Adoption Procedures for International Adoption Services

Overview
The Adoption Services of Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of New Orleans (CCANO), is a non-profit adoption agency licensed by the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services.  CCANO has provided adoption services since the early 1900s and continues in its commitment to serving families created through adoption as well as other maternity and adoption related services. The agency provides services to families of all faiths.

International Adoption Agency
It is necessary for the adoptive family to select an international adoption agency and country for the purposes of international adoption placement.  The selected international agency will complete an “Inter Agency Agreement” with Catholic Charities for the purposes of adoption preparation, home study and/ or post placement international adoption services. 

Application
An Application to Adopt and home study packet will be provided to the applicant once confirmation is received that the Adoption Services of Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of New Orleans will provide home study services. A non-refundable application fee is required when the application is returned.

Home Study
The home study is a time to gather and prepare information required by the international adoption agency, USCIS, Louisiana’s Department of Children and Family Services, etc. as well as prepare for a family for adoption. The non-refundable home study fee is due at the time of the first scheduled home study meeting.

What is the Home Study?
The home study usually takes place over three meetings (2 in the program office and 1 in family home). This is an informal time to work together for the discussions and education related to the goal of adoption placement.

The three meetings include the following:

Office Meetings – these 2 meetings include discussions with families as a couple and as individuals.  The individual meetings are relaxed discussions about the information provided in the autobiography guide as well as plans for the family.

Home Meeting – this meeting is a tour of the family home including number of bedrooms, bathrooms general living areas as well as a safety assessment.

As part of the adoption home study, additional paperwork is required and forms will be provided for completion.

Home Study Packet
Copies of birth certificates, marriage / divorce certificates, passports and drivers licenses are provided to the agency.

Autobiography Guide
The autobiography guide will assist in writing your life-story.  We ask that this form be typewritten.

Medical Forms
It is necessary to have your doctor complete the medical forms for each family member.

Most international agencies have their own medical forms to comply with a particular country’s requirements.  A copy of the international agency’s form is sufficient for our records and it is not necessary to complete both sets of forms.

Criminal Clearances
There are several criminal clearances that are necessary to complete:

  • Child Abuse Clearance through the Department of Children and Family Services
  • Local Sheriff’s Department Criminal Clearances
  • Louisiana State Police – Bureau of Criminal Identification
  • FBI Fingerprint Criminal Clearances

Financial Background
A summary of the family’s financial summary as well as a copy of the most recent W-2 or a recent check stub to verify employment and income.

Personal References
A minimum of 5 personal references will be contacted to provide information regarding your family as it relates to adoption.

Additional Forms
There will be other forms to be completed as part of the home study process and these will be provided as required.

Post Placement / Post Adoption Adoption Services
When you return home with your child, post placement / post adoption visits are required by the international agency and the country.  After the visit, a progress report is completed and provided to the international agency and/or country to verify the family is adjusting well and the child is growing and developing as expected.

Post Placement / Post Adoption Adoption Fees
Each international agency and / or each international country has specific guidelines in regard to the number of visit and length of time for post placement / post adoption services. Each visit is paid at the time of the visit.

Adoption Fee Agreement
Enclosed with your home study packet will be an Adoption Fee Agreement indicating the total fee and payment policy as agreed to and signed by all parties involved.

Anyone desiring further information specific to Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans and international home study services can contact:

Danna P. Cousins, LMSW
Program Director
Adoption Services
Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans
3019 N. Arnoult Road
Metairie, LA 70002

504-885-1141

dcousins@ccano.org