Documentation: Once the agency is convinced that the prospective adoptive parents would be suitable candidates, they are asked to submit a list of documents related mainly to their health status and financial standing. (The list of documents is available under the heading ‘Documentation’).
Home Study: The social worker interacts with the prospective adoptive parents and assesses their intentions and interests to ensure that they will be able to care for a non-biological child. The prospective adoptive parents are interviewed together, as a couple, as well as individually so as to assess each one’s state of mind. The extended family may also be interviewed.
A home visit is then conducted to the place of residence.
A pre-adoption workshop is held for prospective adoptive parents to help them understand the process and requirements of adoption better.
The next step in the process is Child Referral. The prospective adoptive parents are shown their prospective baby and are given details related to the child’s medical and social background (no identifying details are disclosed). The agency tries to match the child with the parents, as far as possible.
Once the parents identify their baby, the acceptance documents are to be signed.
Thereafter, a petition is filed for obtaining the necessary legal orders.
The baby is then placed in pre-adoption foster care with the prospective adoptive parents until the court order is issued. During the foster care period, follow-up visits are conducted to evaluate the progress of the child.
A court hearing / meeting with a judge is the next crucial aspect of adoption following which, the Court Order is passed, finalizing the adoption with the much awaited words – ‘Complete & Irrevocable!’. The court order also mentions the investments that are to be made in the name of the child.
Once the Court Order is obtained, the adoptive parents apply for the child’s birth certificate, one which will bear the names of the adoptive parents.
Follow-up reports are to be submitted at regular intervals, as per the Court Order and CARA guidelines.
Post-adoption follow-ups, counseling sessions and home visits to check on the development of the child are part and parcel of the post adoption formalities, carried out to ensure the well-being of the child.