By May 16, 2010 2 Comments Read More →

France: Interviewing for an Agrément

France Part II: In a previous post I explain how to begin the adoption process in France. If you’ve followed the steps and all your paperwork is in, you’ll receive a letter in 60-90 days telling you that you are in the system and have been assigned a social worker/psychologist team. Congratulations, you are on your way to becoming a parent.

The first letter you receive may or may not detail when you’ll have your first appointment with the team. Ours told us the names of our team members and the person in charge of our file, but not much else. Two months later we received another letter telling us to be in their office the following week at the assigned time. Be forewarned that they often don’t give you much time in advance and expect you to be at the rendezvous at the appointed hour.

You will be required to meet with your team three or four times and this will include at least one home visit. They will ask you very specific questions about your family, your childhood, your relationship with your siblings and anything imaginable regarding your life. They will also ask to see your last few pay stubs to confirm you are still gainfully employed.

Because you are an expat and France is very family oriented, it’s important to stress that you have made friends and feel comfortable and at home in your village or city.

This point may be critical if you are single because some singles have been denied because their team feels they will not be able to handle the demands of parenthood alone in a foreign land. One woman managed to convince her concerned team that she had a “family” of friends by gathering the names, phone numbers and addresses of all her friends and presenting them with a list. She also had some of her friends write letters confirming that they would help whenever needed and that they were indeed her family in France.

During the home visit, make sure your place is clean and that there is enough room for a child. It is unlikely that you will be approved if you do not have enough space for the child, so you need at least two bedrooms. Some social workers open drawers and cabinets searching for things that can harm a child so either child proof your apartment before they arrive or move dangerous items out of the reach of a child before the home visit. I know someone who was criticized for having alcohol in a low cabinet so consider moving your wine collection to the cave. When in doubt, take it out. Don’t leave anything to chance.

Think about what you want to say, talk about it with your partner and be honest. If you feel that your team members are hesitant about something, address whatever issues they have concerns about and talk it through.

Once the visits are completed, the team will write three reports: A background report about your family history (number of siblings, what your childhood was like, etc); a psychological report and a general recommendation.

You have the right to review each report and correct any errors or misunderstandings. After that, the reports go to a board which ultimately decides if you will be approved to adopt or not.

The next post will explain how to find an agency ( Organismes authorisés pour l’adoption or  OAA) and the option of an independent adoption.

Posted in: Paperwork, Process

2 Comments on "France: Interviewing for an Agrément"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

Post a Comment