Friday, March 2, 2007

Step Five: Making a Final Decision after you are Matched

After you are matched, you still have to read through the case file and decide if you are willing to proceed with adopting the children. This step is much more difficult than you might seem have you never read a case file. Here are some tips based on my experience.

1) Start with the most recent information first. You are adopting a child for who he/she is today, not for who they used to be. Many families start at the beginning and by the time they read through the first year of a child's life in foster care they are sure they can't parent the child. Get a good understanding of how the child is functioniing right now before reading through the history.

2) Understand the the Difficulty of Care Cunnundrum. If you understand this you may understand a little more about why the case file reads as it does.

3) Realize that information given to a psychiatrist for an evaluation is given by someone, and that someone may have an ulterior motive. If a foster parent is having a psych eval done in order to prove that they cannot take care of the child in their home, then they will present certain information. If a parent who is disrupting an adoption is trying to justify their decision, they may paint a more negative picture of the child.

4) Realize that every situation is unique and that the way a child is doing in one situation is not a predictor of how they will do in another. Every situation and every child is different and the mix is unpredictable.

5) Remind yourself that there are no guarantees. Every adoption (just like the birth of every child) is a risk. You never will know how things are going to turn out until they do.

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