Thinking about adopting?
Adoption is a big change both in the parents’ and the child’s life. The adoptive parents need time to become the parents who are capable of supporting the adopted child in the best possible way.
Adoption process starts with adoption counselling that is a statutory service and free of charge. Please contact the Social Welfare Office of your home municipality in Finland for more information on the adoption counselling. Adoption counselling is provided either by the municipal social welfare authorities or by Save the Children Finland as an outsourced service.
Counselling is not an adoption decision. During counselling, you have time to consider whether intercountry adoption is a suitable alternative for you and your family. As a result of the counselling, the social worker writes a report called the home study. The home study is the most important document when applying for the adoption permit and in the application that is sent to the adoption contact abroad.
Registering As Adoption Applicants
In intercountry adoptions, the prospective adopter is required to register as a customer of an intercountry adoption service. The applicants can choose any adoption service provider regardless of the provider of the adoption counselling.
Adoption Permission and Selecting the Country
The application for adoption permission will be sent to the Finnish Adoption Board by the adoption service provider. The service provider will help the applicants with the selection of the country of origin. When the selected country is ready to accept the application, the applicants can start compiling the application documents that will be sent abroad by the service provider.
Adoption processes are currently very tailored therefore the waiting time also varies. The waiting time and matching depend on the needs and best interest of the child that is free for adoption, the characteristics and capabilities of the applicant family and the content of the application (e.g. the applicants’ wishes regarding the child’s age and health).
Usually the waiting period lasts for a couple of years. This time is can be used for preparing oneself for parenthood, for example by taking courses, reading, networking with other families and learning phrases of the child’s first language.
The changes in the individual adoption process will be communicated to the applicants personally. General information on current situation of the adoptions will be reported in the newsletters (in Finnish or Swedish), info sessions, on our website and social media.
Child Proposal and the Adoption Trip
Child proposal is the information about the child that has been matched with the applicants. The proposal contains information on the child’s background and health. The information available depends on the individual case and the sending country. At this point, the applicants should go through the information carefully and discuss with medical experts if needed. The applicants can also discuss the details of the proposal with Interpedia’s adoption coordinators. In any case, a full guarantee on the child’s health cannot be given.
The timing of the adoption trip varies according to the country of origin. in some countries, the applicants are expected to travel right after accepting the child proposal whereas in some countries, the applicants must wait for a few months before they are invited to travel. Interpedia will inform the applicants about the schedules. When the timetable is confirmed, the applicants can make an appointment to the health center (neuvola) for the child’s first health check-up. The pick-up trip takes usually a few weeks.
After receiving the proposal containing information on the child’s development and background, it is important to respect the child’s right to privacy.
The adoption will be confirmed either during the adoption trip or later in Finland depending on the sending country’s legislation.
Follow-up Phase After Adoption
Adoption counselling continues when the adopted child has arrived home. The social worker is there to support the new family, the child and the attachment between them.
The social worker also writes follow-up reports to the sending country. The reports are an important source of information to the sending country’s authorities. Some countries also require reports written and photographed by the family. Interpedia is responsible for sending the reports to the country of origin. Interpedia’s adoption coordinators can also support the family together with the social worker.
Adoptees and adoptive families contact the post-adoption service when they wish to know more about their background or when they need support in organising a root-seeking trip. Information about the background is provided to customers at meetings at the office; where necessary, we will also request more information from the adoptee’s country of birth.
Post-adoption service also responds to queries coming from the birth country. In this case Interpedia contacts the adoptee and supports him or her in receiving the information. We also inform adoptive families of any changes in the practices of the sending countries, and ensure compliance with the statutory obligation to maintain archives.
In post-adoption service matters, please contact: jalkipalvelu(at)interpedia.fi