Adoption process starts with adoption counselling that is a statutory service and free of charge.
We recommend adoption counselling for anyone considering adoption. During counselling, you have time to consider whether intercountry adoption is a suitable alternative for you. Counselling is not an adoption decision. Contact your own Social Welfare Office to find out who provides adoption counselling in your home municipality. You can also order Interpedia’s adoption information package (only available in Finnish and Swedish) to support your reflections.
During the counselling period the applicants can prepare themselves for the adoption. The social worker is there to support the process, helping the applicants to understand the backgrounds and needs of an adopted child and to grow to be the special and sensitive parents that the child needs. It is extremely important that the applicants go through their own pasts and possible traumas as well as attachment patterns to recognize the possible “danger zones”. Starting a family can be stressful and evoke suppressed feelings. The child needs a permanent family and an emotionally stable environment. Adoption is a big change in the child’s life, s/he might have a traumatizing past and difficult experiences and those can affect the child’s life, feelings and behaviour. If the parent’s energy is spent mainly on dealing with his/her own feelings, there is less capacity for caring and supporting the child.
The counselling process is the time for careful reflections. It is important to give it enough time. Typically, the adoption counselling takes about one year, but it can take longer. The minimum is half a year. The sessions are usually held in two months’ interval, so that the applicants have time to go through the assignments and prepare for the discussions in the counselling sessions.
After the counselling period, the social worker prepares the home study where s/he states whether s/he thinks the family is suitable for adopting a child. Usually the social worker recommends the applicants. Sometimes it happens that the social worker cannot recommend the family. The reasons for these are mostly related to the life situation of the applicants or their health that leads to the conclusion that they would not, in their present circumstances, be a family that would secure the realization of the best interest of an adopted child.
During the last phase of adoption counselling the applicants choose the adoption service provider that can be either Interpedia or Save the Children, Finland. The applicants can choose any of the two. You are welcome to join our information sessions or meet with our Adoption Coordinators already during counselling.
The home study will be sent to the service provider that will attach it to the adoption permit application and send it to the Finnish Adoption Board.