Adoption is complicated and exciting. Over the past decade we have learned a lot how adoption affects children, especially those who have experienced trauma and dislocation. Knowledge and perspective give us tools to help prepare families for the unique challenges of parenting adopted children. We can recommend many resources for adoptive families. Call us when you have questions or need assistance or feedback about any sort of concern.
Our policies are intended to ensure that children have the best chance of belonging to families that are committed, qualified, prepared and familiar with resources that will serve their needs.
Adoption Policies & Procedures Information
International Child Foundation sends information about our adoption programs to families upon inquiry, including program guides, fee schedules, the adoption services agreement and application form. These are for your review. This information is also accessible via the website, under the “Start Here” tab on the home page menu.
In addition, we provide the following information to all prospective adoptive clients upon request:
• The number of parents who apply to adopt through our programs annually;
• The number of adoptive placements we have completed annually;
• The number and percentage of those placements that have disrupted or dissolved;
• The number of children eligible for adoption and awaiting referral from any Hague compliant country from which we assist in child placement, when known.
To request this information, please contact us. We will be happy to send you a current report within a week.
All Adoptive Families must complete a minimum of 10 hours of pre-adoption education pertinent to the adoption they are planning, domestic or international. International families must complete the mandatory Hague Convention curriculum. This adoption education must be completed during the home study process. This agency and the home study provider or primary adoption service provider may require a family to complete additional education to prepared for the adoption of a particular child or if the family is adopting “hard to place” children, which includes identified medical or psychological needs, sibling groups or older children. The general consensus within the adoption community, including professionals and families, is that adoptive parenting is complex. Adopted children deserve parents prepared to address special needs common to adopted children, which often include developmental or language delays, concerns about identity, family and community dynamics, belonging and acceptance.
Notification of Significant Changes ~ State and Federal Mandates
“It’s the law.” Families are required to inform us immediately if there is a change residence, contact information, (including additional email addresses) or other significant events. Significant events include changes in residence, income, marital status, medical status, psychological status, arrests, changes in the composition of your family and/or changes that affect the persons living in your household, such as behavioral or medical issues, child abuse allegations or incidents or arrests.
For International Adoption
Families are legally obliged to disclose significant changes until child or children being adopted receive a visa from the US Embassy. US Citizenship and Immigration Services requirements specify:
Prospective adoptive parents are hereby informed that under penalty of perjury it is their duty to disclose all information under 8 CFR 204.311 (d)—as required for the Home Study. The prospective adoptive parents must notify the home study preparer and USCIS of any new event or information that might warrant submission of an amended or updated home study and that the duty to disclose is ongoing while form I-800A or I-600A is pending, after form I-800A or I-600A is approved, and while form I-800 or I-600 is pending until there is a final decision admitting the child to the US on a visa.
The agency strives to provide families with excellent service and honest communication. Our fee structure is arranged so that you pay as little as possible at the time of application. The Home Study fee is paid at the time service is engaged. Agency fees for adoption services are paid over the course of your adoption process. Because our work is ongoing and you are paying for adoption services and not a child, when an agency fee is submitted, it is nonrefundable. Please carefully review your home study and/or adoption services agreement.
Although we will work to obtain the refund of any international fees paid to a foreign coordinator/attorney/authority if the need arises, we cannot make any assurances or promises for the return of international fees or foreign expenses. If you withdraw from the adoption process, for any reason, or if the adoption fails, for any reason, no refunds are provided except as may be allowed specifically by the adoption services agreement. The policy is no refunds under any circumstances. Clients pay for ongoing services; not for the completion of an adoption.
As stated on the Agency Application, all clients or prospective clients including Adoptive Parents and Birth Parents have the right to file a grievance if they disagree or are unhappy with a service provided by any Agency team member or if they feel that a decision was not made in accordance with the written policies of the Agency. ICF neither discourages clients from making complaints nor discriminates against those who submit complaints. A grievance should be submitted to the Executive Director in writing, signed and dated, and describe the specific matter relating to the grievance, the reason the person felt the decision to be incorrect and a proposal for a solution to the matter. Grievances should be brought to the attention of the Agency in a timely manner. The Executive Director will review the complaint and develop a plan for resolution of the complaint and communicate the same to the client(s) within thirty days of the Executive Director’s receipt of the complaint. If the Adopting Parents are not satisfied with the response of the Executive Director, the parents can request an appeal to the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors. Such an appeal must be made in writing and submitted to the Agency to the attention of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors within thirty days of the client(s)’ receipt of the Executive Director’s decision.
Adoptive Parent(s) understand and agree that exhaustion of the Grievance Procedure including all appeals is a condition precedent to any further mediation or arbitration of Adoptive Parent(s) complaint or claim. Except as otherwise specifically provided in this agreement, any complaint or claim of Adoptive Parent(s) which cannot be resolved through the Grievance Procedure, and any other dispute, controversy or claim arising out of or relating to the terms or performance of this agreement which cannot be resolved by good faith negotiation among the parties, must be resolved as specified in the Binding Arbitration Agreement attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference.
SUPERVISORY ROLE OF THE ARIZONA DEPT OF ECONOMIC SECURITY
The Office of Licensing, Certification and Regulation provides licensing and monitoring of adoption and child welfare agencies in the state of Arizona. The public has the right to register a complaint about an agency. The OLCR contact information is (602) 350-5963 and mailing address DES/OLCR, PO Box 6123-076A, Phoenix AZ 85005-6123.
HAGUE COMPLAINT REGISTRY
Adoptive Parent(s) may register a complaint regarding an agency with the Hague Complaint Registry, (HCR) at the US Dept of State website, http://adoption.state.gov/hague_convention/agency_accreditation/complaints.php.
Adopting Parent Rights
- To seek consultation from the agency of their choice
- To contract with an agency based on mutually agreeable terms
- To be treated confidentially, with access to their names and records limited to those involved in their case or as designated by the adopting parents
- To be fully informed of legal, social and medical information about their child made available to their agency
- To have the ability to take child referral documentation to a physician of their choice and be given a reasonable amount of time before making a decision about accepting a child referred to them by a foreign country
- To be informed as to what the roles and responsibilities are with respect to the agency and themselves
- To receive a copy of the agency’s fee policy and be informed of fees and costs associated with adoption
- To have resources and support offered to them during the post placement and adjustment period
- To be assured that the staff of their agency will interact in a professional, ethical, courteous manner and will put the clients interests over the personal interests of the staff
- To have the right to file a formal grievance and be treated objectively and fairly, without fear of retaliation
Post Adoption Requirements
Post placement or post adoption reports are routinely required for all adoptions. Adoptive parents have a legal and ethical obligation to fulfill these requirements, as set by their state and the country of adoption. Please be prepared and keep an eye on your calendar to be sure to complete these reports in a timely manner. Adoptive parents may be subject to legal penalties for failure to submit reports.
Our mission is to promote the rights of the child and to provide permanency for children through adoption services. Our commitment to adoptive families is ongoing. Please let us know if you are facing difficulties at any time during or after the adoption process.
International Child Foundation Adoption
& Home Study Services
Please contact us for current information about programs and countries.