Adoption STAR is HAGUE ACCREDITED
We are extremely pleased to notify you that the Council on Accreditation (COA) has granted Adoption STAR’s application for Hague Accreditation pursuant to the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA). Prospective adoptive parents considering an international adoption should know that, in order to be accredited, Adoption STAR has been evaluated based on comprehensive standards contained in the accreditation regulations. All adoptions from Convention countries MUST involve an adoption service provider that is accredited.
Please note that over 300 agencies applied for Hague Accreditation and only approximately half of those agencies received accreditation by the Department of State announcement on February 29, 2008. Adoption STAR is proud to be among the first few agencies nationwide to have accomplished this.
We welcome you to join Adoption STAR in your journey toward international adoption. We offer programs in Hague and Non-Hague countries.
International Adoption – Your 12 Step Guide
We are proud to share that Adoption STAR is an agency with one of the highest educational standards. Adoption STAR will be available to you during your educational process. While your education begins pre-adoption, it is important for you to know that it continues post adoption as well. Educated adoptive parents will tell you that adoption is a life long process. Whether you adopt from a Hague country or not, the Adoption STAR educational program has been instituted to enable you to succeed and compliments and assists in completing your educational requirements.
Adoption STAR will be happy to provide you a pre-adoption home study services and post placement supervision when you return home with your child. This service is available for families who reside in Florida, New York, or Ohio.
Step 1 ★ Selecting the Country You Wish To Adopt From
Step 1 and 2 can be interchangeable. Sometimes an adoptive family falls in love with a country and just knows they wish to adopt from that country. In that case, they research which adoption agencies have an international placement program within that country. Be sure to check the requirements that country has for their adoptive parents as some countries are stricter than others and have age, marriage length and other qualifications. Sometimes an adoptive family selects a primary provider agency first because they are comfortable that the agency can provide them with the support necessary to pursue an international adoption. If you choose your agency first, be sure that they have country programs that you qualify for.
We hope Adoption STAR is one of the stops you make along your journey.
Step 2 ★ Contacting Adoption STAR for a Primary Provider International Application
You will need to identify a Primary Provider, which would be an internationally accredited agency that is able to place a child with you. Adoption STAR has chosen not be a Primary Provider, but acts as a Supervised or Exempt Provider to conduct home study and post placement services for your family. Adoption STAR and your Primary Provider will form an interagency agreement in order to work together on behalf of your adoption. It is helpful to know what country you would like to adopt from at this point as each country program has their own set of paperwork and requirements. You may feel overwhelmed once you open the application packet as it is lengthy and takes a bit of time to review. If you have not already identified a Primary Provider and country program, we will do our best to provide you with information on Hague Accredited Primary Provider Agencies.
Step 3 ★ Contacting Adoption STAR
You may register with Adoption STAR to complete your home study for an international adoption by calling us at 1-866-691-3300, by emailing us or by clicking the button below to fill out a registration request form on our website. If you call the agency, you will immediately speak to a friendly, helpful and knowledgeable staff person who can answer any questions you may have.
Request My Free Information Packet
It is helpful to know what country you would like to adopt from at this point as each country program has their own set of paperwork. You may feel overwhelmed once you open the application packet as it is lengthy and takes a bit of time to review. There is also a fee agreement to read and of course additional literature on Adoption STAR and our services and programs. Adoption STAR staff is available to answer any questions you may have while you review and fill out the application. After you have completed the application, you just drop it in the mail to us.
Step 4 ★ Welcome to Adoption STAR
Once we receive your registration packet, including signed service contract and fee agreements, we will review it to make sure all sections are complete. If all is in place, you have become a client of Adoption STAR. Welcome! If it is geographically feasible for you to attend a personal consultation meeting with one of our family advocates, we will schedule that for you. If you are unable to meet, then a telephone appointment will be scheduled. At this time Adoption STAR would also be in contact with your primary agency to begin completing the interagency agreement.
Step 5 ★ The Home Study
NY, FL and OH residents:
Upon receipt of the home study fee, you will be supplied a home study packet that provides comprehensive instructions and documents as per the state you reside so the home study will comply with the regulations necessary to complete an adoption home study. Once all the home study paperwork is received, you will be contacted by a social worker that will meet you at your convenience for the home study visits. Adoption STAR believes a home study should involve an educational approach and we work hard to provide a welcoming and non-threatening home study process.
Step 6 ★ The Educational Requirements
Adoption STAR values pre-adoption education and exceeds the recommendations necessary to adopt internationally. Adoption education and preparation specifically to adopt internationally is imperative. Whether you reside near Adoption STAR or not, we will assist you in obtaining your educational credits. Our pre-adoption home study classes are offered regularly for your convenience. The process is not tedious but actually filled with incredible educational opportunities provided to you in a number of creative ways. We hope you embrace the learning process.
Step 7 ★ The Dossier
When one plans to adopt internationally there is much paperwork to generate in order to be approved from US Immigration. Your Primary Provider will provide you with a dossier template and checklist for the country you are planning to adopt from. In addition, your Primary Provider will review your dossier before sending it out to be sure that all the required documents and pertinent seals are in place.
Step 8 ★ Ready and Waiting
Once your home study is completed and approved and your dossier has been submitted and accepted, you are now considered ready to learn about a child or children who are paperwork ready for adoption. Of course each country has its own requirements and time frames. For some this may be immediate and for others a child referral may take months to years.
By being ready and waiting have reached a milestone as you have learned so much and now are at a new and exciting stage in your adoption journey.
The Agency appreciates that both the decision to adopt and the process of adoption can be difficult for many individuals and families. The adoption process is very often filled with moments of hope, as well as moments of disappointment. Applicants who view the process as discouraging or have an overall negative view of the process are more likely to feel unhappy and unsuccessful in the program. Planning for the possibility that plans will change is a key element to keeping calm and stress free while going through the adoption process. Applicants who remain optimistic and view the adoption process as a journey filled with learning experiences are more apt to feeling happy and successful in the program.
The healthiest way to be “ready and waiting” is to continue your adoption education as adoption is life-long and does not end with the placement of a child. There is so much to learn about adoption and parenting, so embrace this time.
Click here for 25 suggestions for dealing with the “waiting” process.
Step 9 ★ Child Referral
When you learn of a child referral from your Primary Provider, you will receive information on the child, their development and medical situation. Depending upon the country, you may receive photos of the child. You will be provided with a time period in which you decide to accept or decline the referral.
Step 10 ★ Travel To Your Child’s Country of Origin
Most countries require that you travel to meet the child. The number and length of trips required to complete your adoption varies by country. Depending upon the country, you will be provided with expectations as to travel time, time in the country and what to bring with you. Your Primary Provider should work closely with their foreign service providers so their families will have a great deal of hand-holding and support during their time abroad. In most countries you finalize the adoption there, and may chose to re-finalize upon returning to the United States.
Step 11 ★ Post Placement Period
After you return home with your child, your home study social worker will contact you to arrange the required visits known as post placement or post adoption supervision visits. The number of visits will be based on the country’s requirements, as well as the requirements of the Primary Provider, and your home state, which ever is greater. The post placement period is an important time to share your family’s milestones as well as challenges.
Click here to view the Post Placement Questionnaire for International Adoption to see the important areas that will be covered during the post placement period.
Step 12 ★ Post Adoption Support
Post placement is the period of time after placement but before adoption finalization. Post adoption refers to any time after the finalization of adoption occurs. Post adoption support is crucial to the healthy and stability of the adoptive family. Adoption STAR provides post adoption support via support groups, online groups, counseling, post adoption educational workshops, and by providing additional resources and referrals.
After you return with your child, you can participate in our post adoption counseling, mentoring and social networks services. Through numerous events and get-togethers with other adoptive families, you’ll be able to benefit from the continued support we offer to families after the adoption process is successfully completed.
FAQs – International Adoption
Begin answering some of your initial questions here on our FAQ page and send us an inquiry if you find your question is not answered here.
For many years Adoption STAR operated as a Primary Provider with programs in Bulgaria and Hungary so the agency has a great deal of experience within international adoption. Currently, Adoption STAR focuses on providing education, home study services and post placement services for clients pursuing an international adoption and no longer has active international placement programs. Adoption STAR currently has active domestic (U.S.) infant and older child adoptive placement programs.
From our experience time you submit your formal application until you are united with your child usually ranges from 12-36 months, and is dependent on the country and Primary Provider you adopt from.
Fees vary by country and agency. One common misconception is the cost difference between international and domestic adoption. It is commonly believed that international adoption costs far more than domestic adoption, however this is not always the case. While each adoption has its own set of special circumstances which can influence the cost, domestic and international adoption costs can be very similar.
The Adoption Tax Credit is also applicable for families who adopt internationally.
Just as there are children of all ages available for adoption in the U.S., the typical age of a child adopted internationally also varies, depending greatly on the country of origin and its adoption policies. While some countries do place babies with American families, other countries have strict adoption mandates that only make the adoption of an older child available to foreign families. Additionally, some countries have very long adoption processes. While an American couple may initially be matched with a young child, by the time the legal process is carried out and the family is able to bring the child home, the child is several months older.
Your Primary Provider most likely works with a team of in-country adoption specialists to assure that you will receive as much information about the child’s social, emotional, educational and medical background as possible. Children should be tested for Hepatitis, Tuberculosis, HIV, etc. Photos, and sometimes videos, are available on a child. If a child’s birth family background is known then information about his birth parents and other biological relatives will be provided.
In addition to being authorized in New York, Adoption STAR is licensed in Ohio and Florida. If you reside in any of these states, you are welcome to register with Adoption STAR for home study and post placement services.
Adoption STAR staff will be glad to assist you with this important decision. We can also provide you with referrals to Primary Providers.
Traveling to your child’s country of origin is usually required. In addition, even if not required, it is recommended as it is important to become familiar with your child’s origins, culture, food, climate and lifestyle to best able to assist the child in transitioning to your home but also to work to keep the child’s culture apart of your new family.
Give the agency a call or drop us an email or request a packet online. If you have any questions when you receive the application packet, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The best way to make a decision between considering domestic adoption versus an international adoption is to write down a list of pros and cons. Adoption STAR has developed a list of important areas to consider as you make the decision between a domestic or international adoption. Click here to learn more about domestic vs. international adoption.