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A basic reference guide to

Adoption

and the services provided by The Childr en’s Home of Pittsbu rgh & Lemieux Family Cen ter


ADOPTION The Children's Home of Pittsburgh & Lemieux Family Center has placed over 7,000 infants and children for adoption since it was founded in 1893. Since that time, the program has earned a reputation of excellence and The Children’s Home began placing children for adoption throughout Pennsylvania and later became licensed as a domestic infant adoption agency. Through this program, we strive to support and strengthen both the birth family and the adoptive family as they work through all the legal and emotional processes involved in each unique adoption. Our professional and experienced masters level social workers provide education, support, and counseling so that adoptive families and birth families can make decisions that are mutually supportive

Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN). SWAN includes a wide range of services to help children and families involved in the child welfare system receive the support they need. Through this program, we also help families provide permanency to older children in foster care. For both programs, the adoption staff pride themselves in offering a lifetime of support services: The same caring staff that help families begin their journey continue to guide families throughout the process and beyond, therefore providing a continuity of personal care.


INFANT PROGRAM At The Children’s Home, birthparents and adoptive parents have the opportunity to be actively involved in the placement of an infant for adoption. The process begins with counseling aimed at supporting the best decision for each birthparent, whether they place their infant for adoption or decide to parent. A dedicated counselor helps them through the entire process, from the initial visit, all the way through placement and beyond. Birthparents may choose the adoptive family for their child and have an open adoption, which The Children’s Home has been thoughtfully providing for over 30 years. Simultaneously, adoptive parents receive counseling, education and a family study, all provided by their own social worker. Our program is especially geared for local families who cannot conceive biological children. The reality of infant adoption today is there are more adoptive families than infants available for adoption. As a result, The Children’s Home is very thoughtful about choosing the right time for families to begin their family study process, to help keep the wait for a baby

respectful every step of the way.

TRANSITIONAL CARE The Children’s Home has transitional care parents who love and care for a baby for a short amount of time until a parenting decision is made by the birthparents; however, many birthparents choose to have their baby go home directly from the hospital with the adoptive parents. Transitional and meet all the foster care licensing requirements of the state of Pennsylvania. Transitional care parents love taking care of babies and enjoy helping families who are involved in the adoption process.


SWAN PROGRAM ADOPTING THROUGH FOSTER CARE There are over 800 children awaiting adoption through Pennsylvania’s foster care system. The adoption of children from foster care in Pennsylvania is largely subsidized through Pennsylvania’s Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN). In most cases, there is little to no cost for adoptive families. Whether adopting an older child, a child with special emotional or medical needs, or a sibling group, The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh can help families navigate this process and provide support every step of the way. At The Children’s Home, families work with one social worker who guides them through the paperwork and training, completion of the

they will have long-term access to post permanency services, provided

the SWAN Program, please contact the Adoption Department at 412-441-4884 or swanservices@chomepgh.org.


SWAN SERVICES

services are referred by county children and youth agencies for youth ages birth through 21 years old.

of each child and emphasizes the child’s strengths. If the child reads the past placements, birth family information, medical and educational history, also used to help match a child with a potential resource family. Child preparation services help children who are placed in out of home care to understand their history and prepare for the future. This helps children to be well-adjusted in their current placements and understand their permanency goal, whether through adoption, legal custodianship, works one-on-one with children, planning each session to take into account the child’s individuality. Therapeutic activities are utilized including play, crafts, games, and art. Each child also creates a lifebook through this service. A lifebook tells the story of a child’s history and may include photographs, birth information, artwork, school and placement records, and childhood mementos.

permanency. Our CSR workers are passionate about matching a child with a family. Through this service, they work directly with the child to understand what they are looking for in a family, and help potential families understand and learn more about the child. They continue to support the child until a match is made.


OTHER SUPPORT SERVICES INFERTILITY COUNSELING The Children’s Home has years of experience helping individuals and couples understand and resolve their feelings surrounding infertility. Whether just beginning to deal with an infertility diagnosis, or at the end of the process and wondering what to do next, support and counseling helps with the emotional aspects and decision making process.

PRE-ADOPTION INFORMATION The Children’s Home provides individual counseling and education for families who may have the following questions about adoption: • Is adoption right for me/us? If so, is it the right time to adopt? • • What are the legal issues involved in adoption? • How can we prepare for a possible open adoption? • How can we prepare for talking to our child about adoption? *Infertility counseling and pre-adoption information sessions are provided by one of the adoption staff counselors for a reasonable fee.

POST-ADOPTION COUNSELING Whether families are created biologically or through adoption, all families and individuals are adapting to life’s changing circumstances. In addition to the common day-to-day issues that most families experience, adoptive families and those individuals whose lives have been touched by adoption is particularly knowledgeable and sensitive to the variety of concerns that short-term supportive counseling that is reasonably priced.

TYPES OF COUNSELING AND SUPPORT SERVICES AVAILABLE • Adoptive Family/Child Counseling • Counseling for Adopted Individuals • Open Adoption Facilitation • Counseling and Support Groups for Birthparents (free to birthparents)


POST-PERMANENCY SERVICES Post-permanency services are free of charge, as supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare through the Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN). Through this process, an adoption social worker visits with families in their home. Together, decisions are made to best address and help the family’s concerns. The social worker acts as the family’s advocate for a six-month period of time, building on strengths and supporting the family in the manner that is most helpful to them. The social worker also helps to identify and access resources in the community, such as support groups, family or individual counseling, and/or help with school issues.

SEARCH AND REUNION Individuals who have been adopted may be curious about their birthparents and birthparents may be equally curious about the child they placed for adoption, especially if they have not been involved in an open Services available to adoptees, their family members, and birthparents

state of Pennsylvania as Authorized Search Representative. They are knowledgeable of the social, ethical and legal aspects of adoption. As masters level social workers, they respect the decisions that family members make, and support them during every step of the process.


For more information about Adoption, contact a member of the adoption staff at 412-441-4884 or childrenshomepgh.org

5324 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15224 phone: 412 .441.48 84 toll free: 1.8 00.9 61 .7 704 fax: 412 .4 41 .5 32 3 www.childrenshomepgh.org www.facebook.com/ChildrensHomePgh

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Adoption Brochure  

The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh is a full-service domestic infant adoption agency serving Western Pennsylvania. At The Children’s Home, w...

Adoption Brochure  

The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh is a full-service domestic infant adoption agency serving Western Pennsylvania. At The Children’s Home, w...

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