What is Adoption Education?


Whether you are engaged in an international adoption, special needs adoption, sibling group adoption, or domestic adoption, obtaining adoption education related to those topics is very important for the success of the adoption itself. In order to be as prepared as possible for this tremendous change within your family, MLJ Adoptions International works to help guide you in the adoption process, the special needs realities and the post adoption challenges you may encounter.  Our services are comprehensive and tailored to your family’s individual needs because we know that every family’s adoption journey is unique!

adoption educationDuring the beginning of your adoption journey, our Social Services staff will assess your family’s needs to prepare an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for your initial adoption education. Received during  the home study process, this IEP will include such required trainings as the National Council on Adoption’s  (NCFA) ten module course entitled The Intercountry Adoption Journey, reading the book The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis, David Cross and Wendy Sunshine, taking MLJ on line classes on specific country culture and Stress and Adoption, and possibly additional classes with Creating A Family on such topics as infertility, nutrition or adopting sibling groups. This education meets the guidelines of the Hague Convention and USCIS and allows you to receive instruction from some of the top experts in the fields of adoption, law, medicine, and parenting. Your initial training is to be completed prior to submitting your dossier to your prospective adopted child’s country of origin.

MLJ Adoptions International will also assist you in choosing additional educational opportunities while you wait for your child’s placement. As waiting can sometimes be a lengthy process, it is important to continue to engage in adoption education and activities to help prepare yourself to be the best parent possible. MLJ staff recommends at least ten additional hours of continuing education. This can be done in many ways, such as attending local conferences, reading adoption-related books, participating in events at MLJ or in your community, taking on-line adoption education webinars or classes, or attending parenting classes in your community.

When you receive your child’s referral, the MLJ Director of Social Services will also review its contents and send you some suggestions and resources in regard to the child’s documented physical health, mental health, developmental level, social history, post adoption service needs, and family background. This information is not provided in lieu of an examination or assessment completed by a licensed physician or psychologist, but as a supplement to the information you will receive from them and from the country on your child. It is designed to help guide you to locate local resources in your community which are specifically suggested for your child.

You may also benefit from an educational experience with a group of your peers. MLJ Adoptions International hosts specific Support Groups which are led by adoptive parents just like you. These Support Groups provide opportunities to interact with other adoptive families in all stages of their adoption journeys and with those who are experienced in adoptive parenting. Support Groups offer opportunities such as sharing joys and concerns, asking questions, getting tips on international travel, and welcoming a child into your home. They are great ways to connect with others like yourself and validate your emotions and thoughts with other adults who truly understand what you are experiencing. All MLJ clients are welcome to participate! You can sign up for these groups on your MLJ Client Care page.

Finally, each month your MLJ Support Services team will highlight an on-line adoption training opportunity available free to MLJ clients. With over 200+ courses to choose from and the ability to access the training at any time and from home, you are certain to benefit from MLJ’s partnership with Creating a Family.

MLJ’s educational assistance does not stop there! We are available to you at any time before or after your adoption with us. We are more than happy to connect you to resources or answer your questions related to your individual adoption need. Our Social Services staff has many years of experience working with families and children in both adoptive and out-of-home care situations. We are here for YOU and can be reached by telephone, email or in person at the MLJ Adoptions International office. We want you to be prepared for and confident in your adoption.

Karlene Edgemon works as MLJ Adoptions’ Director of Social Services. Throughout her 25 year social services career, Karlene has been able to watch adoption transform the lives of children and she is always brainstorming new ways to support adoptive families before, during and after their adoption.