View Full Version : Anybody heard of pre-adoption counseling?

12-16-2004, 04:19 PM
So, I realize as part of the home study you meet with a social worker, and they can be helpful to some extent. But in some ways they are creating a report that is going to determine if you can adopt. (I realize they are not judging how clean your house is and most people "pass.") But I don't feel like it is just for me and my husband to sort out some of our thinking about adoption BEFORE we pick an agency/plan/age of child, etc. Has anyone heard of someone talking with a SW familiar with adoption separate from the homestudy? I'm really struggling with some issues around age of child to adopt, birth order, doing it now vs. waiting. Plus, I really do think it is helpful to have a neutral and trained person help guide a discussion with my DH. Not that we can't talk about it together, I'm just sometimes wondering if we are really getting at everything we need to talk about. Just wondering if anyone has heard of this or have experience with it.

Mom to Harvey

12-16-2004, 05:49 PM
Hmm.. I haven't heard of anything like this, but I was kind of lucky in some regard. My sister is an MSW with experience in foster care and adoption so I made her put on her social worker hat with us before we started to help us figure some things out. So, I guess that is kind of similar, but we had the benefit of her knowing us so personally too.

I really think that a lot of this comes out in the homestudy discussions too. At least in our case our social worker talked about all these issues with us as a couple and some of it separately too. I kind of think it's more the purpose of the homestudy rather than it just being a checklist to make sure you have a good home and stuff.


12-17-2004, 10:55 AM
I really don't know who you could talk to, unless you could manage to find someone who worked in adoption and doesn't anymore. When we signed with our agency, our SW spoke with us a lot to try and help us figure out different things - international vs domestic, were we ready (ie. have we dealt with our infertility), health risks we were okay with, etc. A homestudy is about a lot more than seeing if your house is clean and safe. But through research on our own, we were able to narrow down that we wanted a domestic adoption and that we wanted an infant, so then after looking at the local choices, we picked the agency we used.
If you can't find the person to talk to that you're hoping for, I would suggest picking up a few books on adoption ("Raising An Adopted Child" is a good, general one...you can get more specific ones as you narrow your decisions). Look at lots of adoption websites, both agencies (even if you can't use them, they will still have great info and suggestions) and forums (www.adoption.com has great boards). Finally, call a local agency, either state or private, and tell them your needs and maybe they can either help or refer you to someone who can.
Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions that I can help with or anything. Good luck.
~Connor's Mom~

12-17-2004, 05:05 PM
There are some on-line courses - I know this isn't exactly what you're looking for. Here's one I ran across - I know nothing about them though and didn't use them so please don't take this as an endorsment. http://www.adoptionlearningpartners.org/aboutus/

Another possibility might be to call a homestudy agency - not an adoption agency - and ask if they could meet with you. If you meet with an agency, then their social workers have a stake in you using them, obviously. I know it looked like we were going to move out of our state when we were in the midst of adopting and our agency didn't do homestudies in the new state. They said they would refer us to Catholic Children's Charities to do the homestudy (they are not only for Catholics).


12-18-2004, 02:32 PM
Check www.resolve.org for a group in your area - our local group offers a 4 day "course" in the "ABCs" of adoption. They also have references for local counselors who are experienced with issues surrounding adoption. They can be such a wonderful resource for more than just infertility treatment!

12-31-2004, 01:05 PM
Many agencies hold question and answer session (free ones) and even if you would not consider using the agency. The other thing is that many social workers (particular those who work with agencies that offer "parenting classes" would actually spend the first time they meet you (call it a prehomestudy meeting) actually explaining the process and answering your question

The other thing is just to call an agency that does homestudies and say you are thinking about adopting but would like to sit down with someone to talk about some questions you have. I'm sure that you would find someone who would be able to talk to you