Obtaining Background Information on Your Prospective Adoptive Child

Importance of Background Information

Obtaining background information of the child you are planning to adopt through any type of adoption is very important regardless of the age of the child. You should obtain accurate genetic, medical and social history of the child. The information can assist you in many ways:

• Once you have the complete and accurate information about the child, you can take an informed decision about adopting the child as the information will help you determine if you have the resources to meet the requirements of the child and whether you and your family can take care of the child.

• You can access state and federal assistance for adopted children with special needs, subject to eligibility.

• The child can be provided with accurate information about his or her own history. With the right information, the child will not engage in a self blame game for separation from the birth family.

• The information will enable you to provide treatment for many medical problems.

Finding the Information

If you are adopting through an agency, you can ask the agency for the background information. Agencies generally keep a file containing the background information of the children available with them for adoption. Remember, each child is different and can have his or her set of problems. Generally the agency will provide detailed information only after you have completed the homestudy process. There are many national adoption directories which contain photos and general description of the children across the nation waiting for families to adopt them, but the description will be brief. You should be careful for any information that indicates that how the child is likely to be. You can ask the caseworker for more information once you have completed the homestudy. You can also talk to the child’s foster parents for getting detailed information.

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