How can Arms Wide help me decide if adoption is right for me and my family?
You can fill out our inquiry form or contact us. We also host information meetings twice a month where we explain what is involved in becoming licensed to adopt a child through Arms Wide. Our information meeting schedule can be found here. At information meetings, we will provide you with an application and answer any questions you may have about the process. We also provide adoption preparation classes and opportunities to meet with experienced adoptive parents. Contact us and start your journey today!
What information do we have to provide to Arms Wide during the adoption process?
During the adoption process, we ask you for information such as five personal references; identification (such as Social Security and driver’s license numbers); copies of marriage licenses and/or divorce decrees, if applicable; medical history; proof of income and proof of medical insurance. We also do criminal background and child abuse checks. We know this may sound overwhelming, but Arms Wide staff makes this process as straightforward as possible.
Who selects the child(ren) I adopt?
You are involved from the beginning by expressing what types of needs you feel you would be able to support as a parent. For example, if you do not feel you have the parenting skills to parent a child with severe developmental delays or fetal alcohol syndrome, etc., you have the opportunity to disclose this at the beginning of the process in order to inform the agency’s search for a family/child match.
However the process takes time and there are many steps involved. It is best to contact an Arms Wide representative for a detailed explanation of the process. In short, we look for the best family for each child and look at which families can meet a specific child’s needs. You will be contacted about a child(ren) that you would be a good match for based on their needs and your ability to meet those need. At that point, you will learn as much about the child(ren) as Arms Wide can share. If you are interested in the child(ren) that your family has been determined a good match for, CPS and the courts must also approve your family before a potential adoptive placement can begin.
How can Arms Wide help ensure a good match between the child(ren) and my family and a smooth transition from foster care to adoption?
We follow a specific process to ensure a positive and successful adoption experience for all involved.
- You and your family will attend our pre-service training and support groups in addition to making a family “life book” or album with photos of yourselves, your home, and significant people in your lives.
- An Arms Wide Adoption Coordinator conducts a home study to learn more about you and your family.
- The child is “introduced” to your family by viewing your “life book.”
- Visits between you and the child begin with the support of an Arms Wide adoption coordinator.
- Placement occurs, papers are signed and a transitional “ceremony” marks the move from foster care to adoption.
- For at least the next six months, the Arms Wide Adoption Coordinator visits you and the child to help with the adjustment period. You may also need help from therapists and other community resources during this transition and your Arms Wide Adoption Coordinator can help you connect with the appropriate supportive resources. Once the adoption is legally finalized, your family and the child are eligible for state-contracted post adoption services until the child is 18 years old. Arms Wide offers a full continuum of care, including free, state-contracted post adoption support to ensure adoptive families have all the tools they need to be successful once the adoption has been finalized.