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International Adoption

The Process:

At this time, Agape is only offering Home Study and Post Adoption services to families who adopt internationally.

Agape is Hague-accredited through the Council on Accreditation (COA) to provide services to prospective adoptive parent(s) who are pursuing an international adoption. Megan Malinoski, Agape’s Director of Permanency Planning, has years of experience working in the field of international adoption. She has traveled and visited orphanages in Africa and South America. Megan is able to assist prospective adoptive parents in exploring the many options in international adoption such as: choosing a country of origin and/or locating and identifying a placing agency that has a program in the country in which the prospective adoptive parent(s) desire to adopt. Megan also stays up-to-date on the current international adoption news through our partnerships with organizations such as the Joint Council for International Children’s Services and the Christian Alliance for Orphans. We are able to help prospective adoptive families identify a program that is an appropriate fit for their family, and are here to guide, educate and support families on the journey to provide a forever family to orphans worldwide.

Before a family begins the adoption process, it is important to spend a great deal of time in research and in prayer. Below are some of the questions prospective adoptive parent(s) will want to ask regarding the child’s country of origin and the agencies that will be involved in the international adoption process.

  • Countries – What types of children are available (e.g., older children, sibling groups, special needs children)? How long is the stay in-country? How many trips are involved to complete the adoption process? What are the costs associated with this country’s program?
  • Agencies
    • Placing Agency – How long has the agency worked in the country? How many children has the agency placed from that country in the past two years? Is this a pilot program? Does the agency have an on-the ground legal representative in the country, and how long has this person worked for the agency? Will the agency provide a list of previous adoptive families to serve as references?
    • Home Study Agency – Is the agency Hague-accredited? How long does the typical home study process take with the agency? Is there a waiting list? What are the fees associated with the home study as well as home study updates, amendments? What pre-adoption education does the agency require? Will the agency assist families with Immigration paperwork filing? Will the agency provide a list of previous adoptive families to serve as references?

Home Study Program

Agape’s eligibility criteria for international adoption home study services generally include:

  • Residents of central or south Alabama;
  • Good health, as confirmed by medical exams;
  • Faithful, active Christian(s) whose life/lives are consistent with Agape’s Statement of Affirmation;
  • Married for a minimum of 1 year (if married);
  • At least 21 years of age

Please be aware that certain countries and/or placing agencies may have additional eligibility requirements.

The international adoption home study process through Agape would generally be as follows:

  • Review eligibility requirements with an Agape representative and submit Application for Services.
  • Begin gathering paperwork for the home study. This process includes: obtaining medical exams, criminal background clearances, parent-preparation training, and gathering financial and identification verifications.
  • A minimum of two home visits with an Agape social worker to complete the home study process.
  • After the home study report is approved and notarized, Agape is available to assist with filing the appropriate Immigration paperwork
  • After applicant(s) arrive home with the adoptive child(ren), Agape will provide post adoption services including: written reports for the child’s country of origin, counseling and support.

If you are interested in international adoption, please contact the worker at the office nearest you.

Birmingham: Caitlin Inman, cinman@agapeforchildren.org, 205-733-9755

Enterprise: Linda Sanders, lsanders@agapeforchildren.org, 334-393-1990

Montgomery: Carol Esco, cesco@agapeforchildren.org, 334-272-9466

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