Social Worker: Post-Placement Supervision After Adopting?

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Why is agreement to post-placement supervision important before I adopt?

Post-placement supervision for international adoption is a series of meetings one of which is conducted in your home with the entire family and the social worker. Other in-person meetings may take place in the offices of the adoption agency. Reports, based on the interviews, are then filed with your adoption placement agency, adoption home study agency and the adoption program of the birth country. These reports by the social worker usually include 3-6 photographs of your child, some of which are of the child alone and others with you and your family and a current medical report or statement.

Most countries that place children for international adoption require this commitment and all agencies dealing with these nations must comply with this requirement. Also the Department of Homeland Security, Citizenship and Immigration Services will only grant approval for an adoption if the family agrees to participate in this process. This commitment is therefore duly noted by your social worker in your Adoption Home Study and is mandatory in obtaining approval by Citizenship and Immigration Services to adopt a child from overseas.

Your agency will outline the fee structure. Due to the importance of maintaining close contact with the adoptive family, some agencies require this fee along with other adoption charges be paid prior to placement to ensure the visits are conducted as per governmental regulations. The fees vary based on number of visits, duration of interviews and location of in-person meetings.

Now that I have adopted, why is supervision necessary?

Many adoptive parents think this but few venture to ask in part because they have become accustomed to the many regulations they must follow. It is a very good question and the answer recalls rumors of baby selling, trafficking in baby parts and anti-adoption sentiments. Thus to assure the courts and governments of the placing country and the receiving nation, that the child was placed in a home meeting international standards, agreements for post placement supervision were instituted.

It is absolutely imperative that these reports be filed on time and that all appointments scheduled with the social worker are conducted in a timely fashion. I can personally attest that in at least 3 instances when reports were not filed promptly agencies were told lack of adherence to the agreement would result in the adoption program being shut down. Under these circumstances it is important full responsibility be maintained for keeping all appointments.

There are also other reasons why post-placement supervision is essential for adoptive parents. It provides the documentation to your state court that your family is recommended as the adoptive home of your child. This is a particularly important step for those families who were solely given guardianship by another country and wish to adopt in America or by families who wish to readopt in the United States thereby insuring their child will be heir to all the rights and privileges of an American citizen.

by Roberta Kalmar, LMSW

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The information and advice provided is intended to be general information, NOT as advice on how to deal with a particular child's situation and or problem. If your child has a specific problem you need to ask your pediatrician about it - only after a careful history and physical exam can a medical diagnosis and/or treatment plan be made. This Web site does not constitute a physician-patient relationship.

This material has been provided by, an innovative adoption medicine private practice and educational service, dedicated to helping parents and adoption agencies with the complex pre-adoption medical issues of internationally adopted children. All medical interactions are performed via, e-mail, express mail, telephone, and fax. There is no need to make a live appointment or travel outside of your hometown. For more information, visit or call 631-499-4114.

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