Global Adoption Services, Inc. is a licensed Maryland agency, and we are Hague accredited as a primary provider. Global provides a full range of pre and post adoption services for domestic and international adoptions including:
Our first concern is the welfare of children. We want to ensure that children in need of families are placed only in safe, healthy, loving homes. Prospective parent(s) are screened carefully. This includes state and federal criminal background checks, medical exams, reference checks, home visits and interviews by case workers. For Maryland families, home studies are completed by one of our social workers who is experienced in adoption related issues. For families residing in another US state or territory, we network with an agency in that state. Please refer to our home study page for more in-depth information.
Bringing a child into a home through adoption can be challenging. Children raised in an institutional setting in a foreign country can present a variety of cultural, social, and medical issues for which adoptive parent(s) must be prepared. Although Hague accreditation requires a minimum of 10 hours of parental education prior to placement of a child in an adoptive family, we recommend additional training specific to the unique needs of the child or children the family hopes to adopt. Training is provided on an ongoing basis by the social worker during the adoption home study process and more formally through online classes offered by Adoption Learning Partners, Thinking of Adopting, and Heart of the Matter.
During the home study process, the social worker and staff of Global Adoption Services will educate the family about the domestic and international programs that are available. The home study can then be finalized appropriately to reflect the requirements of the program chosen. Upon approval of the home study, the family’s dossier will be referred to our domestic placement coordinator or the foreign country program best suited to the family’s circumstances. In making a referral we will always consider first the needs of the child, then the needs of the adoptive family.
Preparation of a dossier can appear daunting given the unique requirements of each state or foreign country. Starting with a checklist customized to the program of choice, Global Adoption Services guides adoptive families throughout the process of assembling the required documents. Each dossier is then thoroughly reviewed and translated, as necessary, before submission to the appropriate authorities in the state or foreign country. In conjunction with the facilitator, attorney or orphanage in the foreign country, we then manage the entire adoption process to keep all parties informed at each stage of the adoption process.
During the initial application, parent(s) complete a child interest survey that indicates the range of gender, age, and medical, developmental or psychological conditions they feel prepared to parent. Referral procedures vary by state/country. Some foreign countries have lists of children who are available to Global Adoption Services for referral to waiting adoptive parents. In other countries, parents must register within the country before obtaining authorization to receive a referral. Regardless of the program chosen, whether domestic or foreign, Global Adoption Services will always endeavor to provide all available medical, psychological and social information about a child(ren) before parent(s) commit to adoption. Parent(s) must understand that, in some cases, there may be medical or psychological issues that are unknown or have not been reported. Adoptive parent(s) may always ask for additional information from the child’s caretakers or request additional exams either before or during their initial visit to meet the child. We encourage adoptive families to have the child’s information reviewed by a qualified adoption specialist physician or clinic.
Global Adoption Services, Inc. is available to adoptive parents at any time after the adoption is completed. We encourage families to contact us if they have questions, are experiencing problems, or need information on referral options to appropriate resources if needed. We follow the reporting requirements of the state and foreign country, and provide additional support or visits as necessary to facilitate a smooth transition for the family and the child.
Alaina Springer, LCSW-C, has been a clinical social worker since 2000 and has worked with many families in crisis. She understands the challenges of parenting children of all ages struggling with special needs, maladaptive behaviors, mental/physical health problems, and/or addiction. She also has a daughter who came into her life through a foster-to-adoption program. As a result, she has a personal understanding of the struggles faced by multi-cultural families, and single parents. Alaina serves as the Executive Director of Global Adoption Services.
Paula M. Nash, LCSW-C, is a clinical social worker who has been doing home studies and post-placement assessments with Global Adoption Services for many years. She is very knowledgeable about the effects of institutionalization on young children and how those effects are manifested in their behaviors. With her decades-long experience with teens experiencing emotional and behavioral problems, she is knowledgeable of the challenges that can face any family. She has helped many families navigate the complex process of adoption. Part of that process is to help families understand and prepare for the emotional and physical transitions by both the child(ren) and adoptive family.
Stephanie Atkinson, who has worked for Global since 2005 as our administrative assistant, is a wealth of knowledge. What she doesn't know she will work diligently to find. Stephanie has an amazing ability to navigate the Web, the State Department, foreign staff and smart phone to find answers and solve problems. Her understanding of the legal documentation required in an international adoption comes from her experience adopting her two sons from Russia (through Global) as well as her background as a paralegal. You will likely come to count on her as much as we do in the handling of your home study, as well as your documents, dossier, and travel plans should you choose Global as your placing agency.
Judy Williams, RN, from the Maryland office is the mother of two biological children, four permanent placement foster children and two children adopted from Russia. Judy began her professional work with adoptions in 1993 primarily in Russia. She has done several humanitarian aid projects including Rocking Grandmothers in the baby houses as well as medical education projects throughout the regions in Russia. She currently manages two humanitarian projects in Haiti.
Pictured here are Judy and her husband Barry.