GREATER HOPES ADOPTION PROGRAM STATEMENT
R 400.12602 and 400.12702
Greater Hopes tenderly cares for Michigan’s children and families by thoughtfully providing ethical and professional adoption services
We believe that when children are adopted they have the need and the right to be aware of, and connected to, their birthfamily and personal heritage as well as being connected to the adoptive family who has accepted the rights and responsibilities of parenthood. We encourage as much ongoing contact as possible as is healthy and positive for the child. The principles of loving one another, sharing, forgiveness, grace and service to others flow throughout our programs.
Statement of Purpose
Greater Hopes is a non-profit, 501(c)(3), child-placing agency. We facilitate voluntary adoption plans for parents placing their children for adoption. Services include but are not limited to evaluating circumstances, supporting placing parents, seeking family members and other important people in a child’s history, evaluating resource families, educating families, providing legal filing services, supervising placements, maintaining support groups, and seeking available supportive resources. Clients served include parents and children. At least one party to each adoption must be a Michigan resident. While the adults involved in the adoption process will get adoption guidance and supportive advice from within this agency, participation in therapeutic counseling and legal consultation services outside of Greater Hopes is permitted when any client identifies the need to hire other professionals to assist.
It is our mission to maximize children’s potential by offering suitable and permanent homes where they will be given every opportunity to grow and develop in the happiest and healthiest manner possible given each child’s individual history and situation. Adults respect a child’s life when they allow him or her to remain connected to what belongs to him or her. Charged to provide respectful and loving parents, we assist qualified adults in their desire to adopt a child.
Adoptive Parent Selection
A parent with parental rights to their child who is making an adoption plan selects the adoptive parents. A newborn assigned to Greater Hopes through the Safe Delivery of Newborn Law will be placed based on availability of a family able to meet a specific child’s needs. An adoption plan for a child who is released to this agency may be made by a large group of people including but not limited to the placing parents, child, caseworkers, supervisors, prospective adoptive parents, therapists, teachers, relatives, a GAL, a CASA volunteer, and other people important in the child’s life.
Eligible adoptive applicants, placing parents, and adoptees may receive the following direct or indirect services: options counseling, orientation to adoption, training and education, a Preplacement Consultation and Assessment, counseling and mediation sessions, support groups, legal relinquishment services and/or adoption filing services, post placement supervision, post placement services and referrals, interstate services, post finalization support and guidance, intermediary/search services, application services for subsidies and other benefits, and referrals to other social service agents as needed.
Geographic area served
We serve all of Michigan. At least one party to the adoption must be a Michigan resident.
R 400.12606 Training requirements
Rule 606. An agency shall document that an applicant for adoption has, at a minimum, had training in all of the following areas:
(b) Attachment and bonding.
(c) Child development, including safe sleep practices for children under 1 year of age.
(d) Behavioral and emotional needs of adoptive children.
(e) Impact of adoption on the family.
(f) Post adoption service availability.
Adoptive parents who adopt children who have been a part of the child welfare system, any institutionalized child care system, or who adopt children from the child’s previous adoptive family will also be required to train in the following areas:
(a) Characteristics and needs of the child being placed into the home.
(b) Safe sleep practices for infants.
(c) Effective parenting.
(d) Behavior management, including de-escalation techniques.
(e) Importance of the child’s prior families.
(f) Concurrent planning.
(g) Role of the agency.
(h) Safety planning per the child’s behaviors
Each adoptive family shall identify a preferred method of appropriate discipline that is free from physical or corporal punishment in which they will attend a class, or otherwise perform a study in. For example, PRIDE, Pressley Ridge Training, Love and Logic, 1-2-3 Magic Parenting, Nurturing Parent Programs, or Advanced Parenting for Challenging Children would be acceptable options. Other classes may be approved upon request. Adoptive parents who make a reasonable case that shows prior experience participating in nurturing parenting classes might be exempt from this specific requirement.
All families may also have other specific training requirements to adhere to as noted in any of our agency generated assessments. These types of training requirements may arise out of a variety of situations in which staff determine a family needs additional support or information in order to provide the best possible care to the children we place in their care.
Types of Adoptions and Children to be Placed
(a) Types of children served and their special needs: Greater Hopes assists in voluntary domestic adoptions in which placing parents have selected the adoptive family from their support systems and communities, or from our pool of families. Resource families/potential adoptive parents also have the right to identify which placing parent circumstances they feel best able to support and assist. We fully support an ongoing and open relationship between the adoptive parents and the placing parents to whatever extent possible to benefit the child.
These children are most often newborns but range in age. Their physical, emotional, social and behavioral needs vary in type and intensity ranging from basically healthy and stable children to children with various developmental, physical and emotional special needs.
The children are often the biological children of the placing parents, sometimes they are the biological children of an adoptive parent(s) via assisted reproduction, and sometimes they are the previously adopted children of the placing parents. While we do not place children from the foster care system, we might accept a request from a family to complete an adoptive family evaluation and to provide follow up services for such purposes. Whether we accept such a request depends on the current workflow at our agency and whether we have staff available to assist.
The agency accepts children released under The Safe Delivery Act.
Children in all programs will all have the need to explore their history openly. Many will have unique issues trusting, bonding and attaching and some will have special medical or other mental health needs that may be present at placement or appear later in life, but these obstacles can be managed through the use of supportive counseling, treatment and training. Although our agency will assist by providing referrals for such services, these services will be provided by professionals outside of Greater Hopes Family Services. Some children will have developmental delays or impairments. Oftentimes, children have disorders that have evolved as a result of their early childhood experiences with trauma. All of these children need an ongoing connection to the people who have loved and cared for them already.
Eligibility Requirements for Adoptive Parents
Greater Hopes desires that any healthy and well-adjusted Michigan residents who wish to adopt apply at this agency. It is believed that in order to meet the wide range of needs that children have, there must be a range of family types available to these children. Any family could be a desirable adoptive family if they are able to lovingly and freely embrace the adoptive child, his birthfamily, his culture, his self, and the difficult behaviors that the child may have. Inability to pay for services shall not make a family ineligible to adopt and waivers will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
The adoptive evaluation under CPA R 400.12605 will include but is not limited to exploring the following topics: motivation to adopt, infertility, criminal activity and convictions, emotional stability, compatibility between joint applicants, adjustment of other children, attitudes toward adoption, health, and parenting ideals. An agency must recommend approval for adoption as a result of this assessment in order for a family to be eligible to adopt from this agency. Applicants with a serious criminal history, a child abuse history as a perpetrator, or a current substance use problem shall not be eligible for adoption. This list of excluded backgrounds is not exhaustive.
Adoption Services / Regular Program
FREE ORIENTATION TO ADOPTION: This meeting is open to anyone. Clients may schedule a meeting at a mutually agreeable time with the specialist, or attend a group meeting. Discussion topics include types of adoptions, types of children available for adoption, the adoption process, current laws, agency policies, fees, and information regarding support services available. Time is provided for questions. Reserve your spot here.
APPLICATION: Adoptive applicants submit an application when they wish to proceed.
PRE-PLACEMENT ASSESSMENT: Also known as PPA or HOME STUDY. This necessary assessment of an adoptive family and their desires is handled with utmost care and sensitivity. An experienced specialist will collect information about the adoptive applicants in a relaxed, friendly and open manner over the course of several meetings. Included in the Pre-Placement Assessment is a narration and supporting documents such as reference letters, Physician’s Certificates, criminal clearances, financial evaluation, birth certificates, and marriage and divorce decrees.
EXPEDITED PRE-PLACEMENT ASSESSMENT: If a PPA needs to be completed before 89 days, an expedited Pre-Placement Assesment is available by requested.
ADOPTION EDUCATION / SUPPORT GROUP: Free, open education sessions occur monthly to address common issues in adoption. We encourage all families to participate in our monthly support group meetings.
ADOPTIVE FAMILY PRE-PLACEMENT SUPPORT SERVICES: Adoptive families and adopted children find that support from an experienced professional is comforting and helpful when experiencing the roller coaster of adoption. They find relief in consulting with their specialist. Sensitive to the existing issues of loss and frustration, the specialist eases adoptive applicants through complex issues. These services occur to ascertain information required about an adoptee in a variety of settings including adoption education sessions, live and online support groups, caseworker contacts, phone interviews, face to face encounters, meeting with birthparents, waiting at the hospital for the birth, attending court events, etc.
CRISIS PREGNANCY / PLACING PARENT SUPPORT SERVICES: Parents and their children need the support and encouragement from an experienced professional and support activities while undergoing the crisis leading to an adoption plan. They find value in talking about and problem-solving their situation with someone whose only goal is to help them. Effective counselors are sensitive to the issues of grief and loss, trauma, indecision, frustration and intensified interpersonal relationships that accompany this situation. Information about the adoptee and his family is collected through this process and is compiled for the court and the adoptive parents
LEGAL RELINQUISHMENT / ADOPTION FILING SERVICES: Experienced adoption professionals will carefully prepare legal paperwork for all parties to complete the release/consent process and submit it to the probate court in a timely manner.
INTERSTATE and MULTIPLE AGENCY SERVICES: Domestic adoptions involving two states require communication with and approval from each state and each agency. Your specialist will insure that all state laws are being met to insure a solid legal placement of the child.
POST PLACEMENT SUPERVISION: The specialist will provide on-going support and make necessary visits to the adoptive home as required after placement. (All fees must be paid in full on the date of Order Placing Child or Termination of Parental Rights.)
POST ADOPTION SUPPORT SERVICES: As difficult issues arise over time, the adoption specialist is available for necessary support for members of the adoption triad.
ADDENDUM TO CURRENT PRE-PLACEMENT ASSESSMENTS: Required when a life event changes the assessment that has been done; such as when someone joins your household or there is a change in employment.
YEARLY UPDATE TO PRE-PLACEMENT ASSESSMENT: When no placement or addition of a household member has occurred since the original study was approved, an update to a recently expired Pre-Placement Assessment may be completed for a client who has an approved Pre-Placement Assessment written by Greater Hopes.
Adoption Services / Partner-Family Program
For families who want to partner with Greater Hopes to make everyone’s adoption journey better. All of the above services that are needed to complete one adoption from start to finish are included for one flat fee.
Adoption Fees / Regular and Partner-Family Program
Please call Greater Hopes and we will be happy to share with you the most up to date fee schedule for our programs, You can call us at 616-451-0245.