Step 3: Child Selection

Child Identification

There are various ways to select a child:

  • A social worker contacts you about a specific child.
  • You contact the social worker about a child you either found on a web site or heard about.

Disclosure of Information

A social worker contacts you about a specific child:

  • You contact the social worker about a child you either found on a web site or heard about.
  • You and your social worker need to be in contact to get background information about the child. At this point,you may start working with 2 different social workers - yours and the child's.
  • Statutorily, the full history on the child's family, medical, and social background must be disclosed to you (WAC 388-27-0090). Once this is done, you and the respective social workers need to decide if this is a good placement.
  • If the decision is made that this is in the best interest of the child, then steps are made to move forward with visitation and placement.

Making the Right Selection

To know if the child presented is the right child, you need to consider their needs, ask lots of questions, and really listen to and observe the child.

  • Find out about the child's family and medical background.
  • Find out about the child's history in foster care.
  • Ask to speak with current and past foster care providers.
  • Find out about the child's birth family and their relationship.
  • Ask to speak with daycare, educational and current medical providers.
  • Observe the child in their own environment or one they are comfortable in.
  • Get to know the child's routines.
  • What are your expectations for a child? Can the child meet those expectations? What if they don't?
  • Get to know the child. What are the things they like and dislike? What makes them happy or sad?
  • What are some of his/her favorite things?
  • What are the child's developmental, educational, and emotional issues?
  • Are there any behavioral issues?
  • What are their peer relations like?
  • Has the child ever attached to anyone?
  • What are the child's personal characteristics?
  • What are the child's strengths?
  • What do you like about the child?
  • What will the child bring to a family?
  • What is the child looking for in a family?
  • How does the child get along with other children?
  • Can the child be with older/younger siblings?
  • What sort of parent does the child need?
  • Religious issues? Is going to church important?
  • Who are significant people in the child's life? Can these people continue to be a part of the child's life?
Section: 
How to Adopt