Updated assessment reports, Pre-Adoption and Post Placement Reports
When you adopt from abroad you may be requested to submit reports to the country of origin. These include updates to your assessment report, pre-adoption reports and post placement reports. Each of these are outlined in more detail below.
If you completed your assessment with Pact we will be happy to complete any of these reports for you. If you were assessed by a different agency and wish Pact to complete your reports, you should contact us either by phone 012962200, or email [email protected] and we will be happy to arrange this with you.
If you decide to work with us, we hope you will form a positive relationship with Pact and in particular your social worker. This relationship will be beneficial in supporting you on your adoption journey. Adoption is a time of great excitement and celebration but just like all new parents you will also experience anxious periods. We will be here to offer you advice and guidance at these times.
Parenting an adopted child is in many ways like parenting any child. However there are a number of additional tasks for adoptive parents. The meetings with your social worker give you time to reflect on how you might address these. Your child may be presenting some difficulties which may be challenging. The preparation of reports is an opportunity for you to identify these challenges and to receive ongoing support. If you or your social worker identifies a need where you could benefit from some help they can put you in contact with our post placement support service, (link) or through referral to a specialist service. It is important to seek advice and help as soon as you become aware of issues as early intervention can be very effective.
Updated assessment report
Initially your full assessment report along with the Declaration of Eligibility and Suitability will be submitted to the Adoption Authority (AAI) or your mediation agency. Your Declaration has a life span of two years and the Adoption Authority will extend it by a further year if there are no significant changes in your circumstances. While there is no legal requirement in Ireland to update your report during this three year period, some agencies in the child’s country of origin request that your assessment/home study is updated annually. You will be informed if this is a requirement.
In order to complete this updated report we will meet you, usually in your own home, over one or two visits. The report is expected to cover any changes in your circumstances such as changes in employment, your home, health or any other personal matters. In addition, there may be further information about the profiles of children available for adoption from the country of your choice since the time of your original assessment. If this is the case, we will explore with you the backgrounds and health issues you have the capacity to manage, and will include this information in the updated report. You may need to do some research about these issues. If you need help with this, we will be happy to advise you. This additional information facilitates the mediation agency to make the best match possible for a child so that their individual needs are met.
The completed report will be forwarded to you, and you can include it in the dossier of information which you send to your mediation agency.
Pre-Adoption Post Placement Reports
In some jurisdictions you are permitted to return to Ireland with a child on a guardianship order until such time as an adoption order is granted in their country of origin. In these cases a number of pre-adoption post placement reports regarding the child’s progress may be required by the mediation agency before an adoption order will be granted.
These reports are expected to give an update on your child’s health and general progress. In addition they outline your understanding of his/her background as identified at the time of placement. We will discuss with you what you believe will be the implications for the future and how you hope to meet your child’s needs. This will include your understanding of how pre birth and pre placement experiences may affect their behaviour. The report will also cover how you plan to introduce and teach your child about their culture and encourage the formation of their racial identity. In some situations the birth parents will have requested some form of ongoing contact and we will discuss your plans to implement this.
When you return home it is a time of change as well as great excitement. We will therefore also include in your report how you are adjusting to parenthood and how the extended family and your wider network of friends have responded to you and your new family unit.
Post Placement Reports
The majority of sending countries require post placement reports. At the time of your assessment you are asked to complete an undertaking that you will cooperate in providing these reports. The number and frequency of the reports varies according to the requirements of individual countries and can range from 3 or 4 reports to as many as one a year until the child reaches adulthood. In some instances you may be able to opt to provide these reports yourselves after 2 or 3 years. These reports are usually completed in one session but if we have not met you before we may arrange two meetings before completing the first report. Your social worker will generally arrange to meet you in your family home.
Post placement reports are expected to include updated information on your child’s health and physical development as well as on their language and social skills. You are expected to have contacted your local Public Health Nurse, registered your child with a GP, and to have applied to have the child’s name entered in the Register of Foreign Adoptions. If your child has been identified to have specialist needs you should also have made contact with the relevant services. It is recommended that all children, on their arrival in Ireland, have a developmental and medical check with a paediatrician with specialised knowledge of children adopted from abroad. We can advise you on these issues at any stage in the process.
The reports identify how any pre birth or pre placement experiences are affecting the child’s development or behaviour and outline how you are addressing these issues. They include information on how you are introducing and teaching the child about their culture and the formation of their racial identity. We will also address how you are helping your child to understand information about their background and birth family. In some situations birth parents will have requested some form of ongoing contact and we will discuss how you are implementing this and give you suggestions for maintaining this in the future.
Once the report is written it will be forwarded to you for translation and notarising if appropriate. It is common practice for countries to request a number of photographs to accompany the report. The photographs should be in colour, 6” x4”, and show a clear images of your child and your family. We will send the report and photographs to the relevant authority on your behalf.