Adoption Training Classes

Adoption as a Life-Long Journey

The adoption process and adoptive parenthood, like other types of parenthood, can bring tremendous joy -- and a sizable amount of stress. It has been clearly established over many decades that there is a need for education before an adoption takes place. The educational process increases the families’ chance for a successful and healthy transition and future as an adoptive family, and also reduces the likelihood of adoption disruption or dissolution.

Why Adoption Education?

The reasons and benefits are numerous:
• A Love Beyond Borders wants you to learn and experience as much as you can before, during, and after your adoption so that you may be provided with the greatest possibility of becoming a strong, healthy and successful adoptive family.
• Countless years of experience by adoptive families and adoption professionals as well as the decades of results from dozens of research studies related to adoption recommends pre adoption education as necessary.
• The educational process actually assists and supports prospective families during the often challenging waiting time prior to child placement.
• Adoption is a subject that is widely misunderstood without adoption education.
• There are many adoption myths that need to be dispelled.
• There are many adoption options that should be explored.
• Welcoming your child into your family may cause a great many emotional responses in all family members and education will help prospective parents to be better prepared for them.
• Adoption laws are difficult to understand, yet must be understood by all parties involved.
• Adoptive parents should learn about birth families whether they are exploring a domestic or international adoption.

• The Hague Convention on International Adoption requires adoption education, both for prospective adoptive families and for adoption staff. Although a minimum of 10 training hours is required, most experienced agencies require more hours to thoroughly cover all of the topics required
• There are many issues surrounding adopting and raising a child which will be explored during the education process.
• Networking and meeting with other adoptive families is an important part of the process.
• Parents need information that will strengthen their families, and enable them to handle the challenges of adoptive parenthood.
• The more you know, the more successful you will be.

Requirements for Colorado Residents

We’ve explained why adoption education is important, beneficial and life changing. In addition to all the reasons listed above there are other reasons:

•The Colorado Department of Human Services requires 24 hours of training for Colorado parents completing an inter country adoption.
• For inter country adoption, all training MUST be completed, in person, before traveling to the foreign country to bring the child home.
• The training must be done separately from, and in addition to, the family assessment.
• If a family is adopting for the second time and have already completed the core training, they should provide LBB with a copy of the Certificate of Completion that specifies the number of training hours and topics covered.

Core Training Topics Required for Colorado Residents are 16 hours face-to-face, Hague compliant training.  Topics include:

• Attachment/bonding issues and other emotional problems that institutionalized or traumatized children, and children with a history of multiple caregivers and moves, may experience before and after their adoption.
• Loss and grief issues, as applicable for all parties to the adoption.
• Adoption as a lifelong issue as it pertains to all parties of the adoption.
• Key concepts of child growth and development and the effects of the child’s development on the family as a whole
• Boundary setting and discipline
• Parenting a child of a different culture or racial background, long term implications from infancy through adulthood
• Disclosure issues including accuracy of history information that may not be accurate regarding the child and birth parent(s) family, discussion with the child and sharing information with others.
• On-going contact and/or communication of child and adoptive family with biological family and/or significant individuals.
• Possible current and/or future use of community resources, including help with parenting techniques.

• Expectations of adoption and adoptive process.
• Medical/health issues including, but not limited to, shaken baby syndrome, relevant environmental issues, malnutrition, maternal substance abuse and any other known genetic health, emotional and developmental risk factors associated with children from the country of adoption.
• Basic care and supervision appropriate to the age of the child.
• The impact of a child leaving familiar surroundings as appropriate to the expected age of the child.
• Data on institutionalized children and the impact of institutionalization on children including the effect on children depending on the length of time spent in an institution and the type of care provided in the expected country of origin.

8 additional hours are required for Colorado families adopting from a foreign country, a child with special needs or a child over age two must also take training on the following topics:

• U. S. Immigration requirements and the laws and procedures of the Foreign country including foreseeable and unforeseeable delays and impediments to finalization,
• Reporting requirements such as any post-placement or post-adoption reports required by the expected country of origin.
• Understanding adoption laws and procedures, including termination of parental rights and the abandonment or relinquishment process 
• Cultural heritage of the child including available community resources.
• Medical, social and other data known about the particular child.
• All available information about the child’s history and cultural, racial, religious, ethnic and linguistic background.
• The known health risks in the specific region or country where the child resides.  Any general characteristics and needs of children awaiting adoption and the in-country conditions that affect children from the expected country of origin.
• Parenting a child that has been physically, emotionally or sexually abused or neglected
• Parenting the physically, mentally, developmentally or emotionally delayed, including Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Please send copies of all training certificates of completion to LBB for your adoption file if you have completed adoption training elsewhere.

Education Requirements for LBB Families Living Out of Colorado

All families completing an inter country adoption with A Love Beyond Borders must complete a minimum of 15 hours of Hague-compliant pre-adoption education before a child is placed in their home as well as training in the adoption of older, post-institutionalized children.

• The training must be completed before the finalization of the adoption or, in the case of an adoption finalized in a foreign country, before travel to the country of adoption
• The training must be done separate from, and in addition to, the family Home Study.

• If a family is adopting for the second time and have already completed the required training, they should provide LBB with a copy of the Certificate of Completion that specifies the number of training hours and topics covered.

LBB recommends the following on-line training

  • Hague Package: This package includes 5 courses for a total of 10 credit hours of training on topics required for international adoption by the Hague Convention.
  • Tough Starts Matter Package:   The presence of extremely challenging behaviors in children may indicate that the child has experienced trauma in their early days. Trauma, in this case, may include prenatal substance exposure or being born into a neglectful, chaotic or abusive environment. Many adopted children, international or domestic, have faced this kind of suboptimal beginning in life -- a Tough Start. With informative, practical and encouraging material, the Tough Starts Series equips adoptive parents with insight into how their child’s tough start in life may lead to troubling behavior years later and teaches parents how to intercede and help the child heal.