ATWA wants parents to be prepared and informed about adoptive parenting and the needs of the adopted child. ATWA requires 10 hours, for each parent, if this is your first international adoption. Returning parents may request a reduction. Please note China is now requiring 12 hours. Below is a list of the topics that must be covered by this education. This education must be completed before the home study is completed.
- The intercountry adoption process, the general characteristics and needs of children awaiting adoption, and the in-country conditions that affect children in the Convention country from which the prospective adoptive parent(s) plan to adopt;
- The effects on children of malnutrition, relevant environmental toxins, maternal substance abuse, and of any other known genetic, health, emotional, and developmental risk factors associated with children from the expected country of origin;
- Information about the impact on a child of leaving familiar ties and surroundings, as appropriate to the expected age of the child;
- Data on institutionalized children and the impact of institutionalization on children, including the effect on children of the length of time spent in an institution and of the type of care provided in the expected country of origin;
- Information on attachment disorders and other emotional problems that institutionalized or traumatized children and children with a history of multiple caregivers may experience, before and after their adoption;
- Information on the laws and adoption processes of the expected country of origin, including foreseeable delays and impediments to finalization of an adoption;
- Information on the long-term implications for a family that has become multicultural through intercountry adoption;
- An explanation of any reporting requirements associated with Convention adoptions, including any post-placement or post-adoption reports required by the expected country of origin.
After a specific child is identified, additional education includes:
- The child's history and cultural, racial, religious, ethnic, and linguistic background;
- The known health risks in the specific region or country where the child resides; and
- Any other medical, social, background, birth history, educational data, developmental history, or any other data known about the particular child.