Christian Family Services is eager to help you build a family. There are four different ways that Christian Family Services can work with you. You first need to decide which direction or directions are best for you before proceeding.
Step 1: Application – The prospective adoptive family reviews all of the information on this website and/or contacts Christian Family Services and requests an information packet. After reviewing the materials, the family returns the completed Adoption Application, Response Form, and a check or money order for the non-refundable application fee of $150.00. (Additional forms must also be completed after contact with CFS has been made.)
Step 2: Adoptive Home Study – An adoptive home study is also called a family assessment or pre-placement investigation. The home study is conducted by a social worker who has special training in adoption. These social workers are credentialed by the state as knowledgeable in adoption matters, and are called Certified Investigators in Adoption Matters. In South Carolina, they can work for an agency or in private practice. Adoptive families working with CFS may have their home study conducted by a CFS certified investigator, by another agency’s certified investigator, or by a certified investigator in private practice. The home study involves preparation, or training to become adoptive parents. It also involves assessment of the prospective adoptive family to be sure that they can be recommended for adoption. The certified investigator will have to review several documents such as birth certificates and medical reports. The investigator will also ask the family to complete several forms, which give information about everything from your childhood to your finances. Criminal records will have to be checked as part of the study. The adoptive home study will require at least one visit in your home.
Step 3: Portfolio – The portfolio is a scrapbook or photo album that the adoptive family puts together to tell a little bit about themselves, without identifying who they are. The expectant mother looks through portfolios to select a family for her baby. It does not have to be big or fancy, but it should be an honest picture of you and your lifestyle. The portfolio is needed by the time the adoptive home study is finished.
Step 4: Office Visit – When the adoptive home study is approved, the adoptive family is invited to CFS for a visit to meet the staff, and to prepare for the day a child will be placed with them for adoption.
Step 5: Placement – When the expectant mother selects an approved adoptive family, the social worker contacts the family about her and the baby she is expecting. Information such as her health and lifestyle, the legal situation, openness desired, and costs involved is shared with the family to help them decide if this is the baby for them. On the date of placement the adoptive family comes to the hospital or CFS office to take the baby into their care.
Step 6: Finalization – After placement, the family’s attorney has 60 days to file the adoption papers in the court. The family has to wait 90 days from the date the papers are filed before an adoption hearing can be held. During this 90 day supervisory period, a certified investigator visits in the home to be sure that the baby is healthy and happy, and writes a post-placement investigation report. After the finalization, an amended birth certificate is awarded. When the birth certificate is awarded, you can file for a Social Security card for your child.