Preparing for Your Post-Placement Adoption Visits
After your child is placed in your arms for the first time, you’ll want nothing more than to start your new life together. It can feel like your adoption is finally complete after receiving ICPC clearance and returning home — but there are a few more important steps awaiting you in the legal process of adoption.
Depending on your state laws, you may have to complete post-placement adoption visits. At first, these can seem overwhelming. You might be worried about being the “perfect” parent or being judged for the (natural) adjustment to your new role as caregiver.
Know this: Your post-placement adoption visits are not there to jeopardize your adoption placement. Instead, they’re just another tool to ensure that you and your child will adjust to your new lives together safely and successfully.
Before your post-placement visits for adoption, your specialist at American Adoptions will help you prepare. That’s why you can always contact them online or call them at 1-800-ADOPTION with your questions.
In the meantime, here’s a quick run-down of what you need to know about infant adoption post-placement visits.
Why are Post-Placement Adoption Visits Required?
Post-placement visits are an important part of the post-placement legal process. They exist to confirm the safety and well-being of both the adopted child and the adoptive parents. Adoption is a big deal, and it takes some time to adjust to the new reality of raising an adopted child. Post-placement adoption visits ensure all parties are comfortable and happy during this time.
The number of adoption post-placement visits and when they will occur will depend on your state laws. In most cases, these visits are completed by your home study professional. Adoptive parents who work with our agency to complete their home study will coordinate with our social workers for this step. Your adoption specialist will also help you prepare for these visits.
Typically, three post-placement visits are required, in accordance with the laws where your adoption will be finalized (not necessarily where you may live). In private domestic infant adoptions, most post-placement adoption visits start two to four weeks after placement.
What Happens During Post-Placement Visits for Adoption?
Post-placement visits often include in-home visits and telephone calls. Most professionals require adoptive parents to stay in touch with them at least once per month during this process, even if an in-home visit does not occur during a particular month.
Many adoptive parents worry about in-home post placement visits for adoption, but you need not be. Like with your home study, the social workers conducting your post-placement visits want your adoption to succeed. The information they gather from the home visit will be used to create a report presented to the judge at finalization to support your adoption placement.
So, what happens during in-home post-placement adoption visits?
You may be surprised to find that your post-placement visits are very similar to your home study visits. Your social worker will observe you and your child to see how you’re adjusting to your new roles. They will also ask you some questions about a variety of topics (like your baby’s milestones and pediatrician visits). Remember: A post-placement in-home visit should reflect your everyday life, to ensure that the placement is in the best interest of all involved.
After completing all required post-placement visits, your social worker will present a report to your adoption specialist or attorney for use at your adoption finalization hearing.
What are some Post-Placement Visit Adoption Questions?
Your American Adoptions specialist and/or home study provider will always help prepare you for your post-placement adoption visits. You won’t be going in blind; you’ll know what to expect and what your social worker is looking for. That way, you can relax and focus on adjusting to your new parenting duties — not freaking out about an in-home visit.
If you want to prep for post-placement visit adoption questions, think back to your home study. Many of the same kinds of adoption-specific questions will be asked. Double-check that all of your child safety features are still properly installed, and prepare for questions like:
- How are you and your child adjusting since placement?
- Has your child been meeting proper age and growth developments?
- How have you started speaking to your child about their adoption?
- Are there any areas in your new parenting role in which you’re struggling?
That last question may catch you off-guard, but it’s not a “gotcha” moment. Instead, it’s a chance for you to express any doubts or concerns you may have at this point. Remember, your social worker is here to help you. They can answer any questions you have and find any additional services or resources you may need.
Similarly, don’t be afraid to ask questions during your post-placement adoption visit! This visit is as much for you as it is for your social workers.
If you’re new to adoption, it’s normal to wonder whether you’re doing the “right” thing. If you’re new to parenting, you may wonder if your child is developing “normally.” These are normal concerns for first-time adoptive parents, and they’re proof that you want to do best by your child. Your social worker can help you better understand and prepare for the unique challenges and joys of parenting an adopted child, giving you the tools to succeed in the years to come.
You may be stressed about your upcoming adoption post-placement visits, but rest assured that they’re no big deal — and that American Adoptions will be here to guide you through this and other post-placement steps. Contact us online anytime to learn more about our full-service national adoption agency.
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