Adoption support

  •  June 06, 2017

All children deserve the right to a permanent home where they feel safe and loved. Adoption can meet this need while bringing great joy to a family. Going through the adoption process can do the same, but there are also logistical and emotional challenges for which a helping hand and sound, expert advice are needed. Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois (LCFS) addresses that need by assigning a caseworker to prospective adoptive parents, walking them through the home-study process and helping prepare them for their roles as adoptive parents. Our caseworkers have master’s degrees and several have experienced adoption in their own lives.

There are various forms of adoption including domestic-identified adoption and international adoption. (Go to www.lcfs.org/Adoption for a full description of all of the adoption services LCFS offers.) As an example, LCFS is one of the few agencies in Illinois with the knowledge and expertise to assist families in adopting older children who live in other states (normally in foster care) and are waiting for adoptive homes. Of the 400,000 children in foster care nationally, more than 100,000 of them are waiting to be adopted.

LCFS can work with Illinois residents who want to adopt these “legally free” children who are currently living outside of Illinois. The children are often older (8 years and up) and part of a sibling group and in addition to experiencing abuse and neglect, may have had multiple placements. LCFS works with loving families who are patient and able to provide the safe home many of these children have never known.

Adoption Social Worker Faith Donohue is one of the LCFS adoption staff who works with prospective adoptive parents. She has experience working in these out-of-state foster-care systems, so she knows how to “speak the language.” Parents need someone who can be a “squeaky wheel” on their behalf, knowing where to go and to whom to speak. Faith also lets them know where in the adoption process they may face difficulties and how to deal with them. This honesty and support is critical. The goal is to assist prospective adoptive parents in identifying children they can successfully parent.

Prospective adoptive parents complete a home study with their LCFS adoption worker to prepare them for adding to their families. Training is also another way these prospective adoptive parents receive support from LCFS. LCFS caseworkers actively support the adopting parents and provide them with expert advice during an important and often challenging time for their families.

As Faith Donohue explains, “You need someone or something to go to and to turn to when things get rough because it’ll be rough.”

Supporting prospective adoptive parents is a big focus of the LCFS adoption program, because in the end adoption means providing children with the support, love and forever families they need and deserve. As Faith Donohue notes, “It is a unique person or couple who can manage this (process).” Is that person you?

Contact LCFS at 800-363-5237 or lcfs_info@lcfs.org for information on adoption services and related fees.

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