Intern Information Form

 
 

Verification

Orientation and Training

A Family For Every Child Adoption Agency holds orientations & Information Nights for families interested in starting the home study process at various locations throughout Oregon on a monthly basis.

Orientation

If you would like to attend to learn about how we can help you with your home study, please contact adoption@afamilyforeverychild.org to RSVP, obtain the parent packet. and get directions to the meeting location. Please call 541-343-2856 to make a reservation and get directions to the orientation meeting location!

Information Nights

By registering for an upcoming meeting in your area you will receive a copy of our Parent Packet to review, a confirmed seat in the session, and a reminder phone call before the meeting. To register for one of the in person information nights, please email adoption@afamilyforeverychild.org with the date you would like to attend and the number of people attending. Space is limited, so be sure to register now. 

Information Nights (Eugene Office)
Information Nights (Eugene Office)

Are you interested in taking your first step towards adoption?! Please join us for our adoption information night! This is where you can learn about the general process of adoption and get all of your questions answered! There are a couple options every month!
Come into our Eugene Office for an friendly in-person Information meeting! Please RSVP for more information!
Information Nights are 2nd Thursday of each month at 6:00pm to 7:30 pm – this is in our Office

Upcoming Dates RSVP
Adoption Support Group
Adoption Support Group

Monthly meeting for family's at any stage of the adoption process; from just thinking about it to already finalized, everyone is welcome. We will discuss pertinent topics regarding the adoption process, challenging behaviors, expectations and lot more. This will be a great opportunity for adoptive parents to meet and share ideas.

Sunday, June 16, 2019 at Old Nick's Pub in Eugene

Upcoming Dates RSVP

Training For Adoption in the Pacific Northwest

State of Oregon: Foster Parent and Relative Caregiver Training

Training, which will prepare you for parenting children who may have been abused or neglected, is required in both Oregon and Washington. Although each state differs in content and hours, both require orientation and pre-service training prior to adoption. The training is an overview of the issues involved in foster care and adoption. It prepares prospective parents to better understand a child who comes out of the foster care system.

Oregon Training

By District

To find foster care training near you

Other Links

FREE ADOPTION FOUNDATIONS TRAINING FOR OREGON RESIDENTS

This class is a three-day series and is offered to help prospective parents become better prepared to adopt or foster children with special needs. The training fulfills an Oregon DHS requirement for adopting or fostering children in State care. (This Class meets the minimum Requirements for Oregon "Foundations Training"). The class is open to all families pursuing foster care or adoption of children from foster care who reside in Oregon. Space is limited, reservations required. To sign up please call 503-232-1211 or email bhartman@christianfamilyadoptions.org .

Topics Covered Include

Foster Care vs. Adoption
Separation and Loss
Attachment
Adopting the Sexually Abused Child
Adoption, Foster Care and Effects on the Family
Child Development
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects
Positive Behavior Management
Cultural Diversity and Honoring a Child's Heritage
Understanding the Adoption and Foster Care Process

Washington

Other States

The Basics of Adoption

Step 1: Getting Started

You have made the decision to adopt. You will need to contact an agency licensed in your state about completing your adoption home study, and ask questions. Choosing the right agency will make a difference in your adoption journey. We are also happy to help you any way we can, as children are waiting for their "Forever Families". Please use the Registration Form to make yourself known to us and sign up to receive our weekly mailings. A Family for Every Child serves children and families nationally.

Step 2: Initial Orientation

This is an orientation meeting where you will be given a basic understanding of:
  • The Adoption Program, policies and procedures of the Adoption Agency
  • Who are the children; the needs and characteristics of children available for adoption through state foster care systems.
  • Overview of attachment, separation, grief and loss, abuse, neglect or traumas that children have experienced
  • The role and responsibility of adoptive parents
  • The importance of cultural and ethnic identity to the child
  • The importance of birth parents
  • The process of what you will need to go through and the next steps on your journey
  • Background checks
  • Parent Packet Application Process
  • Overview of Home Study/Assessment
  • The length of the process with approximate timelines
  • Rights and responsibilities of the adoptive family and the Adoption Agency
  • Overview of family selection /matching process

Step 3: Adoptive Parent Training

Each state requires training to become an adoptive parent, it varies by state.  The training sessions vary by area/location, 4 to 10 weeks, or weekend sessions.  You will want to check into what is available in your area.  Check out our training page The training sessions are designed to:
  • Prepare prospective parents to better understand a child who comes out of the foster care system.
  • Prepare you for adoption
  • Challenge you to grow and develop as a parent
  • Help you consider; what type of child can I successfully parent?  Am I able to parent a child who has been neglected and/or abused to some degree?

Step 4: Parent Application Process

This is where you will want to narrow down the agency that you will choose to go with to complete your Home Study Process.  You will want to make sure that you feel comfortable with the agency that you choose.  The steps for each agency may differ in training, timelines, and when items need to be completed and returned to proceed to the next step. The application will often include:
  • Reference letters
  • Fingerprint/criminal history background checks on each applicant
  • Financial documents
  • Medical Reports
  • Marriage and/ or Divorce Decree
  • Biography/life sketch
  • Child preferences
  • What brought you to adoption

Step 5: Home Study Process

A Home Study is a report that is required to determine the eligibility of adoptive parents.  A Home Study can only be used for one adoption (sibling groups are considered one if done at the same time). Home Studies are kept confidential and are only shared with professionals involved with the adoption. Fees for Home Studies vary from each agency. This is the time that you will meet your adoption worker, who will write your home study.   Click here to view the profiles of our Adoption Workers. She/he will meet with you in your home to talk about your personal history, family relationships, what brought you to the decision of adoption, and the supports/resources available to you.  They will determine if your home is safe and has sufficient space for adopted child/children.  This step will help you and the agency make the best possible decisions about whether placement of child/children will work out and to determine the characteristics of the children whom you will be most successful parenting. Once information is gathered and interviews have taken place with the adoption worker there may be a time of waiting; the home study /assessment will need to be written, during this step of your journey please try to be patient.  While you wait for the home study process to be completed we recommend that families do some reading, research and connect with other adoptive parents or support groups to prepare for the next phases of the adoption process.

Step 6: Matching/Selection

During the matching/selection phase you and the agency you have chosen work together to find the child/children that will be the best match for our family. We have a Matching Assistance Program to help families in the matching/selection process, this is for families throughout the U.S. Learn more about our Matching Assistance Program... We pride ourselves on having a current and reliable web listing of children waiting for their adoptive family. The matching process can be very challenging and frustrating. Many families have a difficult time finding children to submit on as well as being considered and notified by the caseworkers. We encourage families to be patient and to not lose hope. Every state differs in how they make the selection of where to place children. In some states the caseworker of the child makes the decision, in other states it is decided by a committee of people. Understand who will be submitting our home study on children (you, your adoption worker, etc) and how often. In some cases you will be given a copy of your home study to submit on children, and some agencies prefer that they submit your home study. The term "submitting on a child" means to give the child's social worker your paperwork, showing that you feel you are a good match. Some agencies will submit on a child/children out of state and other agencies will only submit on children in your state. Out-of-state adoption can be more work than in-state adoption. For details, see our Heart Gallery FAQ and tutorial on the ICPC.

Step 7: Placement

This is when you have been selected as the "Forever Family" for a child/children. 
  • Make sure you have the necessary information about the child/children
  • Make sure your resources are in place ahead of time
  • Talk with schools, counselors, therapist, physicians, dentist, child care, and support groups
Post placement reports are required until the adoption is finalized.  These reports may be done by both your adoption worker and/or another social worker.  The number of post placement visits/reports varies depending on the state requirements.  Are you ready to start? A child is waiting for their "Forever Family" you could be the one to make a difference.

Information Nights

A Family For Every Child Adoption Agency holds an Adoption Information Session for families interested in starting the home study process at various locations throughout Oregon. By registering for an upcoming meeting in your area you will receive a copy of our Parent Packet to review, a confirmed seat in the session, and a reminder phone call before the meeting.

To register for one of the in person information nights, please email adoption@afamilyforeverychild.org with the date you would like to attend and the number of people attending. Space is limited, so be sure to register now. 

Information Nights (Eugene Office)
Information Nights (Eugene Office)

Are you interested in taking your first step towards adoption?! Please join us for our adoption information night! This is where you can learn about the general process of adoption and get all of your questions answered! There are a couple options every month!
Come into our Eugene Office for an friendly in-person Information meeting! Please RSVP for more information!
Information Nights are 2nd Thursday of each month at 6:00pm to 7:30 pm – this is in our Office

Upcoming Dates RSVP
Adoption Support Group
Adoption Support Group

Monthly meeting for family's at any stage of the adoption process; from just thinking about it to already finalized, everyone is welcome. We will discuss pertinent topics regarding the adoption process, challenging behaviors, expectations and lot more. This will be a great opportunity for adoptive parents to meet and share ideas.

Sunday, June 16, 2019 at Old Nick's Pub in Eugene

Upcoming Dates RSVP

Adopting a Teenager

Can I adopt a teen?

Though most people think about babies when they think about adoption, there are many older children and hundreds of teens who wait for a family. Most of them have been in foster care for a considerable length of time; many have faced multiple moves and great losses.

Until fairly recently, teens in foster care were rarely considered for adoption. Thankfully, that has now changed. It is now recognized that it is never too late for someone to join a family. In fact, some individuals are adopted as adults.

When these teens in foster care are no longer the responsibility of the government, they become extremely vulnerable. Amongst the kids we see on the streets, homeless, panhandling, or involved in prostitution, many grew up in foster care and have little or no family support when they leave foster care. Most teens who have been adopted thrive in their new families and say it was the best thing that ever happened to them.

Like all of us, these kids need stability, a sense of belonging, and opportunities to develop and grow. These things are all far more likely if they are part of a family.

What sort of people adopt teens?

All sorts of people. Some have never parented before; others have seen their children grow up and leave home and want to continue being parents. Parents considering teen adoption will need to be strong, resilient, and, most importantly, totally committed to making it work.

Do the teens want to be adopted?

Yes. Here are some comments from waiting teens on what not having a family feels like:

"I truly don't feel like I've ever been loved ... there's a gaping hole in me."
"I've been in and out of foster care since I was little ... I've moved so much, I don't even remember the names of half the people I have lived with."
"I've really struggled with the idea of family ... trying to explain to people that I just don't have one."
A study on adolescent adoptions by the University of South Carolina, interviewed teens who had been adopted. This is what they said:
"It's the most important thing that happened to me."
"I've got a family and found love. I have everything one hopes for. I fit in a family."
"I have a normal life now. I have a driver's license, and I drive. I have friends, and I get to go on overnights. There is no comparison to what my life is now and what it was before."
"Before I was adopted, I was the property of the state ... just being adopted feels better."
"If it weren't for my mom, I wouldn't be where I am today. In the beginning, I had given up. I really tested her, especially in school. There was no way I'd be where I am today without being adopted. The best part is the relationship I have with my mom now."

What is the process for adopting a teen?

All prospective parents must complete a homestudy and an educational component before adopting a child. The homestudy is conducted by a social worker who interviews you and your family over several weeks. The social worker is not looking for perfection. The homestudy is not a test. The social worker is interested in why you chose adoption, your knowledge about adoption, how you have dealt with life's struggles (in particular, infertility, or grief and loss issues), and how you plan to deal with adoption or cultural issues as they arise. The homestudy process can be an excellent opportunity for self-reflection, clarification, and growth. The educational component is also a legal requirement. This series of seminars or one-on-one workshops explores the challenges and issues that may arise during your life as an adoptive family.

Teens are Waiting Children Too!

Assistance for Adoptive Families

There are many resources and supports available to assist families with their decision to adopt.

Adoption Subsidy

Some of the children who are adopted through Child Welfare are considered children with “special needs.” Special needs, as defined by the Department of Children and Families includes:

  • A child who has one or more special needs as a result of a mental, emotional or physical impairment, behavioral disorder, or medical condition that has been diagnosed by a licensed professional who is qualified to make the diagnosis
  • A child who is a member of a sibling group of 2 to be adopted together and one of the children is 8 years of age or older
  • A child is a member of a sibling group of 3 or more to be adopted together
  • A child is a member of an ethnic or cultural minority of whom reasonable, but unsuccessful efforts to place the child in an adoptive home were made and documented
  • The child’s birth and/or family history places the child at risk of having special needs but, due to the child’s age, a reliable diagnosis cannot be made.

Adoption subsidies are available to parents who adopt children who have physical or mental disabilities, or severe emotional problems. In addition to those children who qualify for subsidy through the Federal Title IV-E Adoption Assistance program, state subsidies are available to offset the additional costs of caring for a child with special needs. The subsidy programs are intended to remove financial barriers to the adoption of children with special needs, but they are not intended to cover the full cost of raising a child. The amount of the subsidy cannot be greater than the amount that child would have received had the child remained in a family-based foster care setting. The benefits available through the adoption subsidy programs are determined on an individual basis and may include monthly care and maintenance payments (a daily rate), health insurance coverage.

Adoption Tax Credit

In the summer of 2001, the Federal Adoption Tax Credit was updated. The most important update was to expand benefits to children with special needs adopted from the U.S. foster care system. Originally families adopting from the foster care system could claim the adoption tax credit, provided they had qualifying expenses. Unfortunately, the IRS list of qualifying expenses was limited to the cost of the adoption process, but not the day-to-day costs of raising a child with special needs. However, beginning in tax year 2003, families adopting a child with special needs from foster care, had access to this same tax credit without needing to document expenses. Since tax year 2005, the tax credit is $10,630 and you have the current year and up to the next five years in which to use it. For families that adopted in 2002 or earlier, you can only claim the credit against expenses you paid related to the adoption process.

If you have questions on the adoption tax credit, contact the North American Council on Adoptable Children at 651-644-3036 or  adoption.assistance@nacac.org. You can also visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov or call 1-800-829-1040.

Employee Benefits

Employer adoption benefits may include reimbursement for costs, paid or unpaid time-off and other support services. For more information contact the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption at 1-877-777-4222 or info@adoptionfriendlyworkplace.org, or visit their website.

Resources

Other States

Fee Schedule

A Family For Every Child believes that finances should not be a barrier to families wanting to adopt. For Financial resources please visit: Financial Resources

Oregon

Special Needs Adoption Home Study Fee$1,500.00
Independent Adoption Home Study Fee$3,000.00
Adoption Worker Travel FeesSee Travel Fee Arrangement Form
Home Study Update$350.00
Independent Adoption Post Placement Supervision$1,000 (for up to two visits) $500 for each subsequent visit as requested

Washington

Special Needs Adoption Home Study Fee$1,500.00
Independent Adoption Home Study Fee$3,000.00
Adoption Worker Travel FeesSee Travel Fee Arrangement Form
Home Study Update$350.00
Independent Adoption Post Placement Supervision$1,000 (for up to two visits) $500 for each subsequent visit as requested

Contact Us

Adoption Agency Coordinator
Local (541)343-2856
Toll Free (877)343-2856
adoption@afamilyforeverychild.org
Christy Obie Barrett
Founder and Executive Director
christy@afamilyforeverychild.org

Common Diagnoses of Foster Children

It is critical for children in foster care to get routine developmental screenings and any necessary follow-up. Routine pediatric visits include developmental check-ups, but children may not be seen regularly by a pediatrician while living in foster care. A child’s physical and mental functioning may improve if problems are recognized during routine developmental screenings and necessary treatment is provided.

Given that the life of a child in foster care is often filled with separation and loss it is not surprising that behavioral and psychiatric issues are common in these children.

Anxiety

Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive, exaggerated anxiety and worry about everyday life events with no obvious reasons for worry. People with symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder tend to always expect disaster and can’t stop worrying. Daily life becomes a constant state of worry, fear, and dread. Eventually, the anxiety so dominates the person’s thinking that it interferes with daily functioning.

Asthma

Asthma is an inflammatory disorder of the airways, which causes attacks of wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing.

Compulsive water drinking (polydipsia)

Polydipsia is a medical symptom in which the patient displays excessive thirst.

Depression

Depression is a serious medical illness that involves the brain. It’s more than just a feeling of being “down in the dumps” or “blue” for a few days. The feelings do not go away. They persist and interfere with your everyday life. Symptoms can include:

  • Sadness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
  • Change in weight
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
  • Energy loss
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Developmental delay

Developmental Delay is when your child does not reach their developmental milestones at the expected times. It is an ongoing major or minor delay in the process of development. If your child is temporarily lagging behind, that is not called developmental delay. Delay can occur in one or many areas—for example, gross or fine motor, language, social, or thinking skills.

Emotional or behavioral problems

Encopresis

Encopresis is the voluntary or involuntary passage of stools in a child who has been toilet trained (typically over age 4), which causes the soiling of clothes. Encopresis is frequently is associated with constipation and fecal impaction. Often, hard fecal material remains in the colon and the child only passes a soft or semi-liquid stool around the impacted stool. Leakage of stool may occur during the day or night. There are rarely physical causes other than constipation (sometimes present since infancy). Other causes may be related to:

  • A lack of toilet training
  • Toilet training at too early an age
  • Emotional disturbance such as oppositional defiant disorder

The following may increase the risk for encopresis:

  • Being male
  • Chronic constipation
  • Low socioeconomic status

Conduct disorder

Whatever the cause the child may develop associated shame, guilt, or loss of self-esteem. The child may try to hide the discovery of the problem.

Enuresis

Bedwetting is involuntary urination in children over 5 to 6 years old. It may occur at any time of the day or night.

Excess appetite (hyperphagia)

Excessive hunger describes an abnormally strong desire or need to eat. This can be normal or related to an underlying medical condition.

Failure to thrive

Failure to thrive is a description applied to children whose current weight or rate of weight gain is significantly below that of other children of similar age and sex.

Genetic and birth defect syndromes

HIV infection

HIV infection is a disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The condition gradually destroys the immune system, which makes it harder for the body to fight infections.

Inadequate immunization

Long bone and rib fractures

Poor dental hygiene or multiple caries

Poorly controlled chronic illness

Prenatal exposure to cocaine, alcohol, narcotics

Reactive Attachment Disorder

Reactive attachment disorder is a rare but serious condition in which infants and young children don’t establish healthy bonds with parents or caregivers. A child with reactive attachment disorder is typically neglected, abused, or moved multiple times from one caregiver to another. Because the child’s basic needs for comfort, affection and nurturing aren’t met, he or she never establishes loving and caring attachments with others. This may permanently alter the child’s growing brain and hurt their ability to establish future relationships. Reactive attachment disorder is a lifelong condition, but with treatment children can develop more stable and healthy relationships with caregivers and others. Safe and proven treatments for reactive attachment disorder include psychological counseling and parent or caregiver education.

Sexually transmitted diseases

Shaken baby syndrome

(SBS) is a form of physical child abuse that occurs when an abuser violently shakes an infant or small child, creating a whiplash-type motion that causes acceleration-deceleration injuries. It is common for there to be no external evidence of trauma.

Sleep disorders

Sleep disorders involve any difficulties related to sleeping, including difficulty falling or staying asleep, falling asleep at inappropriate times, excessive total sleep time, or abnormal behaviors associated with sleep.

Emotional Needs

The children AFFEC serves have been removed from their birth families. due to neglect, and/or abuse, and have varying degrees of emotional needs. Many of these children are slow to trust a new person or family, having suffered past losses and often finding the adults in their lives unreliable or unable to care for them. Emotional difficulties can also result in a child having behavioral difficulties. Hoarding food, withdrawing, having difficulty telling the truth and competing for attention are among the most common behaviors.

It can be especially challenging to deal with a child who has been through a traumatic experience. If a child is unwilling or unable to discuss these experiences, the frustration may be so overwhelming that it affects the child’s ability to function on a day-to-day basis. A sense of security and support services will often help a child make great strides in a new family. Many of the waiting children benefit from counseling and other therapeutic services.

Physical Difficulties

While most of the waiting children are healthy, some do have physical difficulties or disabilities. Some may have asthma, cleft palate, mild forms of bronchitis or allergies or easily treatable medical conditions. Other children have more severe physical disabilities, such as limb deformities, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, congenital heart disease, life-threatening illnesses and various types of developmental disabilities.

Learning Disabilities

Many waiting children have difficulties comprehending, processing or retaining oral and/or written information. Within the general public school population, 10 to 20 percent of children have some form of learning disability. Learning disabilities can manifest themselves in any number of ways. The most common problems are Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), hyperactivity and dyslexia.

Adopting Older Kids

Have you thought about adopting a school-age child or are you planning to adopt an older child? With preparation and patience, a few adjustments on both sides, and some unconventional parenting methods, you’ll find that bringing home an older child can be a deeply rewarding way to form a family.

Most waiting children are school-aged or older. There are several brothers and sisters who need to stay together. More than 60% of the children come from minority cultures. The majority of children are boys and many children have emotional, physical, learning disabilities or mental retardation. All are waiting for the love and security that only a permanent family can offer.

Older children, though often unable to verbalize their needs, long to be part of a family and need love like any other child. Conflicting emotions are often present, and an older child may still have ties to a biological or foster family, or be grieving over the loss of biological and/or foster families. More than anything else, these children need strong, permanent commitments from their adoptive families. An older child may have lived in several foster homes along the way or have had disrupted adoptive placements. These children have never had the support or the opportunity to build positive relationships and, as a result, may suffer from low self-esteem.

Every parent considering older child adoption needs to read, talk with other parents, and read some more. And, one of the most important pre-adoption projects is to convince yourself that, “Yes, it WILL happen to me.” Some older child adoptive parents may deal with developmental delays and challenges. Children may act younger than their chronological age. And, they may not be consistent i.e. they may speak at age level, be two years behind socially, and be physically three years behind. For children coming from orphanages, the rule of thumb is one month of delay for each three months spent in the orphanage. Parents will need to work on these child development gaps with at-home activities, or possibly with the help of physical, occupational, or other therapists and specialists.

Some older adopted children slide into their new lives with little difficulty. These children joyously participate in their new family’s activities. They quickly learn the rules. They bond strongly, showing positive interactions with other family members. However, many older, special needs children, due to a combination of biological, emotional, and neurological issues, present challenges to their parents.

Educate yourself. Be committed. Maintain hope. With these, parents will successfully face down the ugly and the bad aspects of older child adoption, fully appreciate the good, and love their older adopted child with all of their heart.