Through a voluntary and open approach, Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County (CSSW) places infants for domestic (U.S.) adoption. We offer services to persons of any age (over 18), family size or marital status who live in one of the following Michigan Counties: Branch, Calhoun, Clinton, Genesee, Gratiot, Hillsdale, Ingham, Ionia, Jackson, Lapeer, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Saginaw, Shiawassee, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne.
To assist with this process, in January 2015 we launched our Families Ready to Adopt website, showcasing the profiles of our prospective adoptive families. With a new service comes new questions, which we sought to address as thoroughly as possible below.
If you have a question not covered by one of these frequently asked questions, please feel free to call.
Elly Falit, MSW, LMSW
734.971.9781 ext. 322
As a prospective adoptive parent working with CSSW, do I have to have my profile on the website?”
No. Having your profile on the website is totally voluntary. Letters and albums will be available to show pregnant clients who are considering adoption just as they always have been. Some pregnancy clients, in fact, will not be able to access the website and will only be able to see letters and albums. Our incarcerated pregnant women are one example.
Is there an additional fee for having my profile on the website?
There are NO additional fees for setting up your initial profile or updating it annually.
When can my profile be on the website and how long will it take to appear there?
When you enter the pool of prospective adoptive parents, you can submit your profile. It will appear on the website within 10 business days.
How often can I change my profile on the website?
You can amend your profile without a fee once a year. There is a $50 fee each time you wish to make additional changes.
How will a pregnant woman become matched with an adoptive family she is interested in on the website?
The pregnant woman will see the contact information for the CSSW pregnancy counselors at the bottom of each profile page or elsewhere on the website. She would likely call or email a pregnancy counselor stating that she is pregnant and is interested in adoptive family “X”. The pregnancy counselor would then discuss her unique situation. The pregnancy counselor would begin pregnancy counseling with her and determine if she matches with the desired parent/family. If the parties are a match, the pregnancy counselor will show the whole adoptive family profile to her along with other adoptive family profiles (if she is interested), and then set up an adoptive parent interview with her desired family.
Can a pregnant woman choose closed adoption with a family she is interested in from the CSSW website?
Although all of our CSSW adoptive families are open to having an open adoption and our agency strongly encourages open adoption, we understand that some circumstances cause pregnant women and/or birth fathers to want to be anonymous to adoptive families. In these cases, the pregnancy counselors are able to obtain social/medical history from the pregnant woman and/or the birth father and facilitate a potential adoption plan exchanging non-identifying information only.
What if a pregnant woman is interested in an adoptive family that does not match her situation or who is unavailable to adopt her unborn child?
The pregnancy counselor will discuss the matching process with her and begin pregnancy counseling to assist her in viewing adoptive parent profiles that are a match for her situation. If CSSW does not have families who match her situation in whom she is interested, the pregnancy counselor will assist her in finding a family through another agency.
What if an out-of-state pregnant woman is interested in an adoptive family who does match her situation?
The pregnancy counselor will give the client some pregnancy counseling over the phone, discussing her unique situation. If the adoptive family has stated that they are open to out-of-state placements, CSSW will facilitate the parties “meeting” (which would likely occur first over phone or email). If the parties desire to move forward in making an adoption plan, CSSW will facilitate the adoption on the adoptive family end and assist the adoptive family in hiring an agency or an attorney in the pregnant woman’s state to assist her. CSSW pregnancy counselors will remain available to the out-of-state pregnant woman for phone consultation and counseling. There are other legalities and extra expenses around interstate adoptions that the adoptive family will need to be aware of prior to being available for interstate placements.
What if a Michigan pregnant woman is interested in an adoptive family who does match her situation, but she lives further than 100 miles from CSSW?
The pregnancy counselor will give the client some pregnancy counseling over the phone, discussing her unique situation. The pregnancy counselor will offer her services over the phone or within 100 miles of our office. If she cannot come within 100 miles of our office but desires to make a plan with a CSSW family who matches her situation, CSSW will facilitate the parties “meeting” (which would likely occur first over phone or email). If the parties desire to move forward in making an adoption plan, CSSW will facilitate the adoption on the adoptive family end and assist the adoptive family in hiring an agency or an attorney in the pregnant woman’s county to assist her. CSSW pregnancy counselors will remain available to the pregnant woman for phone consultation and counseling.
At what point in the matching process will a pregnant woman view the Family Assessment (Home Study) or Identifying Information of an Adoptive Family?
When a pregnant client’s situation matches with an adoptive family and she has decided they are her desired family to meet, the adoptive family is contacted and an interview is scheduled. Prior to the interview, the pregnant woman is given a copy of the non-identifying information in the home study and the adoptive family is given some non-identifying information about the pregnant woman’s situation. Identifying information of the adoptive family would only be shared after the parties agree to move forward in an adoption plan and consent to releasing their identifying information.
After I’m chosen by a birth parent, when is my profile removed from the website?
Your profile will be taken off the website after you have met the prospective birth mother and you both have agreed to move forward with an adoption plan. Should there be a change in the plan, your profile will return to the website when you are ready to rejoin the pool.