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How Does the Adoption Matching Process Work?

Have you ever wondered how the adoption matching process works? Here is a brief rundown of the two main ways prospective adoptive families are matched with children!

One of the biggest questions we get from prospective adoptive families is, “How do we actually get matched with a child?” This is a great question! Even if you are already moving forward with international adoption, you may still be wondering about this question. There are two primary ways a child and family are united through the adoption matching process.

Families inquire about a specific child on our Waiting Child Photolisting.

We feature many children who are waiting for families on our photolisting page. Here, prospective families can search children by country and age and read descriptions of the child’s personality and individual needs. Children appear on our photolisting when they are in need of extra advocacy. They are usually older, part of a sibling group or have significant medical or special needs. Oftentimes, a prospective family has a sense of certain needs or child profiles they feel particularly equipped to handle. In these situations, the photolisting is a helpful way to learn about specific children. A family may inquire about a specific child on the photolisting, and then a social worker will work with the family to determine the family’s eligibility and if they will be a good match for that specific child. However, it does not feature all the children who are on the international adoption track.

Most of the children Holt matches with adoptive families never appear on the photolisting!

This leads to the second way families and children find each other during the adoption matching process: through their social worker, once they have selected a country program.

Most of the adoption matches Holt facilitates come from detailed conversations a family has with their Holt social worker. Social workers assess information about which countries a family is eligible to adopt from, what kind of child needs they feel equipped to handle and how their home functions based on a detailed homestudy. Then, social workers are trained to pair this information with knowledge about children who are waiting for families. Once they have done so, they recommend a match to the family. At this point, the family takes some time to consider the recommendation. Then they either accept it to move forward with the adoption or request to wait for another child match.

Holt social workers have years of experience with this process, and they have matched and helped unite thousands of children with loving, permanent families.

Want to get started? One way to get in touch with them is to attend an adoption information session, which are led by Holt social workers and introduce prospective adoptive families to the international adoption process. These sessions are free, held online and provide an open forum for any other questions you have! Register for one below, or get touch with our inquiry team at [email protected].

Join us for an upcoming adoption information meeting!

These remote meetings are open to families anywhere in the U.S.


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