I currently have a BA in sociology and would like to pursue a career in adoption preferable international adoption. Can anyone tell me how to move forward into this field?
Thank You
For what it's worth months later and from a non-professional -- I can tell you that I volunteered at an int'l adopition agency for a year. While there, I was among the first to know of several inside openings.
Also, the woman I assisted had not had any education. She just started as an assistant to a social worker, having had office experience only. And, of course, a lovely, kind voice and attitude and sincere interest in adoption. The social workers had social degrees of some sort and it was especially helpful if they spoke another language - Spanish, Korean, Chinese, and Russian were the most helpful.
As a professional of International Adoptions for over 5 years now, I can tell you that you need to following to pursue a career in this field:
1. At least a Bachelor's Degree....most agencies will prefer for you to be either a LSW (Licensed Social Worker) or LMSW (Licensed Master Social Worker) could possibly get your SWA (Social Work Associate), since you have a Bachelor's in another discipline. I am not sure what state you reside in and some states will not grant an SWA license.
2. You really need to be a patient person, who is able to learn things quickly. International Adoption is very unpredictable and will change in the breeze! Learning the process is difficult and then adding other countries to your agenda is difficult and requires a lot of concentration, patience and quick-learning.
3. You need to be very compassionate and understanding to the adoptive families' needs. Most families need an ear to talk to, throughout the entire process, as it is a roller-coaster ride for them! Calling them back is crucial and very appreciated.
4. It is helpful, though not necessary, to be able to speak/read other languages. Either the language of the country you will be working with, or the language of adoptive families who reside in your area (for example if you live in a high hispanic area--> then you speak Spanish, as well as English).
5. As mentioned by the previous poster--you could always try to get your foot in the door, by sending a letter and resume to agencies in your area. Advise them that you wish to get involved in the adoption field and would be open to doing any job that they have open that you would be qualified for. Just so that you can get a feel of the field.
Hope this helps! If I can assist you any further, let me know.