Withdrawal of a Referral

Important Info


Agency Procedures Regarding Withdrawal of Referral

Policy: It is the policy of Saint Mary not to withdraw a referral from a prospective adoptive parent(s)  unless the following conditions have been met: 

  1. Parents have had two weeks (unless extenuating circumstances involving the child’s best interests require  a more expedited decision) to consider the needs of the child and their ability to meet those needs; 
  2. Parents have had the opportunity to obtain a physician review of medical information and other  descriptive information, including photos and/or video of the child, if available. 

Extenuating circumstances regarding the above include but are not limited to a sudden change in the medical  condition of the child, the need for immediate medical treatment for the child, or a decision by the country to withdrawal the referral.   

The best interests of the child govern extenuating circumstances.  

Saint Mary may withdraw a referral at any point after the referral issuance if extenuating circumstances involving the  child’s best interests require such a withdrawal. Saint Mary may consider mental health concerns that may put the referred child in danger, if duty of candor was breached by the parent, death, divorce, pregnancy or change in criminal history. Other factors  in determining the best interests of the child may be considered as well. 

Withdrawal of Referral by Saint Mary 

Step 1: Discussion about specific case

In the event that any team member determines that the withdrawal of a referral by Saint Mary may be necessary, said  team member must immediately discuss potential withdrawal of the referral with the agency’s director,  OM,  and SWS. The following must be taken into consideration when  considering a withdrawal, however not limited to: 

  1. What is the primary reason for considering withdrawal of referral? Drug related? Mental health issues? Health  Issues? 
  2. Is the reason because of non-compliance with the Duty of Candor?
  3. Do the reasons require reporting to any entity or child welfare organizations? 
  4. Depending on the reason for withdrawal, are there other options available other than withdrawal?
  5. Is the withdrawal in the best interest of the child? 
  6. In What process phase are the parents, and so what actions will need to be taken as a result of the potential withdrawal? 
  7. Will the parents be able to remain in the program and accept a referral in the future? 
  8. If yes, how will this impact the parents moving forward? 
  9. If no, will Saint Mary need to close the client’s file and terminate the agency relationship? 
  10. Will the family need/want support services after the withdrawal? What is the plan for support? 

Step 2: SWS puts together a summary for withdrawal of referral. 

If the Director, OM, and SWS conclude that a referral should be withdrawn by Saint Mary in the best interests of the child,  the SWS will draft a summary explaining why the withdrawal of a referral would be in the best interests of the  child and provide it to Saint Mary’s director for approval.  

Step 3: Approval of Withdrawal 

Saint Mary’s Director may conduct further investigation, as may be necessary. If it is found that the withdrawal  of the referral is in the best interests of the child and will inform both the SWS and the OM of the approval to withdraw a referral. 

Step 4: Notify the Foreign Services Provider (FSP) and Central Authority 

Saint Mary’s CPM shall notify the FSP or FP and Central Authority of the agency’s intent to withdraw the referral and may provide the report drafted by the SWS. Saint Mary’s director will inquire what specific steps are required  (if any) by the Central Authority regarding the withdrawal of the referral and any affect this withdrawal will have on the PAPs ability to move forward with an adoption from the country. Any guidance provided by the Central Authority will be complied with, provided it is compliant with Hague regulations and State law.

Step 4: Inform Parents

Saint Mary’s SWS  and OM shall inform parents by phone within three (3) business days of the decision to withdraw a referral. Following the phone call a document will be submitted to parents summarizing the reasons for withdrawal, stating that the referral was withdrawn. The document should state whether the case is closed or on hold. The document should be dated and stored with the agency’s files. Notes from the call with the  client should be included in the file. 

Step 5: Provision of Support to Parents  

Saint Mary may provide additional support and counseling to parents if it is deemed that parents may be able to move  forward with the referral of another child in the future. This determination will be made on a case-by-case basis.   

Withdrawal of Referral by Entity other than Saint Mary 

Step 1: Notification to Saint Mary  

Saint’s Mary’s FSP or FP shall inform the agency as FSP becomes aware that a referral is being withdrawn by an entity other than Saint Mary. This would include withdrawal of a referral by the country’s CA or a withdrawal of a referral could result from a birth parent or family member changing  their minds during the adoption process in the foreign country or the Court not approving the adoption. 

Step 2: Notification to Parent(s) 

Saint Mary’s SWS will call Parent(s) upon confirmation from Saint Mary’s FSP that said referral is lost to tell the parents that the referral was lost, reasons why,  if known, and provide parents with their next steps towards obtaining  another referral, if appropriate.  SWS shall offer counseling to help parents walk through their loss. If parents seek additional counseling, SWS can assist parents in finding additional resources in their area.  

Step 3: Documenting the File 

Saint Mary’s OM and/or SWS will update the parent’s file, both electronically, and in the agency’s files that a referral was lost.   The file should include any known info such as why the referral was withdrawn, any notes from the call with the parents, the parents’ need for counseling (if any) and their desires for any other help/assistance/counseling, if any.  The file should also clearly state whether the parents will continue with their adoption.