Adoption is the process whereby a person assumes full legal responsibility for a child who is not biologically theirs. This involves the transfer of all parental rights and responsibilities. Adoption will be the preferred, long term placement option as it provides the family environment necessary for the optimal growth and development of the child.
Prospective Adoptive Parents
Prospective adoptive parents are persons who are interested in providing a family for a child or children. A prospective adoptive parent can be a resident of another country or non-national of Trinidad and Tobago. They can also be a relative or a complete stranger to the child whom they plan to adopt.
The Adoption Process
There are three major stakeholders involved in the adoption process:
- The Prospective Adoptive Parent
- The Adoptee
- The Birth Parent
There is a thorough screening process which aims to determine the suitability of the prospective adoptive parent to appropriately respond to the social, emotional, physical and educational needs of a child.
The adoption process managed by the Authority may include the following steps depending on the type of adoption being sought:
- Expression of Interest
- Information Session
- Application Process (submission of relevant forms and documents)
- Psychosocial Assessment and Background Check
- Notification of Approval
- Training for Prospective Adoptive Parents
- Matching Process
- Briefing Session to select adoptee
- Observed First Interaction Experience between adoptee and Prospective Adoptive Parents
- Debriefing Session
- Probationary Period
- Application for Adoption Order
- Adoption Finalised
For more information or to make an appointment, please contact the Adoption Unit at 627-0748 ext. 2096
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
- What is adoption?
Adoption is the legal transfer of all parental rights and responsibilities for a child from that child’s legal parents (birth parents or adoptive parents) to another person or persons referred to as the adopter or adopters.
- How can you become an adoptive parent?
You can call the Adoption Unit of the Children’s Authority and you will receive information on our application process.
- Do adoptive parents have a choice about the child/children that they adopt?
Yes they do. Prospective Adoptive Parents will have the opportunity to describe the child that they would like to be a part of their family.
The Children’s Authority will aim to provide ongoing support to all adoptive parents, families and adopted children in the form of supervision, monitoring, training, counselling and post-adoption monitoring and support.
- Can an adoptive parent adopt more than one child?
It is possible to adopt more than one child. Sibling groups can be adopted at one time as this will make the process easier for the family involved or in the case of unrelated children, individual applications will have to be submitted.
- Are birth parents/guardians or other relatives permitted visitation when the adoption is finalized?
As the adoptive parent you will retain all legal parental rights of the child. The decision to allow the natural parent, guardian or relative into your home is solely your decision.
- How long will it take to adopt?
There are three stages in the adoption process:
- Approval: includes the application and assessment processes
- Matching: includes the search for the child that has been profiled by the prospective adopters
- Placement: refers to when the child has been successfully matched and enters the adoptive home
The time frame for the entire process varies depending on a number of factors. However, once a match has been found, there is a probationary period which can last up to six months.
Once the probationary period has been successfully completed, the Court will be approached for an Order to finalise the adoption process.
- Will I be Provided with Training?
All adoptive parents will be required to attend an initial training sessions which cover general topics relevant to the adoption process and child care issues specific to adoption. Additional specialist training will also be provided for those who care for children with special needs.
- Are there any costs for applying?
There are no application costs, however there will be costs incurred in providing some of the documents which need to accompany the application form.
- When will I know if my application is successful?
Once you have been deemed suitable to be placed on the list of Prospective Adoptive Parents, you will receive formal correspondence from the Adoption Unit.
- How does foster care differ from adoption?
Foster care is meant to be temporary shelter for a child. Generally the plan is for the child to return to his/her parents when they are able to provide care. However Adoption refers to the permanent placement of a child with a family who is deemed suitable to meet his or her needs.
- I/We have been approved as an adopter under the administration of the Adoption Board of Trinidad and Tobago. What is my status under the new administration?
You retain your status as being approved as an adopter and are in the pre-matching stage of the new process.
- How long can I wait to receive a child in my care?
Within the new legislation, the Court can declare a child to be freed for adoption and this is particularly useful in affording children who are in the care of the Community Residences the opportunity to be permanently placed with a family. This means there will be a larger pol of children who can be placed with suitable adopters.
Yes, you may bring this information to the attention of the Authority, however the child’s or children’s adoptability must be evaluated before the child can be included in the adoption process.
- Can someone who was approved after me/us receive a child in their care before I/we do?
Yes, it is possible since the profile of the child those persons may have submitted may be different to the profile that you submitted, and a particular child specific to their request is available to be adopted. However, if more than one person shares the same child profile, the person approved first chronologically will be considered.
- Will I be assigned a specific caseworker?
Every member of the Adoption Unit can provide services as needed, therefore you will not be assigned a specific person. You can contact any member of the Adoption Unit.
- My marital relationship has broken down, how does that affect my approval status?
Once you were approved as a co-applicant with your spouse, you will have to re-apply as a single applicant.