Once you contact Abiding Love to Start your Home Study Process, we will provide you with the Application necessary to begin the Home Study. Once Abiding Love receives your application and application fee, we will open an account for you on our Online Portal. Our Office Administrator will walk you through the first steps and assign you to a Home Study Caseworker in your area. Your Home Study Caseworker will assign documents for you to complete on the Online Portal. She will then schedule the two visits required to work through all of the Adoption Education which will include the following topics: reasons for adopting; familial support to adoption plan; how raising an adopted child is different than a biological child; grief and loss in adoption by birth family; grief and loss experienced by infertility (if applicable); open adoption; boundaries, etc… Your Caseworker will also schedule the required Home Visit to include a safety inspection of your home. Clients are given a safety inspection list to review prior to home visit. Once all required documents are completed and gathered, your Home Study Caseworker will complete a Home Study Narrative. The Abiding Love Office will organize the Home Study Narrative and all of your Exhibits in the specific order your State’s ICPC reviews documents.
We take great effort to make sure it is quick and easy for your State’s ICPC to review the packet. Why? Because if your packet is ready and organized for ICPC to review, the time it takes ICPC to confirm that all appropriate documents have been received will be minimal. This will result in a faster approval which in turn means you can come home faster.
Abiding Love is also committed to our Home student client. At no extra charge we will work with agency caseworkers and ICPC to ensure a smooth process. Unfortunately, we find that many placement agencies do not provide the entire packet as we painstakingly organized it. Accordingly, we often have to supplement documents to ICPC.
NO WAITING LIST
Rather than sitting on a waiting list, we encourage you to work with Adoption Consultants. Abiding Love does not believe that it is congruent with our Mission to love Expectant Parents and Birth Parents by giving them unbiased counsel regarding adoption v. parenting if we have a list of families waiting to adopt her child. Likewise, it is not fair to the Prospective Adoptive Parent to be limited to only the Expectant Mother situations we have. Prospective Adoptive Parents should have the opportunity to work with as many licensed agencies and attorneys as possible. They also should have the opportunity to not have all of or a significant amount of money with one agency limiting them financially.
what to expect
How do we make placements?
Do we ever place with families when we completed their Home Study?
Is there an advantage for placement if Abiding Love completes my Home Study?
Yes and No. Expectant Mothers are the ones who choose the family. Our Birth Mother Advocates do not disclose which families we completed their Home Study. However, if you are chosen by an Expectant Mother we are working with, there will be a deduction in the placement fee because we know you have already received the necessary Adoption Education.
Adoption Consultants v. Adoption Facilitators
Adoption Facilitators are illegal in most states because they are not licensed by a governing body and yet interact with both Expectant Mothers/ Birth Mothers and Prospective Adoptive Parents. Many times Facilitators provide “matching” services. Once they “match” you and the Expectant Mother, Prospective Adoptive Parents are left to forge the path of Adoption without either party having an Advocate and/or support. We find that many times Expectant Mothers are emotionally neglected and not cared for as they deserve. Expectant Mothers and Adoptive Parents are often not advised of their legal rights. Adoptive Parents are left acting as a “Caseworker” because there is no one physically present acting as the Expectant Mother’s Advocate during her pregnancy, at the Hospital or at placement. This can create unnecessary tension in the relationship between the Expectant Mother/Birth Mother and Adoptive Parents.
What is ICPC?
The “Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children” is known as ICPC. This is an agreement adopted by all fifty (50) states and the District of Columbia to establish procedures for Interstate Adoption Placements. Each state has adopted their own specific ICPC regulations with the purpose of preventing human trafficking and specifically to ensure that: (1) Birth Parents are not being trafficked; and (2) infants and children receive proper care and supervision once they crossed state lines.
Why is ICPC so Important?
If you adopt a child from a state other than the state you reside in ICPC will generally be applicable. For Example: If you reside in Georgia and the baby you are adopting is born in Florida, then ICPC requires that you receive permission from the State of Florida before you can leave the State of Florida with the child and then receive permission from the State of Georgia before you can enter the State of Georgia with the child.
What does this mean? A LOT OF RED TAPE! This is why it is so important for the Home Study provider you choose to complete your Home Study is up to date on your states Home Study Regulations and ICPC requirements. ICPC can take anywhere between a couple of DAYS to a couple of WEEKS. ICPC requires certain Background Checks, Medical Tests, Medical Vaccinations, Water/Sewer Checks, etc…
Abiding Love takes great pains to organize your Home Study packet to have EVERYTHING your State’s ICPC requires so that you do not spend more time than necessary in your child’s Birth State scrambling to get documents from home to ICPC. When your Home Study is complete we will provide you with 4 Originally Signed Home Study Narrative Reports and 1 Set of Home Study Exhibits with a Table of Contents and each document is tabbed so that ICPC can easily review your Home Study and Exhibits. We will also provide an electronic copy of both the Home Study Narrative and Exhibits.
Tip: Home Study Agencies and/or Social Workers might charge cheaper fees for the Home Study. These Agencies and Social Workers are usually not up to date on the latest ICPC and Home Study Regulations. And do not provide you with everything you need for ICPC. The result is you end up spending more money because the ICPC process will take longer and you are having to pay for lodging in your Child’s Birth State which costs more money in the long run. Do yourself a favor chose a Home Study Provider who will do everything right from the beginning! It is money well spent.