• Adopting a child is a life-altering decision. It is critical to carefully prepare families. Unfortunately, even with the most intricate preparation, it is possible to have a "disruption" or "dissolution" of adoption.
• The Reuters report on Americans using the Internet to "re-home" or abandon children adopted from overseas was chilling. With no uniform law governing adoption in the U.S., there are serious concerns for the safety and well-being of these vulnerable children.
• There is currently a legal agreement between states called the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children that sets a standard for how to handle custody transfers across state lines, but it is relatively unknown among police. However, some child welfare officials recommend that Congress make it a law in order to push enforcement and penalties.
• The Hague Adoption Convention was established in May 1993 to create international standards of practices for inter-country adoptions. Leading adoption agencies, such as Bethany, will not work with countries that have not signed the Hague Adoption Convention.
• While the Hague Adoption Convention requires at least 10 hours of pre-placement education, Bethany requires families adopting internationally to have at least 30 hours so that we can ensure we are placing children in a loving and nurturing environment.
• At Bethany, we counsel every prospective adoptive couple to work with a reputable agency, rather than trying to adopt independently to avoid some of the pitfalls that can occur during and after placement. We require at least four post placement/post adoption visits.
• One of Bethany's post placement visits typically occurs within 48 hours of the family arriving home to establish right off the bat that we are a support and an ally for the family, making sure adoptive couples don't feel isolated when trying to assimilate a child from another culture into their new home.
For more information on Bethany: www.bethany.org/grandrapids