive parents obtain lawyer to submit Petition for Adoption

  • Adoption hearing takes place

  • Decree of Adoption issued – Parent/Child relationship legal

  • Adoptive parents submit Decree to DOH (new birth certificate) and SSA (new ss number)

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