Psychological Evaluations and Mental Health Letters: How To


Every country’s process is a little bit different when it comes to getting a psychological evaluation done for the purpose of adoption and not all countries require psychological evaluations. There are some FAQs that I receive from families who struggle with getting this requirement met. The answer is not cohesive for every country, but there are some aspects of this requirement that may be applicable for most countries.

Where do I find someone to do my psychological evaluation?

For most countries, you can have a Licensed Social Worker or psychologist do your evaluation and write the letter or report. For Haiti and Burkina Faso, either work just fine. For Mexico, a psychologist must   perform an evaluation which includes testing and the psychologist then provides a written report on the evaluation. The evaluation needs to provide results that indicate that the prospective adoptive parents are in acceptable mental health to parent an adopted child. For Haiti and Burkina Faso, there is a template that most families use from their provider to write the letter. If you are an MLJ client you should be able to find the template on your client portal and your Dossier Guidebook, non MLJ clients should consult with their primary provider. Samoa does not require a mental health letter, and our Individualized Programs (or UAA programs) vary based on the country the prospective adoptee is adopting from.

To find a psychologist near you,  one useful tool is the website and searching in your area. The website is filled with social Workers, licensed therapists, and psychologists throughout the United States.

Can my current provider write the letter for me?

Absolutely, but please check with your current provider to ensure they are able to provide what is needed.  If you are adopting from Mexico and an MLJ client family, please check with our Assistant Program Director before you have your provider write it for you. If you are a non MLJ client, please check with your primary provider.

Does this need notarized/apostilled?

Your letter or evaluation will need to be notarized and apostilled for all countries. Please make sure that you notarize and apostille the original document, not a copy. Once notarized, you will need to apostille it in your state. If you have trouble finding a notary, will be able to assist you with finding a notary near you. If you are having trouble finding your Secretary of State office, contact your state’s government website for information.

Does the letter need to be on a letterhead?

Yes. This is to indicate the authenticity of your document. Most notaries will not notarize a document unless it has some form of validity.

What if the provider’s office doesn’t have a notary?

If there is not a notary within the provider’s office, you may be able to find a traveling notary through Google.  If you are an MLJ client family, please contact your Assistant Program Director for additional assistance.

Can my provider use their own template?

This depends on the country you are adopting from and your agency’s specific requirements.  As an MLJ family, the provider can absolutely use their own form or template but please consult with your Assistant Program Director about the country requirements.  For some countries such as Haiti and Burkina Faso, we recommend using MLJ’s template to save you the time and hassle.

For additional questions regarding dossier requirements, please consult with your primary provider.