Helping Hands Adoption Agency | USA programme
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USA programme

Applicants are encouraged to meet with HHAMA as soon as practical, as with all HHAMA adoption programmes, we believe it is vital to meet with HHAMA before final selection of a country program.  HHAMA preparation can help ensure your expectations and approval are appropriate for the country programme of your choice.


Once you have selected USA programme we will introduce you to as many of the USA agencies/attorneys as you wish to contact and the selection of US agency/attorney is one you make yourself, in consultation with HHAMA.  You will find links to each agencies website so you can conduct your own review at anytime.

On selection of an agency/attorney to partner with you will sign contracts of engagement with the USA agency/attorney and HHAMA.  That will formally register you as a client of the USA programme.  A complete dossier of documents is then required, as specified by your selected USA agency/attorney.

Once registered, dossier complete and birth parent profile book/letter in place, the USA agency/attorney will make your profile available to birth mother/family seeking to make an adoption plan.  You may be contacted by or interviewed by potential birth parents before selection or may be selected based on your profile. This process can differ by agency / attorney selected and so do please discuss details with HHAMA as part of your preparation process.

Should the match proceed, you may be asked to attend the birth of the child or to arrive later, these decisions are taken by the birth family working with the adoption counselor assigned to support her/them.  Once in the USA there is a minimum of 6 weeks required by the Irish regulations before an Article 17 formal placement proposal can be processed but applicants need to be prepared to spend approx 10 weeks in the USA.  During that time, depending on your choice of agency, you may have temporary custody of the child or the child may be in Cradle Care.  During your meeting with HHAMA in advance of registration we will explain the full details of this process.

Following Article 17 approval families may return to Ireland and begin the approx.  6 month period of post placement pre-adoption completion period.

Adoption is completed by the USA court in accordance with Hague Article 23, following legal review of the adoption and the required post placement reports which applicants commit to undertake on return to Ireland.  Once adoption is court completed it can take another number of months for Article 23 issue.

We are currently approved to deal with the following four (4) USA agencies:

Adoption Arc – www.adoptionarc.us

Heart Sent – www.heartsent.org

Forever Families Through Adoption – www.foreverfamiliesthroughadoption.org

Michael S. Goldstein – www.adoptgold.com

Click here to view details on each of the USA Agencies.

10th May 2017 update

Fee schedule USA programme

HHAMA Irish Fees

The HHAMA Fee applies to the Irish costs for intercountry adoption and is additional to the Sending Country Programme fee.

Details of the HHAMA Irish Fee are currently available on our Fees page

Sending Country Fees

Please contact us for details on fees for this programme. In effect each US agencies has its own schedule of fees which they will make available to any applicant on request.  See Agency tab for links to the agencies approved.

Each USA agency / attorney has a Pack / Dossier list unique to that agency/attorney.  Some key points in terms of USA dossier.

  1. It is necessary to commit to annual updates of key documents, Homestudy, Medical, Garda Vetting and Financial documents.  In some cases annual renewal of Referee letters and TB testing is also required.
  2. Some USA agency/attorney require Fingerprinting, others accept Garda vetting from Irish Authorities.
  3. Some USA agency/attorney require Trans-racial training or questionnaire’s to correctly highlight the challenges of transracial adoption.
  4. Infant CPR is also a requirement so applicants need to find a training program to certify training in Infant CPR.

All agency/attorney require basic pack/dossier items :  Article 15, Homestudy, Medical reports, Financial reports, Garda Vetting, References, Birth Parent Profile book / letter, Agency/attorney contracts and questionnaires.

HHAMA will discuss the details with all applicants during the pre-registration discussions.

The post placement pre-adoption complete reports are a critical element of the USA program.  Traditionally inter-country adoption programs require reporting called Post Placement reports after a family return home to Ireland following adoption completion in the country of origin.

With the USA program the adoption is not complete until approx. 6 months after placement and return to Ireland and these post placement pre-adoption complete reports are a critical element of the court required adoption approval documents.

The number and frequency of these reports is determined by the state laws that pertain to the adoption.  There are approximately 4 reports required and may be as frequent as once a month or once every 2 months.  Any delay in the submission of these PPPAC reports will delay the ultimate court date and therefore adoption completion.  These reports must be completed by your assessing social worker or an equivalent approved assessing social worker.  Currently TUSLA and PACT are approved to carry out these reports.