Adoptees, Adoption, adoptive parents, Birth Parents, Open Adoption, prospective adoptive parents, Support Groups, waiting

What is an Adoption Social Worker?

An Adoption Social Worker can go by many names: adoption specialist or adoption agent. Names aside, these social workers all provide an easier path in the adoption process between the triad. The triad is made up of the birth parents, the child, and the adoptive parents. The social worker provides counseling and makes sure the adoption runs as smoothly as possible throughout every stage. All adoption social workers are certified and licensed. Not all adoption agencies provide social workers. If that is important to the family, it is essential to choose an agency that does supply them. At Adoptions From The Heart, we provide our adoption social workers.

By providing social workers from the agency, it allows for a more emotionally considerate adoption process. This way expectant and birth mothers are provided the counseling and resources they need during and after placement. The adoption process is a time of change and turmoil for all involved. It falls upon the adoption social worker to make sure each person’s needs are being met, and worries are being eased. Their job is to be the main point of contact during the length of the process. To be a successful adoption social worker, intense training and vast education are required.

What an Adoption Social Worker Does

There are three main tasks a social worker will complete during the adoption process. The first one is well known. A social worker will connect and create a triad. The process involves researching the background of both the history of the birth parents and the adoptive parents. By doing so, it generates a better match for the potential adoptee. Once there is a match, then comes the second task.

The second task is to prepare all members of the triad for adoption. They provide education on parenting (especially if they are first-time parents), transracial parenting (if applicable), and open adoptions. They also offer support groups, as the adoption process is a time of loss and grief, especially for the birth parents. Overall, they want all parties prepared for when the adoption is finalized.

The last task comes after the adoption is finalized. The social worker makes sure the triad is secure. This can mean making sure the birth mother is doing well and is supported, whether that be emotionally, in the form of a support group, or financially. Adoptive parents can also reach out and update social workers on the adoptee’s wellbeing. Support for the triad does not end at the birth of the child.

The Ups and Downs of Being a Social Worker

Unfortunately, burnout is a real possibility. Social workers don’t work typical hours or stay in one place very long. They walk a fine line with being available to their families while also taking care of their emotional health. At the end of the day, they are the shoulder for people to cry on or the voice in the darkness; whatever the family needs. They want what is best for their triad, and it can be disheartening at times when an adoption plan falls through. They know the turmoil and disruption that the families endure. It, also, is hard to see adoptive parents who have been on the waiting list for a long time. All the social worker wants is to finally give that phone call saying that the family was selected.

On the flip side, the best feeling for a social worker is to successfully match a family. When the adoption process is complete and each member of the triad is satisfied, it is a good day. After so much time has passed, it is a nice reward when social workers get updates on the adoptee and how much has changed since the last time they communicated. It’s a warm reminder to the adoption specialist that they made a positive impact on someone’s life and that their job helps people. Being a social worker means working with new people and making new connections all the time. No two days are ever the same, which can be exciting.


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