Foster-to-Adopt and Straight Adoption Placement Matching
My Blog Series Continued: Adoption Matching
My name is Arianne Riebel. I am the Director of Foster Care and Adoption Programs here at Arms Wide Adoption Services. I wanted to write a blog series which walks families through the placement processes for the adoption journey. My first blog was on Emergency Placement Matching. This time, I wanted to walk you through the foster-to-adopt and straight adoption matching.
By now you probably know the difference between foster-to-adopt and straight-adopt, so I won’t go into that. I will just speak to them together because the matching process for both types are similar.
The absolute best way to get a match once you have an approved home study for adoption is through “broadcasts” which come out to adoption workers. A broadcast is an e-mail sent by a designated person in each region with children in need of families. For example, one person in the Greater Houston area, Region 6, receives all the broadcast requests from the CPS workers in Region 6. She then compiles the information and sends it to her distribution list of agency workers throughout the state. At Arms Wide Adoption Services, we make sure to get included on distribution lists in and outside of Region 6.
When we receive a broadcast, the person working on matches will read it to determine if Arms Wide Adoption Services has a good match for the child(ren). We take a lot of things into account when determining appropriate matches, like the family’s interest into consideration. We are not going to call a family interested in adopting a child between the ages of 4 and 10 with a broadcast for a 15-year-old. Or a family interested in two children with a sibling group of five. But, most importantly, we pay attention to what each child’s needs are. We ensure we are considering a match which can meet the child or sibling group’s needs.
Child Need Examples
Some broadcasts include information about siblings and the desire for continued contact. In those cases, we will only consider families open to maintaining biological relationships. Sometimes, a child is behind in school or has a learning disability, like dyslexia. Then, we will only present the child to a family open to educational delays or learning disorders. Although we do take each family’s interest into consideration, our main priority is the child’s best interest and making healthy matches which will lead to healthy adoptions.
Once we have determined which of our families would be a good match for the broadcast (we can only submit two families per broadcast), we will call you to present the broadcast to you. If there are more than two families who would be a good fit for adoption matching, we alternate who we submit each time.
When we call you to present a broadcast, we ask you to keep an open mind and agree to submission for as many broadcasts as possible. The more we submit your home study, the more opportunities you have to get selected for a match. Like with emergency placements, it is important to answer your phone whenever possible. Sometimes when CPS gets too many home study submissions for a broadcast, they will close the broadcast. We don’t ever want to take a chance one of our families will not get submitted, so we call as soon as possible.
When we call you to present a broadcast, we will read you every bit of information we have. More often than not, you are going to have questions. Unfortunately, we do not have the luxury of having answers to your questions at that point. We only know what the e-mail broadcast said. Broadcasts sometimes include a picture, but we are not permitted to send the e-mail broadcast or picture outside of the agency. In that case, we will describe the picture to you! If after the broadcast presentation you agree your family is a good match, we will submit your home study and your one-page profile to the CPS worker. Then, we wait.
Being Cautiously Optimistic
When receiving a call for broadcasts, we encourage you to be cautiously optimistic. It is rare you to get selected for placement for the very first broadcast, although it has happened.
At Arms Wide Adoption Services, we continue to submit you for broadcasts until adoption matching takes place. Sometimes, we call you everyday for a week. Sometimes, you may not hear from us with a broadcast for two weeks. It depends on what children CPS is ready to move forward with and the best timing for the child(ren) and their legal case. Of course, the more open you are, the more broadcast phone calls you will get. If you are only open to one girl between the ages of 0 and 5, you are not going to get as many phone calls as you would if you were open to boys or siblings in the same age range.
Tune in for the next blog post to see what happens after the submission!
About The Author
As the Director of Adoption and Foster Care Services, Arianne Riebel, LMSW, LCPAA, oversees Arms Wide Adoption Services’ team of adoption and foster care employees, making sure each step of the adoption and foster care journey goes smoothly.
While earning her Bachelor’s in Social Work at Stephen F. Austin University, she first considered a career in adoption and gained experience working in the field during her college career. A few years after graduation, she completed her Master of Social Work at the University of Houston. Then, gained a decade of experience in child welfare before becoming a part of the Arms Wide family. Through her role at Arms Wide, she wanted to be able to give each child and family one-on-one support and attention. Her favorite part about her job is seeing people become parents or add more children to their family. She loves when kids have found their forever homes. Read more about Arianne here.