Saturday, March 24, 2007

Psychological Exam Tips

I remember dreading having this done because it seemed like everyone else on the chat sites had a really hard time with this step. I guess we were extra blessed because this also went very smoothly for us. I guess my biggest tip is this: Check your health coverage. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that this would be covered by our health care plan and only cost us a $25 co-pay! I have read of many people that have not been so fortunate (or didn't know to check their health care plan) and ended up spending $300 to over $1000. If you can not get your health care to cover this then it's worth getting on a local chat site and requesting a referral. Then call around and make sure that you are getting the BEST price and jumping through the least hoops. I believe you have to use a licensed Psychologist but that is the only requirement (not a therapist). I have heard stories of some parents going through outrageous amounts of testing that is totally unnecessary. Here is what we did. We scheduled an appointment with a Psychologist, went in and had a short interview, filled out a written test, and left around 2 hours (or less) later...done. This letter will need to be notarized, authenticated/certified by the Secretary of State, and Apostilled by the Haitian Consulate.

UPDATE ON 3/28/07: I have been hearing a lot of talk on the chat sites that some orphanages are requesting only one letter for both parents. It would be worth looking into seeing if you can do this. If you can submit just one page you would cut back as much as $20 for the additional notary, $10 for the additional State Certification/authentication, $25 for the additional Apostille, and even an additional $10-15 if you are paying per page to have your dossier translated. This would total a savings of around $70! You may even find that the Psychologist might charge you less for the one letter-- worth looking into!

Here's an idea of what ours look like:

Clinical Record
Name: (Your name here) Provider: (Name of Psychologist, title) Date:
Personal Data
Social Security # Birth Date: Treatment Status: Active
Address Age: Previously Treated: No
Address Continued Gender: Pri. Care Physician:
State Race: Employer:
Zip Military Rank: Psychiatrist:
Your home phone Treatment start date: Referral Source: (Our insurance was here)
Work phone Setting: outpatient
Interviewer: (name of psychologist) Interview Date: Person Interviewed: Patient
Psychosocial History:
Family: Description of your family and family life here.
Development: Brief overview of how I was raised and information about my parents and siblings.
Brief description of my life from the time leaving my home to when I married
(your name) experiences no current emotional distress. She has no treatment for psychological reasons.
Brief description of your medical condition
Assessment Summary:
There are no psychological reasons to suggest that (your name here) should not continue with the adoption process.
Psychologists Signature
Typed Name and title
Licensed Psychologist
She had promised to have this notarized for us and mail it to us. You might want to ask when calling around if they can do this for you. However, ours never got around to sending us a notarized copy so we took it to a notary and wrote on it... This is a true, exact, and complete copy of the original document. Then we had our signature to that statement notarized. We have done this with many documents and have no problems at all with this. However, some people will insist you can not do it this way. I'll update if we end up running into any problem with doing this but are currently at the end of the adoption and have had no problem with it as well as knowing others who have done the same and have had no problem with it that have their children home. Remember, I'm just sharing what we did... Use your own judgement in these kind of decisions.
In hindsight: I'm learning that this letter could probably just have been a simple letter on the Psychologist's letterhead stating that they have interviewed you and find no reason why you should not be able to adopt. Keeping in mind that everything you have done needs to be translated into french, this could be a good thing for everyone.


Mrs. Greg Green said...

We happen to know 2 licensed psychologists who would probably do this for us at no charge. The thing is, we moved to Florida just last December, and both these psychs are in Texas. Do you think getting a letter from an out-of-state psych would raise any eyebrows?

Angela said...

Wow, another great question that I have no idea of an answer to. :) Sorry. It would be really fantastic if you can work that out. The only thing I can think of is that we had our Psych evals. done by someone in TX and moved afterwards to CA and were not required to do one in CA so I would think you would have a very good chance of doing this. I would encourage you to maybe ask a chat group so that you may be more likely to find someone who has either done this or tried it in the past. Good luck with it! Will you please post the answer you receive in this comments section if you think of it so that others may learn from it as well?