how we work
Our goal in working with you is to:
1) Listen and learn about you, find out who you are and what you know,
2) Understand your needs, desires, hopes and dreams in building your family,
3) Determine whether you are currently on a good adoption path and how we can support that, or
4) Present all reasonable adoption options to you and help you decide how to proceed.
5) Prepare you for what's to come (as best we can), using our training and home study process
Our goal is always to help our clients find the best adoption option for them. Sometimes this involves our services, and sometimes we will recommend another agency. Because we take our work to heart, because we understand the strong desire to be a parent, and because we know that waiting children need families now, we will always try to guide families to their fastest, best option.
Questions to ask and
how we'd answer
The agency you choose to help you find manage the many moving pieces of an adoption, will play a large and important role in your life. We encourage you to take your time with this decision.
Things to be aware of, questions to ask your agency:
Is your agency state licensed? State licensure is a basic requirement for non profit child placing agencies.
A Family Tree has been continually licensed by the Hawai'i Department of Human Services, since 1975.
Is your agency an incorporated nonprofit agency? For-profit adoption agencies are more likely to be driven by bottom-line thinking. Each child placed results in more revenue, which could compromise the service provided.
A Family Tree has been a registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofit corporation since its founding in 1975.
How long has your agency been in existence? Newer agencies are less likely to have as much experience and expertise in the field as older, more established agencies.
A Family Tree was founded in 1975.
How many children has your agency placed since its founding? While the total number of children placed may not have much to do with the quality of the work, an agency that has experience is more likely to provide the service and expertise you need.
We have directly placed over 3,500 children through our direct child placement programs, into loving families. We have supported an additional 3,500 through home study and counseling services.
Does the agency have accreditation or recognition from any significant accrediting organizations? Accreditation is a good indication that an agency understands the importance of high standards of practice and works to maintain those.
Yes! We were in the first round of Hague accredited agencies under the Council on Accreditation in 2008. We completed three (3) accreditation cycles. In 2021 we elected to not renew our accreditation when maintaining accreditation was no longer crucial to our adoption work. We are open to applying for accreditation again, if and when our agency work changes to necessitate such. For the time being, we are able to conduct all important intercountrty and domestic adoption work, foster care support, direct domestic child placements and support services (home studies etc.) for ICA cases.
Does the agency have a list of clients who serve as references? You may wish to talk to someone who has previously used that agency.
Yes, we have many families willing and able to talk to prospective clients on our behalf.
Can you reach your caseworker or someone who can help you anytime you have a question? Are your questions answered in a satisfactory manner?
We understand this need. As people who regularly use non-adoption related services in our own community, we know the value of being able to reach someone on the phone. We do have live team members answering the phones, and work to get back to our clients within a reasonable time frame each time.
Do you know where the agency office is? Can you visit it?
We love our offices on South King Street (right next door to the Baskins and Robbins ice cream shop). Clients are welcome to visit, though we do recommend you let us know you are coming so we can tidy up!
Are you able to see detailed fee information about the programs in which you are interested?
Yes, we are legally required to provide a detailed fee sheet. We do not change fees once you've committed to us, and we understand the very real need to plan and budget.
How do you feel when you talk to or communicate with the workers at that agency? Everything else aside, you are going to be working closely with your adoption agency, and your sense of comfort and trust is paramount to a successful adoption.
This one we can't answer for you. Whether you feel comfortable with us is something only you can decide. We like to think we are approachable, dependable and professional in all our dealings. We welcome you to give us a call or send an email to try us out!