In the past week, I have had several conversations that reinforce the significant important of post placement reports in international adoptions. My first conversations were when I was in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and talked with two of their government entities involved in the international adoption process. The Social Services department and Family Court Judges both were extremely concerned about the children’s well being post adoption and emphasized the importance of post placement reports. The Judges even asked to be on the distribution list for post placements.
Late last week, I had a call with the Ukrainian Consulate in New York and they indicated that Ukraine was extremely concerned about families not completing post placements. Ukraine even makes it easy for families to complete, as you do not have to have a social worker or translations of the post placements. The Ukraine Consulate indicated that of 8,000 children that have been adopted they are only receiving approximately 3,000 post placement reports. One reason that post placements are not being completed in Ukraine is likely because they allowed for independent international adoptions (no longer allowed for US families post Universal Accreditation Act) and therefore, no agency that is licensed are there to follow-up with the parents or to educate the parents about the importance of these post placements. Another reason is that parents often do not feel that Ukraine or the child’s country of origin has any “control” or “say” in their child’s life post adoption. It is vital for adoptive parents to consider these reports as extremely important for the future of international adoptions.
What are international adoption post placement reports?
- Reports regarding the well-being of your child after they have been adopted and are placed in the adoptive parent’s home.
- Reports requested by child’s country of origin to monitor adoption placements.
- Report requirements vary based upon country (whom must complete, how often, what to include, etc).
- If report is done by a social worker, the report provides an opportunity to address any issues that the family may be encountering or to address any adjustment or safety issues in the home.
Why are these reports so important?
Countries have specifically stated that lack of post placement reports is a reason to close an adoption program. In fact, Ukraine consular mentioned this during our conversation and a recent document the Ukraine Embassy drafted stated “These reports are the key to keep Ukraine open for American adoption…”
To adopt internationally from another country is a privilege and the country feels a sense of obligation to ensure that children are safe post their adoption placement. All countries have a public policy and human right obligation to protect their children. Whether this continues after adoption, is under the discretion of the country of origin. These reports can also be a wonderful time for adoptive parents to identify issues or ways to strengthen their relationship with their child or better parent the adopted child.
The children that remain in the orphanages should have an opportunity to be adopted. The Ukrainian Embassy indicated the following to encourage families to complete their post placement reports “Over 25,000 orphans in Ukraine available for international adoption – Please give them a chance to find a loving home.” If current adoptive parents do not complete these reports they are jeopardizing the future of international adoption from their child’s country of birth. I would encourage all families to be sure they are complying with their adoption agency and their child’s birth country requirements for post placements.
Photo Credit: Florencia&Pe