Policies & Planning

Lucky for adoptive parents today that others have pioneered the path.  Children — whether they be adopted from overseas or the US or even when they arrive  biologically — always present individual challenges.  We have learned a great deal over the past decades about child psychology and development and much of this information has derived from the world of adoption.  Families have many resources and tools at their disposal.  There are written materials, online courses, adoption education seminars and adoptive family support groups.

Adopting children from institutional settings requires families to be informed, supportive and patient. Children from orphanages often need to learn how to give and receive affection and how to trust. What seems natural to us may seem foreign and inexplicable to them.  Learning how to communicate effectively with children who have had their hearts broken involves more than love.  Your commitment to learning about attachment and developmental issues will be the bedrock of your success.

ICF assists families navigate their adoption and transition from being pre-adoptive parents to a new adoptive family. Throughout the journey we provide guidance and support with in-person, phone and email communications.

For detailed information on international adoption, countries open for adoption and the Hague Convention, please visit the US Dept of State at www.adoption.state.gov

Family Qualifications

It can be hard to find the “perfect” country for your adoption. Each country (or with domestic adoption–each birthmother) has their own preferences and restrictions.  Some foreign governments are open to both married and single adoptive parents; others are not.  Some countries have specific age paraments while others are more case-by-case.  Generally, families where at least on spouse is over 25 and both spouses are under age 45 are the most likely candidates for younger children.

Some countries have health restrictions.  This can apply to diagnoses of various diseases or disorders or to medication, or even to weight in the case of China.  Some countries have criminal history restrictions where no criminal incidents or arrests are allowed and others are tolerant of misdemeanors or non-violent crimes. Some countries prefer that families be Christian and others are indifferent or may even exclude certain religious backgrounds.  Choosing is a country for adoption can be complicated.

International Child Foundation can help you discover where you might “fit.”  Currently, most foreign countries are focused on placing older children (age 3 and up) who need “forever families.”   Families adopting older children often find that they need advanced skills to best understand and support their children.  Parenting techniques common to biological families may not be appropriate for adopted children.  Understanding your child’s perspective may involve years of unraveling and discovery.

Adoption is a truly life-changing experience. International Child Foundation is committed to helping children and families grow together to have happy, fulfilling futures. Please, always let us know how we can help you and we will endeavor to provide the support and services you need.

Family Post Adoption Requirements

Many families ask why there are post adoption reporting requirements. The reason is that your child’s native country has concerns and needs verifiable assurances that children placed with families so far from their country of origin are in loving hands.  It is essential for the future of international adoption that your reports arrive on time.

Agency Policies

International Child Foundation provides transparent and ethical adoption services.  Adoptive parents are always welcome to inquire about our policies and we will be happy to share them with you.

Refund Policy

International Child Foundation strives to provide 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 initiated. Agency fees for international adoption 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. For example, when you submit $300 with your application, it is nonrefundable.

Fees paid for the foreign part of an adoption service are similarly paced and nonrefundable.  Adoption fees are not solely for individual services; each program has general overhead and administration and operating costs.  This is true for both the initial stages of an adoption–the preparation phase–as well as for the adoption process itself.

When families submit payments to International Child Foundation which are then passed to a foreign representative, the fees are nonrefundable.  If families withdraw from the adoption process for any reason or if the adoption fails for any reason, fees are nonrefundable.

The agency policy and the policy of each foreign coordinator or attorney or representative is that there are no refunds under any circumstances because adoptive families are paying for ongoing services, not for the completion of an adoption.

Fees are subject to change over the course of an adoption.  In particular, if a foreign country alters its regulations or delays adoption processing, there may be and in all likelihood will be additional fees and costs to adoptive families.  International Child Foundation is a non profit organization.  When the agency faces additional costs due to any issue overseas that requires more work and/or time to continue adoption services, those costs are passed on to families.

International adoption involves many months and entails considerable financial risk.  International Child Foundation wishes families to be fully informed of fees and costs and about the potential for additional costs, should adoptions become more complex or lengthy or when a third party (such as USCIS or any third party vendor) increases their fees.

Adopting Parents Bill of Rights

  • Adopting Parents should have the right:
  • 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 others designated by the adopting parents
  • To be fully informed in regard to the legal, social and medical information of their child that has been made available to their agency
  • To have the ability to take the child referral and all documentation available to a physician of their choice and be given a reasonable amount of time before making a decision on the referral
  • To be the only ones able to accept or deny a referral for a child that they feel is appropriate for themselves
  • To be full informed, in simple terms, as to what the roles and responsibilities are in regard to the agency and themselves
  • To be knowledgeable in regard to the costs and fees associated with adoption
  • To have resources and support offered to them during the post placement 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

Grievance Procedure

Adopting parents have the right to file a grievance with International Child Foundation if they disagree with or are unhappy with the service provided by any staff person or representative or if they believe that a decision was not made in accordance with the written policies of the agency. The grievance should be submitted to the Executive Director and the letter must include the specific matter as to which there is a grievance, the reason the person felt the decision to be incorrect and a proposition for a solution to the matter. Grievances must be filed within thirty days of the disputed matter. The Executive Director will review the complaint and develop a plan for resolution of the complaint and communicate the same to the adopting parents within seventy-two hours 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 Chair of the Board of Directors. Such an appeal must be made in writing and submitted to the agency to the attention of the President/Chair of the Board of Directors within twenty day of the adopting parents receipt of the Executive Director’s decision.

Adopting parents are also entitled to register a complaint with the Arizona Department of Economic Security, Office of Licensing, Certification and Regulation, in Phoenix, AZ.  The division of DES/OLCR supervising child welfare agencies is the Child Welfare Licensing unit, which is supervised by Steve Holstad at sholstad@azdes.gov or 602-513-3558.

Hague accredited adoption agencies and approved attorneys are listed with the US Dept of State.  Families who would like more information on how to file a complaint about a Hague accredited or approved provider may go to the Dept of State website at http://adoptionusca.state.gov/HCRWeb/WelcomeForm.aspx.

We are committed to finding forever families for orphans. Please let us know if you are facing difficulties so that we may try to help.

International Child Foundation Adoption & Home Study Services

Please contact us for current information about programs and countries.