This self-assessment tool was designed for foster parents considering adoption. Review your strengths (what have you done to accomplish each task) and needs (what do you still need to do) in each area.
- I have discussed the entire placement history of my child with at least one social worker and believe I have all information that is available.
- I have identified several strengths and several potential problems with this adoption.
- I have discussed ways to solve the potential difficulties with those I consider to be family.
- I have all information that is available about this child’s birth family and have determined ways to help this child maintain positive connections with his or her roots.
- I have considered levels of “openness” in adoption and have planned for a level of openness that will meet the needs of this child and work for our family.
- I have discussed the difference between attachment and commitment with those I consider to be family. Those close to me understand that I am making a lifetime commitment to a child who may later in life have challenges and difficulties as a result of early experiences.
- This child has a lifebook which I plan to use to help him or her understand the differences between foster care and adoption as well as to help with developmental grieving.
- I have considered the ways this child expressed loss earlier in life and have anticipated and planned for ways this child may grieve at the time of adoption and at other important milestones during life (developmental grieving).
- I have planned ways to help this child maintain a tie to his or her cultural, racial, or ethnic roots.
- I have planned ways to talk with other children in the family about this adoption, including ways to help the family understand the differences between foster care and adoption.
- I have planned for the future financial and medical needs of this child and have thoroughly discussed subsidy with at least two social workers.
- I have identified people who will support me if I become discouraged.
- I am pursuing adoption willingly and at this time do not feel coerced by a loved one or the agency.
- I have talked with at least one family who has adopted through the foster care program.
- I have considered this decision for several months and believe that adoption of this child is important for the well being of this child, my family, and myself.
Source: “From Foster Parent to Adoptive Parent”, developed by Heather L. Craig-Oldsen, M.S.W., and published by the Child Welfare Institute