Post-Adoption Reporting: Why It Matters
by Zoila Lopez
You have finally brought your child home after months, sometimes years, of waiting. It has been a lengthy process that can feel invasive and at times unnatural, and it may have left you feeling exhausted. You land at the airport, head home, pour your heart into your relationship with your child, and receive an email from WACAP’s Post Placement Reporting and Finalization Department delineating the schedule for your post-placement visits/reports. Suddenly it all seems like an ongoing process, and a part of you may resent having to produce any additional documentation regarding your child, yourself, or your family.
Post-placement reporting can feel that way, and it leads to many adoptive families pushing the required reporting out of sight and mind, and falling behind on their post-adoption reporting duties. This issue is widespread, to the point that it has led to the U.S. Department of State’s request that international Adoption Service Providers like WACAP to join them in an effort to help highlight and potentially solve this problem.
That’s why the Department of State (DOS) has designated Monday, May 15 as “Post-Adoption Report Date,” a campaign to help place focus on the importance of timely post-placement reporting. In their notice to adoption service providers, the DOS emphasizes how a lack of compliance with post-placement reporting schedules has become a “persistent obstacle to expanding opportunities for intercountry adoption(s),” triggering international adoption authorities’ “concern about the welfare and whereabouts” of the children whose adoptions they helped facilitate. Furthermore, the DOS asserts that ongoing delays or failure to comply with post-adoption reporting schedules “may jeopardize the continuation of intercountry adoption” and has in some cases, resulted in countries setting contingency of continued intercountry adoptions “on (their) receipt of missing post-adoption reports.”
Based on a visit from your social worker or, in the case of family reports, entirely on self-disclosure, post-adoption reports give the authorities in your children’s countries of origin assurance that the children placed in the U.S. are getting the level and quality of care they deserve, and “can lead to countries simplifying and improving the intercountry adoption process.” Timely post-placement reporting is a great responsibility we hope all our families take very seriously.
We urge you to comply with the terms of your contracts by submitting any outstanding post-placement reports. They are important to foreign adoption authorities’ ability to gauge the success of foreign adoptions, and in countries like South Korea and Ethiopia, provide birth families with updates regarding their internationally adopted children. These reports also offer you an opportunity for introspection and perspective, to access the help of social workers and/or other post-adoption support staff, and to help play your part in securing the future adoptions of countless other children across the world waiting for their turn to join the family meant for them.
If you have any questions or concerns about your post-adoption reporting schedule, do not hesitate to reach out to Ashley Opitz, WACAP’s Post Placement Reporting and Finalization Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or myself, Zoila Lopez, at email@example.com . We would be grateful for the opportunity to help you remain compliant with post-adoption reporting as it helps WACAP with our continued commitment to finding a family for EVERY child.
WACAP’s social services department provides ongoing support to adoptive families. Staff are available at 800-732-1887 or firstname.lastname@example.org.