Did you know that there are over 9 thousand children in Wisconsin that are in the system waiting to be adopted? Between June 2016 and July 2017, only a little over 600 of these children were actually adopted. How heartbreaking is this? This is just a small part of what we learned about at our first adoption orientation class this past Thursday night.
Jason and I showed up to this orientation not really sure what to expect. We had many questions and concerns, and thankfully everything got answered during the presentation. We learned about the different steps we will have to take and what we’ll need to do or have done for each step. The length of time it will take for us to adopt will really depend on how quickly we can fill out forms and have our home ready for the agency to go through and approve. Honestly, there was so much information received, it was a bit overwhelming and too much to really share with you all right now. Here is the information we can share so far.
This is our Adoption Licensing Process Timeline:
- Attend Information Meeting
- Discern about children with special needs and your skills/abilities to meet their needs.
- Mail Permanency Resource Family Survey to State Program Office
- State Staff – Initially screens for compatibility with Program.
- Initial Screen In – Noticed by letter and assigned for In-Person Screening Visit
- In-Person Screening Visit with Public Adoptions Staff
- Public Adoptions Staff consults with supervisor about visit.
- Adoption packet is mailed out. We complete and return materials. Can enroll in Public Adoptions education classes with returned application.
- Application is assigned to an adoption home study worker.
- Adoption worker schedules visit to begin home study.
- Licensing Timeline – Varies depending on schedules, visits completed, meeting education requirements, all materials completed and returned to home study worker.
We both have to have 16 hours work of education classes completed. The Adoption Classes we will have to attend are:
- Understanding of Adoption and Impact on Parenting/Family Dynamics
- Understanding of Issues for Child in Adoptive Placement
- Understanding of Loss and Grief for the Adoptive Family
- Understanding of Attachment Issues in Adoptive Placement
- Understanding of Support and Resources for Adoptive Placement
- Understanding of Cultural Sensitivity in Adoption
- Understanding of the Effects of Abuse and Neglect in Adoption
- Understanding of Legal Issues related to Adoption
- Understanding of Children Coming from an Institutional Care Setting
- Understanding of Educational Issues in Adoption
Once we have completed all the forms, the home study, the classes, and we are approved, then we will become a “waiting family”. During this time, we will have our agent share our information with the child’s agent and see what they think we could be compatible with. We can say no as many times as we want, or we can say yes and try things out with having the children in our home. Once we find a compatible match, we will have to have the child(ren) in our home for a minimum of 6 months before we can officially adopt them.
So where does that leave us right now? We have to fill out the Permanency Resource Family Survey to our State Program Office, and hopefully get approved for this first step to enter into their program. This Permanency Resource Family Survey is a packet where Jason and I will fill in basic introductory information about us as well as our licensing knowledge and experience. Then the form continues with characteristics of child(ren) we are desiring for adoption… we pick out health characteristics we have experience with or are willing to consider as a match to our family. This includes physical health, emotional/behavior health, and risk factors. The whole packet consists of 10 pages.
Asking for prayers and good thoughts that we get approved after we submit this packet tot he State for review. If you have questions or words for encouragement, feel free to reach out to us or comment below.