Thank you for allowing Hawaii International Child (HIC) to play a role in your family-building process. We have assisted in creating families since 1975 and believe that informed and supportive preparation for prospective adoptive parents prior to the placement of their child yields the most positive outcome for all. HIC has designed the Adoptive Parent Training (APT) classes to meet the standards set forth by the Hague Convention listed in 22 CFR 96.48 regarding adoption education and training, which requires families to receive a minimum of 10 hours of training outside of the home study evaluation. To maintain best practices for all families, HIC requires that all families receive Hague-approved training, regardless if they are adopting from a Hague-country. Families may attend APT during or immediately following their home study; it is required for families to complete this training prior to the placement of an adoptive child in their home.
APT is a series of four classes, each three hours in length. Families are required to attend all four consecutive classes (12 hours of training). Each class “builds” upon the next, and prospective adoptive families may find it challenging to catch up after an absence. HIC is unable to accommodate prospective adoptive families in “make up” classes, as we seek to provide a confidential place for families to explore issues as they pertain to their future families. Thus, we also limit the number of families who may attend each APT.
Social workers and staff trained in adoption issues tailor the material to each class’s specific questions and needs, and facilitate the discussion on the eight core topics as defined by the Hague:
- Adoption process and the general needs of children waiting for permanent families
- Medical, emotional, and developmental impact of pre-placement environment
- Age-appropriate issues of separation from pre-placement environment and grief and loss
- Impact of institutionalization (if applicable)
- Bonding and attachment
- Processing, expenses, difficulties, and delays associated with adoption
- Transracial families and parenting a child of a different culture
- Post placement and post adoption requirements and process
HIC also discusses topics such as talking about adoption, motivation, and the significance of a child’s birth parents. Thus, APT consists of a full curriculum designed to provide education into adoption issues, as well as allow families to engage in personal reflection and emotional exploration as they move through their adoption journey. Participants are encouraged to ask questions, engage in thoughtful, respectful dialogue, and share their feelings openly in this safe and confidential environment.
In understanding and respecting that each person learns in different ways, the facilitators utilize various teaching methods, including video and media, printed articles and reading assignments, lectures and discussions, group exercises, individual reflective questions, case studies, and presentations by physicians, birth parents, adoptive parents, and adults adopted as children. Families are provided with information on resources in the community, and are encouraged to contact HIC for assistance or additional support. HIC works continuously to improve the classes and actively seeks feedback from adoptive parents. Feedback received from adoptive parents over the years indicates that the material and facilitation of the classes have been well-received.
We respectfully require both members of a couple attend APT. We have found that because the classes are designed to stimulate self-reflection as well as provide education about adoption issues, many couples find it helpful to have a supportive partner in the room. As such, single prospective applicants are welcome to bring one person to class for support.
HIC requires all families residing on the island of Oahu attend the APT classes. APT is held from February to November, and rotates classes for families adopting within the U.S. (domestic) and inter-country. Please refer to the Schedule for the latest schedule. All participants must register.
Families on neighboring islands are encouraged to attend APT, but may receive their adoption training and education from Adoption Learning Partners, a Hague-approved curriculum based online. Families must work with the social worker providing home study services in the selection of appropriate classes. The social worker will also carefully and thoroughly review the information covered in APT and online courses to provide further support and training as needed.
Thank you for allowing HIC to play a small role in your adoption journey. We look forward to working with you.