I Survived the Post Adoption Self Report

Aug 02, 2017 Living Hope Adoption

Well!  I’m sure glad that’s over.  For at least another year anyway.  And now that it is, I have to tell you{lean in now, I don’t want to admit this too loudly}, it really wasn’t all that bad!  I really was stressing and getting myself all worked up for no good reason.  What is it that I’m referring to, you ask?  Well, I’m talking about the new-to- China-adoption- policy that allows families to write their own post-placement reports beginning with year 2 through to the year 5 report.  I was excited at the opportunity to save my family some money, certainly.  But having sat through many post-placement interviews with Jinny in the past, I was wondering how on earth I’d find all! that! time!  to craft a similar comprehensive update on my own.  Really, it turns out that I worried for nothing and I wanted to share the experience with you, to help dispel any fears or stress that YOU might be feeling over your own pending reports!

Yes, it’s true.  In December, the CCCWA changed its post-placement reporting policies in an effort to ease some of the burden on families who adopt.  While many of us in the community often feel frustrated by the, shall we say, comprehensive nature of the mounds and mounds of paperwork before and after our children join our family, it should be understood that the post-placement reports do, in fact, exist for a good reason.  In fact, in the eyes of the CCCWA, these reports exist for MANY good and official reasons:

  • To ensure that the children who are placed are being well cared for in all aspects of their lives.
  • To ensure that agencies are and will continue to approve appropriate families for the process.
  • To continue to be sure that their efforts within the international adoption process are “worth it” – it is, after all, an enormous amount of work on both sides of the ocean!
  • To have a tool by which they can monitor the most extreme scenarios of adoption (such as disruptions, deaths, abuse, and extremely ill children) and a measure of accountability for the agencies involved.
  • To gauge where improvements in the adoption process can be made.

When Jinny sent me the template and guidelines for the self-report process, I initially panicked.  And when I panic or feel overwhelmed, I always procrastinate.  Later that week, I was talking with {read: venting to!} Sarah about my procrastination.  Let’s face it, we can all agree that five years of post-placement reports can feel overwhelming and a bit invasive.  For those of us who are on the tail end of that five-year requirement, they probably feel a little pointless and even unnecessary.  For those of us who are done building our families, it might even feel like a waste of money, time, and effort.  We could feel like our detailed reports couldn’t possibly make any difference in the big picture that is China Adoption.

During that chat, though, I realized that Living Hope has some very good reasons beyond the CCCWA’s for these reports to be completed and done so on time.  Like the CCCWA, they want to know that our families are thriving and adjusting well. Also like the CCCWA, they want to be sure that we’re accessing appropriate services and care for our children’s needs. And like the CCCWA, they are committed to making sure that areas of improvement within the process of adoption are identified and addressed. But Living Hope also needs these reports to continue to enjoy the benefits and favor of a good relationship with the CCCWA and within the larger adoption community. The reports help LHAA prove continuously that they are honoring China’s parameters for approval, matching, and placing children into appropriate Forever Families that are in the best interest of the children. (For me, that reason alone was a great “kick in the pants” – the children who still wait deserve my best efforts in this process!) Further, the networking that happens between adoption professionals and families during these report times is invaluable for the health of our families AND contributes to the overall health of the agency. Finally, as part of that network, these reports keep the channels of communication open between families and the agency and between the agency and China so that LHAA can stay abreast of the ever-changing culture of international adoption and more specifically China adoption.

If you are anything like me, I really want to do my part to ensure Living Hope’s successful future. Hearing what post-placement reports mean to LHAA made it much more personal to me and gave me that little bit of a boost to quit procrastinating and do my (albeit) small part toward improving the culture within the China Adoption community at large. And you know what? I survived it and lived to tell the tale to you!