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The following article was graciously shared with permission from Kelly Mayfield and Judy Westra from the blog Mine in China
You might think that once you’re home from your adoption journey, the paperwork is over. Sadly, that is not the case although it will not reach dossier levels of paperwork. Besides obtaining vital documents for your child such as a Social Security card, US passport, and state issued birth certificate, you also have an obligation to send post placement reports to China at required times for the next few years.
It is important to complete the post placement reports for a few different reasons. Firstly, you agreed to do so when you adopted from China. Secondly, it reflects on your agency and on other adoptive parents. You might have seen agencies advertise that they are ranked #1 or #2 by China. One of the criteria China uses to rank agencies the percentage of the agency’s families which submit post placement reports. Finally, China will not approve you to adopt again if you are missing any post placement reports.
If a large number of families do not submit reports, it could even affect the future of the China program. The State Department found that not submitting post placement reports was a factor in the programs of Kazakhstan and Guatemala, both of which are closed to Americans. Many feel that the changes China made in the post placement report schedule two years ago were a direct result of the Reuters “re-homing” investigation. China wants to know that the children they place with American families are being well cared for.
Because agencies want families to submit the post placement reports, many now require that families pay the costs upfront. Requiring a deposit which will be returned after all of the reports have been submitted is also common. Some still have the option of paying as you go, although this makes it tempting to skip in order to save money. Often a homestudy agency will charge $300-$500. You might have to pay mileage for the social worker, too. If your homestudy agency has closed or you have moved, you still have the responsibility to find a new agency to conduct and write up the post placement visit. If your placing agency has shut down, you should find a new placing agency to submit the report for you.
There are two different timelines for the required post placement reports. If you traveled before January 1, 2015, your schedule is:
If you traveled after January 1, 2015, your schedule is:
Although the 1 month report is no longer required by China, many agencies require it so they can check in on families sooner to find problems early. Report times marked by an asterisk are ones which the parents may self-report, so no meeting with a social worker is required. If you have adopted both before and after January 1, 2015, you will be using both schedules so you have to keep track of which child is on which schedule. Post placement reports typically include an update on the child’s health and development, current photos, and if the child is over the age of ten, an essay written by the child. It is best to contact your placing agency directly for their requirements. They should be able to provide you with a template.
Post placement reports are an important part of the adoption process even though your child is home.
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