Stork Central 1,114 Posted September 26, 2003 Report Share Posted September 26, 2003 If you have a family member entering the adoption process, one of the first things you can do to help support them is to learn to "talk the talk" as they walk the walk. How we talk about adoption and the words we use are very important, because it helps shape how everybody--the child included--come to understand the process, the decision, and the future! For starters, the following "vocabulary lesson," describing how open adoption actually works: * When applicants enter Abrazo's program to adopt a child, we refer to them as "parents-in-waiting" and we encourage them to see themselves as "expecting", because having a psychological pregnancy is an essential step towards getting ready for parenting. * All adoptive applicants go through what's called a "homestudy", an important series of interviews, home inspections and background checks done by a licensed social worker, to certify that they are prepared to offer a suitable home for a child in need. *Homestudied applicants then begin receiving arranged phone calls with prospective "birthparents", usually pregnant women (and/or their partners) between the ages of 18 and 40, who are expecting a child and considering placing their child for adoption. If the parties choose to match, then they voluntarily enter into an exclusive agreement to plan together for the placement of a specific child, and begin building a vital friendship, which is intended to last for a lifetime. Note, however, that this is only a potential "getting to know you" opportunity and not a promise or guarantee of placement, because under the law, no birthmother is legally committed to adoption until relinquishment (the legal release) is done and termination (court proceedings) has occurred, neither of which can happen until a baby is more than 48 hours old. *Babies and children being released by their birthmothers for adoption are temporarily entrusted to the prospective parents-in-waiting by the agency (Abrazo) on Placement Day. The agency then applies for government approval for the child to cross state lines in a process called Interstate Compact which necessarily delays the new family's travel for at least 7-10 days, if the adopting family is not from Texas. *Then the new family gets to come home with the baby/child to meet you, the new grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. However, for the next 6-18 months, the adopting parents will be beholden to Abrazo, since the agency is still the child's legal guardian. This is is called post-placement supervision and entails a crucial process of quarterly social worker interviews, monthly progress reports, home visits and medical overview. Ongoing contact with the child's birthfamily is also very important, since it provides the child's loved ones with needed, lifelong assurance of his or her growth, happiness and wellbeing. *Once supervision is completed, Abrazo audits the case and reviews each file, to ensure that the placement is a success, and upon confirming this, the agency legally releases the family to adopt the child. The adopting parents hire and attorney and appear in court (usually in TX) to finalize their adoption-- the official beginning of that family's permanent life together. And then, hopefully, they all live happily ever after!! But what makes the words highlighted in red so essential, and what are other adoption vocabulary terms that relatives need to know? Let's turn this over to our Forum family and ask them for their valuable input!! Quote Link to post Share on other sites
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