Adoption in stx
Does anyone have info on adoption in STX? I wrote to the head of the dept. of children services in Jan. without a response. I have heard of Queen Louises home for children. I didn't know if the foster care system in STX allows adoption. We were pursuing adoption in the states prior to my husband's job transfer. We have one child by ivf. We would like to add a brother or sister. We want to give a child a home that needs a loving home. I don't trust the private adoption agencies as I have friends with experience. I have been told that many family members take custody to prevent adoption and make it very difficult here. Yet I understand their desire not to see the child go to strangers. Also I was wondering if there is a lawyer or doctor who facilitates private adoptions of unwed mothers on the island.
I can't speak specifically about STX but we are in the process of adopting on STT.
The home study is completed by DHS and has taken 4 months so far and has a few weeks to go still. Your best source of information will be the DHS worker. They are incredibly overworked, so have patience if they don't call you back right away, or at all for that matter.
There is of course quite a bit of paperwork to complete. You'll need 5-7 references that will need to mail (not e-mail) letters to you, or if they're local just a written version. You'll also need to get an FBI background check completed. Both of those I would recommend you get right away as they will take time. You'll also need a physical (that has special requirements), but you'll need the form from DHS first.
I'm not sure if you're looking to adopt locally or elsewhere. If it's the mainland there seems to be quite a bit of ambiguity on if the adoption would be treated as international or not. Adoptions are treated as inter-state in Puerto Rico, but apparently that same answer may not apply here. We plan on adopting locally but if that falls through then may try the mainland. So far we've had a hard time locating agencies there willing to work with us down here, at least that are more reasonable for pricing. We are also hoping that once we have a completed home study some more agencies might be a bit more amiable.
We would like to adopt locally. Did you call DHS or stop by? I never got a response from an email I sent to DHS. Do you know if any doctors or lawyers coordinate private adoptions for unwed mothers like stateside? Also does the local DHS facilitate foster care? In the states, once you foster, usually you are at the top of the list for adopting. My niece recently adopted stateside before finishing the foster care classes because of the need to adopt foster children. There are more foster children than foster homes. Didn't know if that would be the case locally though.
Thank you for the info. Best wishes on your adoption.
We called, many many times. Eventually we did get a hold of a supervisor's number and got a case worker assigned. Just takes persistence.
We have spoken with a family law lawyer here when we were considering surrogacy. He did handle adoptions as well, so family law on STX is probably your best bet.
DHS does handle foster care here and they are definitely short on homes. Just like in the states the biggest need is for older children to be placed. I wouldn't say that you get special treatment with the adoption because you do foster care. I would think it's just increased visibility with the case workers. They will also place a child with even the most distant relatives first before considering a non-family member.
Given the culture and the explanations we've received, younger children are looked after by the family if the mother isn't ready. They also seem to be much more reluctant to use adoption as a whole. An example being letting their child be raised by a group home instead allowing an adoption.
Sandy, do you live here now? Or are you planning a move. If the former, I strongly suggest you either make phone calls or present yourself in person at the DHS office.
If you are not living here now, I doubt seriously you will find anyone who is willing to proceed.
I question your statement that "locals are hesitant to offer much info". I'm not sure what you mean exactly. But trying to get this done long distance or via e-mail is a waste of your time.
Linda-We are residents. When I say that locals are hesitant, I meant what Thomas said that families shy away from adoption. It's my understanding that they prefer to place the child in a home rather than give up all rights. Therefore, the people I have spoken to don't really tell me how to go about adopting. People meaning lifers here. They kinda avoid answering. I understand it is cultural though and nothing against me. We are looking to adopt an elementary age child to be close to our son's age so DHS may be the way to go here. It is amazing that families here take care of their little ones by placing them in a home to be sure they can still be a part of their lives. At first I thought it was a terrible thing but now I understand that they are doing what is best for their family. In the states, parents( if you can call them that )just walk away and let the child be the states problem without looking back. I am impressed by the strength of family here. At least the families here stay involved in the child's life even at the group home from what I hear.