Families interested in participating in the HIC Ka Makana domestic adoption program should complete and submit the HIC application to HIC and complete an HIC home study prior to being eligible for the Ka Makana program.
Due to the occasional nature of domestic adoptive placements, HIC requires prospective adoptive families to be “paper ready” prior to being accepted into the Ka Makana program. Since birth parent work is unpredictable, it is conceivable that a waiting prospective adoptive family may receive a tentative birth parent match relatively quickly. However, for this same reason prospective adoptive parents may face long or unpredictable waits. HIC will discuss options with families prior to their commitment to the Ka Makana program and will provide insights into the current expected wait times and other adoption options if appropriate.
Open vs. Closed Domestic Adoptions
The degree to which an adoption is open or closed is determined by the birth parent(s). HIC will aim to match birth parents with prospective adoptive parents appropriately. HIC believes in the importance of openness in adoption, especially if this is the request of the birth parent(s).
- Open: Typically an open adoption is one in which the birth parent(s), and the prospective adopting parent(s) meet and/or exchange identifying information prior to and/or after the birth and placement of the child for adoption. The degree of openness will be the topic of conversation prior to the child placement and may be an ongoing discussion following child placement. It is important that all members of the adoption process are comfortable with the intended degree of openness. It is equally important that all participants understand that in the vast majority of cases, once an adoption is final, the birth parents lose any and all rights over the child and are dependent on the good word of the adopting family to continue to agreement. HIC will work with all members of the adoption to determine what is desired and appropriate.
- Closed: Closed adoptions are increasingly less common as research and experience indicate the importance of identity and knowledge to adopted child. However, should a closed adoption be requested by the birth parent(s) HIC will seek a family open to such an adoption. In closed adoptions HIC plays a larger role in communicating between the various parties and may serve as the liaison in years following the child placement.
Domestic adoptions may not be easily predictable due to the fact that children are not waiting in group homes but rather are usually born to birth mothers shortly before adoptive placement. In some cases waiting families wait a few weeks for a prospective child match, and in other cases the wait may be years. HIC will update waiting families as appropriate, and encourages families considering this program, to discuss other or concurrent options as well.
Many domestic adoptions involve the selecting of the prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) by the birth parent(s). For this reason, in the HIC Ka Makana program PAPs are required to complete and submit to HIC, a Dear Birth Mother Letter and photos depicting family, friends and lifestyle. Additionally, PAPs are required to complete an HIC home study and provide HIC with criminal and child abuse record clearances, medical approvals, financial information, and background information.
At this time, the Ka Makana program is open to PAPs that are Hawaii residents only.
Complete the HIC Application
The HIC Application for Adoption Services and Services Agreement provides us with information about you and your adoptive needs. You are asked to list references, your reasons for wishing to adopt, and the type of child you think would best suit your family. You will also be asked to write a “Dear Birth Mother” letter. (You may wish to schedule a phone or face to face appointment with a member of the HIC Ka Makana team to discuss this letter before you submit it.) Submit the HIC Application for Adoption Services and Services Agreement to HIC along with your application fee and required attachments and HIC will be in touch.
Complete the Step Two Packet
The HIC Step Two packet contains the contracts, clearances and guidelines required for the home study, and for most adoption programs. You can work on these concurrent to beginning your HIC home study process.
Begin your Pre-Adoption Training
All HIC prospective adoptive families are required to complete a minimum of ten (10) hours of pre-adoption training. These training requirements are available to be completed at HIC throughout the year as well as through online courses. Training is required to be completed prior to child placement.
Complete the Home Study
HIC will complete a home study for residents of Hawaii. Clients living outside of Hawaii are required to work with HIC to identify an HIC-approved home study provider. In order for you to receive HIC program approval, an original copy of your home study should be submitted to HIC as soon as possible. Home study details and requirements can be found in the HIC Step Two Packet in the Home Study Section. Call HIC to schedule your home study.
Receive the HIC Ka Makana Domestic Adoption Program Packet
HIC clients receive the HIC Ka Makana Domestic Adoption Program Packet during the home study process. This packet includes information and forms necessary for completing the initial aspects of your adoption. Review the packet and begin collecting required documents.
Send your Ka Makana documents to HIC
Your HIC Ka Makana documentation should be hand delivered to the HIC office, or sent to HIC via postal mail to our street address (1168 Waimanu St., Honolulu, HI 96814). We recommend you consider certified or express mail to ensure proper delivery. Please sign the signature waiver so the envelope can be delivered after hours if necessary.
You are Matched with a Birth Parent
You will be matched with (a) birth parent(s) assigned to you through counseling and discussion with the birth family’s wishes. The information you receive will generally include brief family medical information, birth mother’s expected due date, a list of expected pregnancy and birth-related expenses (if any), and demographics of the birth family.
Make Travel Arrangements
For prospective adoptive families living outside of Hawaii, travel to Hawaii will likely be required prior to the birth of your prospective adoptive child. The length of stay will vary based on the details of the birth, the health of the child, the specifics of the adoption service plan, as well as interstate clearances require to travel with an adopted child.
Return Home with your Child
You are strongly advised to have your child checked at a pre-scheduled appointment with your child’s pediatrician after placement, and that you pay special attention to your child’s needs in the first few days. If you do not currently have a pediatrician we encourage clients to identify and interview a pediatrician prior to placement.
Once home with your child, you are required by HIC and the State of Hawaii to complete a minimum of at least two (2) post placement visits within the first six (6) months of placement with the HIC social worker. The first visit will take place in your home within a few weeks of placement. Subsequent visits will be either at the HIC office or in your home, based on need through HIC’s determination. HIC may require additional visits if deemed needed based on the best interests of the child or based on the laws of the state where the child was born. These reports may be submitted to Family Court for the final adoption process.
Once home with the child, you may contact an attorney to file your adoption petition in Family Court. During the wait time for a hearing date, the post placement reports will be completed.