Hopeful Beginnings of St. Mary's Services FAQ

  1. Tell us a little about the founding and development of your organization?
    Hopeful Beginnings of St. Mary’s was founded in 1887 by the Episcopal Sisters of St. Mary. Originally an orphanage for homeless children and then a foster care facility, in the 1940s St. Mary’s embarked on adoption. Since that time, the agency has facilitated thousands of successful adoptions - each providing new beginnings for infants, birth parents and adoptive parents of all races, religions, and backgrounds.
  2. How are your adoption home study and your organization unique?
    We are a smaller agency with wonderful social workers. Our agency believes in ‘relationship adoptions’ and our social workers truly create strong bonds with their clients. They really get to know their clients and adoptive couples to make sure everyone is comfortable, knowledgeable, and supported.
  3. Why are you passionate about adoption and the home study process?
    Adoption has a special place in a lot of the workers at our agency. Some have been adopted themselves or have a loved one that was adopted, some have always known they wanted to work in the field, but everyone truly sees how beautiful and selfless adoption is underneath everything.
  4. How long is an adoption home study valid?
    Because we have two different adoption programs the time frame is different. For our domestic program, where our agency matches and places you with a birth family, the home study and corresponding paperwork needs to be renewed every two years, per Illinois law. With our home study only program, where another agency matches and places you and we are the agency for your home study, that needs to be renewed annually. This is because no one is sure what state your child’s birth family will come from and every state has different laws.
  5. Approximately how much time is necessary to complete an adoption home study by your organization?
    We understand that everyone has different personal lives, and some people have more time than others to get through all the requirements needed to complete a home study. That being said, our social workers like to match the pace of our clients and guide them to complete the home study as quickly as possible. We have seen families get through their home study in a month and others longer than 6 months. It truly depends on how quickly the clients can progress through the process
  6. Can adoptive parents use a home study completed by your organization to adopt a child born in another state?
    Yes, this scenario is what our home study only program is for. With that program, this agency would walk you through the home study process and be the agency that home study approves you to become a waiting family with another agency that you choose, most likely an agency that can work with the entire United States. Our agency is familiar with this process and will be able to communicate with your placing agency with ease.
  7. If you complete my home study, do you also have to complete my post-placement visits?
    Yes, in either program we would complete your home study and your post placement visits.
  8. How many post-placement visits does your organization require?
    This solely depends on what state your adoption finalizes in. Since each state has different laws, we communicate with the agencies and attorneys also on the case to know what each law is in that state the adoption is finalizing in. For example, for adoptions finalizing in Illinois 4 post placement visits are required in a 6-month period.
  9. What is some advice you can give to potential adoptive families about the home study process? What should they be prepared for?
    Be yourself first and foremost. Unfortunately, there is a lot of paperwork to go through but that paperwork helps us as a home study provider make sure you can be the best adoptive parent you can be for your child. Another recommendation would be to have a strong support system, as the adoption process can be difficult at times. Our agency is definitely able to support you through the process and help as much as possible.
  10. What do your home study social workers look for in a home and a family when they visit potential adoptive families' homes?
    Our first priority is always to establish safety standards for when a child is placed into their home. We also want to make sure that the adoptive parents will love them, support them, and be open about their adoption story from birth. We have wonderful families that come to adoption for many different reasons and make certain that families are upfront about their particular situation.
  11. Are you Hague accredited, and if not, does your international home study comply with Hague International Standards?
    We do not do any international adoptions. Our agency is solely for private domestic infant adoptions.
  12. Do you have experience in completing the home study and working with international placement companies?
    Our agency used to do international adoptions but no longer does this service. If a previous international adoptive family contacted us we would do whatever we had to find them the resources they needed.
  13. Are there other services and benefits you would like to share about your company?
    We work in the adoption field as well as maternity counseling. We offer counseling for women who are parenting or pregnant who may be experiencing depression or anxiety, grief and loss of a pregnancy or post termination, as well as counseling for adjustment to motherhood. In certain cases, when women considering adoption decide to parent, we are still able to assist them in our other counseling services. We want to make sure we can help as many women in our communities be the best mom they can be, no matter the situation. We also offer a baby closet to families who need basic baby items, such as clothes, bottles, formula, diapers, and wipes. All of our services are free and we don’t ask for any insurance.

Copyright ©2000-2024 1.800 Homestudy, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Home | Company Info | Legal/Copyright | Privacy Statement