We met with the Program Director and Permanency Specialist at Foster Agency X this morning for about an hour. We talked about all of the different adoption scenarios in our state. This ranges from foster/adopt to legal risk placement to match adoption. In our county particularly they are in need of families, especially those willing to adopt any child other than infants. So the fact that we prefer older children, especially a sibling group has them clamoring to get us certified/licensed. We will have to complete the foster care training and then at the end will have adoption orientation. The Program Director will come out to our house in two weeks to get us started on the training. She took all of our info (and lots of signatures) to get our preliminary clearances. This includes all of the counties we’ve lived in for the past 10 years, along with all of the city/town police jurisdictions we’ve been under for the past 10 years. There were a few counties between the two of us! They told us that online, like on AdoptUsKids, the children in Pennsylvania that are featured are mainly teenagers or large sibling groups because the SWAN (state-wide adoption network) network is so large that when younger children, including those in sibling groups, become available, they are able to find families to interview quickly and easily. I am thankful that Pennsylvania has this in place for the children’s sake. They also told us that in Pennsylvania (and I’m sure other states are like this), judges will not usually terminate parental rights until a family match has been found. So children may not be legally free for adoption until there is a family ready for them.
We are really happy with our choice of agency and the attention they’ve given us. I have finished reading their orientation manual so I feel prepared for what is coming. It is also nice to be able to have the Program Director come out for a few hours on a Tuesday morning to do our training.
The Program Director said that most visits with parents are at the Northumberland County children & youth office which has a family center. She said the family center is set up like a home so that birth parents can bathe, cook and live with their kids in a non-institutional setting and prove that their parental rights should be restored (or disprove). She said unfortunately quite a few parents never show or infrequently show, so that makes the kids very upset. I can imagine! I tried to find info on this family center but this link is all I found: http://www.norrycopa.net/index.php/government-offices/children-a-youth
Both the Program Director and the Permanency Specialist were very interested to meet Miss Leslie, our helper. She is a surrogate and after her implantation 10 days ago her numbers are already through the roof! It looks like she might be carrying twins or triplets for the German family! Both of the agency workers had lots of questions for Miss Leslie, they were very intrigued. The Permanency Specialist said she would fight to be our adoption worker just so she could keep tabs on Miss Leslie!