Keeping Adoption Paperwork Organized

Waiting Family Photo
Our family is three months into the process of being licensed as a foster care family.  We are praying for the opportunity to add a sweet little girl to our family.  There is a lot involved in becoming licensed from classes to home visits to paperwork.   And there is a LOT of paperwork!

We had our second social worker home visit a couple of weeks ago and although I was ahead of the game on several things we needed (I had already gathered a few documents that she hadn’t even requested yet) we were given yet another long list of items that are needed.

When people talk about their licensing or their adoptions taking so long, they usually mention paperwork.  Our social worker can not even begin to get our information ready for the state until we have all of these things ready.  It is a lot of stuff to keep up with and I knew we needed a system to keep track of everything.

This is our foster care/adoption notebook.  We keep everything that is related to the process inside.  I picked up a clearance binder at Target and found a cute printable online to slip into the front pocket.

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The first page is my timeline where I make notes of every e-mail, appointment, and class.  I also make a note of anything that we did to prepare our home such as purchase a fire extinguisher, or change out our deadbolts.  I keep up with this for my own personal records just for posterity’s sake!

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Next I have my checklist of required paperwork and the copies I have made for our social worker.  At the recommendation of our social worker, I keep a copy of every single paper that we give her.  She suggested keeping these extra copies just in case something is misplaced.  Behind that is the huge packet of papers we received during our training classes.

Here is the list of documents that we have to provide copies of to our social worker:

–Family Photograph
–Certified copy of Marriage License (from the Register of Deeds, cost $10)
–CPR Card/Proof of Certification for each parent
–First Aid Training Certification for each parent (completed online class which cost $12)
–TB Test Results for every family member
–W-2 or Paystub for each working parent
–Diploma (high school or college) for each parent
–Vehicle Registration for every vehicle in use
–Driver’s License for each parent
–Driving Record Check (obtained from your state DMV–ours cost $8 each)
–Pet vaccine records
–Proof of auto insurance for each vehicle
–Proof of homeschool registration

In addition to this, we were given the following papers to fill out:

–Fingerprint card (x 2 for each adult over 18)
–Criminal Background Check Release (with $20 for each adult over 18)
–Medical Form filled out by physician for every household member
–Medical History Form
–Fire Inspection Report
–Financial Information
–References (three for each parent, can not be relatives)
–Child Preference Information
–Profile (large questionnaire of 30+ pages including family history, background,  childhood information, etc.)

Other requirements include 30 hours of classroom training (including a medication class and test) and a home environment inspection (to be done by our social worker.)  Due to my history of a depression diagnosis, I also will have to provide a letter from my physician stating that I am mentally stable and capable of caring for foster children.  (Our social worker said that once the state reviews my paperwork they will ask for this so it’s better to go ahead and beat them to the punch and send it now.)

If you’re a foster parent or you have adopted, is there anything else that you were required to provide?



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