Many people who do a secondary adoption have adopted previously, maybe international or domestic. Many people who do a secondary adoption have never adopted before. Either way, it is important to be prepared for your adoption. Secondary adoptions have a preparation process that will help you.
Secondary placements are adoptions of a child who didn’t work out in their first adoption. The success rate of these adoptions is tremendously high. But it is important that the whole family be prepared.
A secondary adoption is a private adoption. For every adoption, a home study is required. A home study for a secondary adoption needs to be a home study that is done by an adoption licensed social worker in your area. A rule of thumb is that if you pay for the home study, then it will be able to be used for a secondary adoption. Foster home studies are usually “free” to the family, but they are only able to be used for foster care because your state has paid the costs for everything. They do this for the purpose of children in state care to be fostered or adopted. So these “free” home studies are not able to be used for a private adoption. However in some cases, you can pay for this “free” home study to be released to you for a private adoption. If you have one of these “free” home studies, it would be good to ask if it can be released to you, if you pay them.
A home study is composed of background clearances. Then a visit to your home is needed. After all this is done, a 6-15 page report is written to summarize everything and to approve your family for an adoption. Nearly everyone gets approved. If you have anything in your background that might be a concern, ask right up front. It will come up eventually anyway, so ask right at the beginning. DUI’s from 15 or so years ago will not be a problem. So just ask before you even start. A home study takes about two months to complete.
While you are doing your home study, you need to do some important training for yourselves. Raising an adopted child is different from raising a biological child. Books are extremely helpful in learning about raising a child from a secondary adoption. Even though there really aren’t any books just for secondary adoptions, there is a great selection of books that will still be very helpful. Secondary adoptions are always of older children. So select books that deal with possible situations that could happen from adopting an older child. Select several books from the list below and get your family ready for a great adventure as you explore a secondary adoptive placement.