At the Catalyst Center we practice Collaborative/Therapeutic Assessment, a well-researched, individualized approach to assessment that has been shown to be beneficial to those who participate in it. We use assessment as an opportunity for brief treatment geared towards answering your questions and planning your next steps towards living the life you desire. Check out this weekly series highlighting The Catalyst Center’s approach to assessment and what types of testing we can do for you.

Pre-Adoption Assessment

What is a Pre-Adoption Psychological Assessment?

At The Catalyst Center we provide pre-adoption psychological assessments for families adopting internationally and domestically. We tailor our assessments to meet the specific requirements of each country with which we work, and work with your adoption agency to ensure we fulfill all requirements. Generally speaking the question we seek to answer in the assessment is “Are these parents ready to adopt, and if not what additional support do they need to become ready to adopt?”

Our pre-adoption evaluations are more than just another hoop to jump through. Instead, we use the assessment process as a therapeutic opportunity for our adoptive parents to learn more about themselves and their relationship and gain the confidence and skills needed to take on the wonderful, life-altering challenge of adoption. Part of this therapeutic approach to assessment means that we invite all of our parents to ask their own unique questions about themselves and their relationship for us to consider along with the general adoption-readiness question. The answers to these personal questions are just for you, and are not included in the formal report we prepare for the adoption unless you request it.

 How long is this process?

The assessment usually takes place during 2-3 in-person meetings as well as time for the assessor to score and interpret the tests and write a report or letter summarizing his or her findings. We strive to work with your timeline, and with parents who are able to schedule their sessions in quick succession we are often able to complete a pre-adoption evaluation with a doctoral level assessor in 2-3 weeks from start to finish.

If you complete your assessment with an advanced graduate student (under the supervision of our owner, Dr. Erin Jacklin), our training requirements slow the process down considerably so we request that you plan accordingly. Graduate student assessments usually take 4-6 weeks to complete.

What if we need additional support post-adoption?

We love to continue our relationship with adoptive parents post-adoption. Often, the families we have worked with return to The Catalyst Center for parenting coaching and support, or even just for a quick “tune up” during major developmental milestones in your parenting journey.

A wonderful aspect of going through the pre-adoption evaluation process at The Catalyst Center is that we can offer support and personalized recommendations long after you bring home your son or daughter. Because we work within a tight-knit team of therapists, several of whom specialize in child and family therapy, understand the unique needs of adoptive children, and focus on building attachment bonds within families, we can make personalized recommendations and help connect you with the right support and services so you can jump right into getting the assistance you need.