Thursday, January 5, 2012

Continued Frustrations

Now that we have transitioned into the next phase of our adoption process and are trying to register with the various photolisting websites, we have encountered more frustrations. In order to fully register for these sites we are required to have an agency contact - name, phone number and email. Turns out the caseworker who completed our adoption home study is done with our case and will not be our contact. The local adoption social worker only represents children or works with families who have children in their homes already. I have a third DSHS employee looking into DSHS protocol and who should be our agency contact or if DSHS can even help us with this step. If DSHS cannot help us with finding a child, why did they tell us we could adopt through DSHS? I even had one DSHS employee tell us to now go with a private adoption agency after all we have gone through dealing with DSHS. If we really do need to go with a private adoption, we should have known this in 2010 so we could have worked with an agency from the beginning. We hope to have some answers by next Tuesday or I will be calling DSHS HQ to get our answers.

Until we figure out who our agency and agency contact will be, we cannot inquire about any child or youth. We have begun searching the photolistings and creating a list of potential children/youth we would like to inquire about once we can fully register with the websites. Since we have chosen not to be foster parents but to seek a child already legally free, the photolistings are really the only way for us to find a potential child/youth. The process works as follows, to my understanding:
  • We submit an electronic inquiry about a child we are interested in parenting.
  • The child's caseworker reviews our home study and profile.
  • If the child's caseworker thinks we could be potential parents, the caseworker contacts our agency's contact and the communicate.
  • Our agency contact receives information about the child and shares it with us.
  • We decide to parent or not parent the child after reviewing the file.
  • If the child's caseworker approves us to become the parents, we are invited to visit the child/youth and a disclosure meeting. The disclosure meeting allows us to learn about the the child's past, reason for being in foster care.
  • Depending on the needs of the child/youth, we may have several days of visits before returning home.
  • If fully approved to adopt the child, we will go to the child's current location and may spend several days before bringing the child/youth home.
  • Once home, we establish our routine with our child/youth with a DSHS caseworker making monthly visits until we are approved to finalize the adoption.
  • After six months or more, we get to finalize the adoption and make our family permanent.
We might meet our forever child this year. We might meet our forever child next year. Then there is a process to bring our child home then make the adoption finalized.