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How Are Adoptive Families Screened?

As a prospective birth mother, when you decide adoption is the best option for your baby, you are doing so out of the love you have for your child. You know that an adoptive family can provide them with a lifetime of love and opportunity. With such an important decision as placing your child with another family, you may be wondering:

  • How do you know a family is emotionally ready and capable of raising a child?
  • If a family is financially ready to begin parenthood?
  • How to trust placing your child with an adoptive family?

These are all natural concerns, as you want to ensure the family you choose can be trusted to raise your child and meets the adoption requirements in Arizona. To help ease your worries, American Adoptions has created this guide to explain the adoption screening process adoptive families must go through to prove they are not only emotionally and financially able to raise your baby, but have no prior legal issues preventing them from doing so.

Any time you have questions about the screening process with our agency, Arizona adoption requirements, or any other adoption-related question, you can call us at 1-800-ADOPTION or fill out our online form to get more free information. In the meantime, continue reading to learn more about the adoption screening process in Arizona.

Home Study Adoption Screening Process

Before a hopeful adoptive family can begin their official adoptive journey, they must first complete an adoption home study from an Arizona-licensed provider (or, for families who don’t live in Arizona, from a licensed home study provider in the state where they live). The adoption home study is one of the lengthiest portions of the process for hopeful adoptive families, as it is an in-depth evaluation of an adoptive family's readiness to become a parent.  

A home study consists of many steps, including:

  • Background checks to make sure there is no criminal or abuse history at either the state or federal level.
  • Monitored home visits to confirm the living environment is safe and acceptable for a child to grow up in.
  • Evaluations of birth certificates, marriage licenses, social security, and more.
  • Mental and physical evaluations to confirm they can handle the responsibility parenting brings.
  • Interviews by a licensed social worker with the adoptive couple, their family, friends, and other references, so they can gain a better insight into the adoptive couple's readiness to adopt.
  • And more.

This process takes place over a few months. Once all home study requirements are met, the information is reviewed and approval or disapproval is sent to the family.

Through documents, interviews, and more, adoption screening goes beyond that of the home study, intending to gain more personal information and knowledge. This type of screening may include questions to determine:

  • The family’s motives for adoption
  • Information about their marital status, including how long, the current state of the relationship, and more
  • How they were raised as children
  • The style of parenting they intend to implement when they adopt
  • Work schedules and free time
  • Much more

Once a family has an approved home study, they will then need to get approval from a licensed adoption agency.

Agency Adoption Screening Process

When a hopeful adoptive family completes an approved home study, they will then determine which adoption agency they would prefer to work with. Although each agency has different screening processes, the general goal is the same — determine if they are a good fit for adoption

The more information that is known about the adoptive family, the better chances of getting a feel for their ability to raise a child. Some agencies will have their own unique screening requirements.

Take American Adoptions. In addition to the approved adoption home study, we screen adoptive families by having in-depth conversations and interviews to not only determine their readiness to become parents, but to verify they are fully committed to adoption. With such a life-changing decision as adopting a child, we want to make sure families are fully invested before they have an opportunity to become the parent of your baby.

Another adoption screening method that separates American Adoptions from other agencies is the fact that every adoptive family that chooses to work with our agency must agree to be willing to pursue open adoption. As a prospective birth mother, you can find peace of mind knowing that every adoptive family profile you view is open to having a relationship with you, pre-and post-placement.

Although our adoptive families must be willing to be part of open adoption, by no means does this mean you have to choose an open adoption for your baby. You are in complete control of the type of adoption you choose, and adoptive families will be made aware of your preferences if they are considered for placement.

Personal Adoption Screening

Only after families have proven they meet the requirements to adopt through the adoption home study, as well as by our agency, will their adoptive family profiles be available to be viewed by potential birth mothers like you. 

This should add a level of trust and comfort, knowing that every profile you see is from a screened family that is fully committed and excited for the opportunity to adopt. When you see a family you are interested in, you will have the opportunity to do your own screening through email, phone calls, video chats, and in some cases, in-person meetings. During this communication, you can:

  • Ask any questions you have or discuss any concerns
  • Get a better feel for their personality and if there is a connection
  • Explain your adoption goals to see if they understand and value them
  • And more

This type of adoption screening is more for your knowledge, to determine if there is potential for placement with any of the candidates you have chosen to learn more about. 

Keep in mind, when choosing an adoptive family, you have the right to change your mind if there are any red flags or reasons that make you doubt your decision or your initial interest in them. This is your adoption, and you control the outcome — the adoption screening process just helps you make sure it is someone safe and able to adopt.

Choosing an adoptive family is one of the most important and exciting decisions you will ever make. American Adoptions helps make sure you find a family you can trust. If you have additional questions about the adoption screening process or any other adoption-related questions, call 1-800-ADOPTION or fill out our online form to get in touch with an adoption specialist. 

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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