The 6 Avenues of Adoption, Part 5: Foster Care Adoptions

Adoption, Blog

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This is part 5 of a 6 part series discussing avenues of adoption. In the first four weeks we’ve covered Agency Adoptions, Adoption Consultants, Private Adoptions, and Embryo Adoptions.

Have you been curious about foster care adoption?

My husband and I adopted our daughter through foster care when she was eight years of age.

With foster care, you will find most children who are available for adoption are going to be eight years of age and older. That is typically how old they are by the time their parental rights have been officially terminated and they’re available for adoption. There are some situations where there are younger children who are available. Generally, they are attached to a sibling group.

The Foster Care Process

Families who are hoping to adopt a child from foster care should become licensed as a foster parent, understanding that the whole goal of foster care is to reunite that child back with their birth family. You are simply there to love that child and to care for them until they can be successfully reintegrated back in with their birth parents. When that is not successful, the children will become available to other family members first and then to the foster family.

When you become licensed as a foster parent with the hopes of adopting, just know that you will not be able to adopt most of the children who come into your care. They will try to be reintegrated back with their birth family first before they would become available to be adopted by you. Generally, most adoptions are closed from foster care because the children have been removed from the home due to negligence or abuse.

Staffing

When an adoptive family is looking at the photo listings and finds a child or children they are interested in, you can inquire about the children, then your adoption agency will submit your family’s home study. The state agency that is working with these children will send the agency more information to pass along to the hopeful adoptive family. Eventually, the child moves on to what’s called a Staffing. The Staffing generally includes about four interested families. The adoption staff in the room will choose which family they think is the best fit for that child.

From there, the child will be placed in the family’s home and evaluated to make sure the placement is going well. If all is well, then the adoption can be finalized. When you enter this process, it’s helpful to recognize you can’t always know how long the process is going to take.

Requirements

  • In order to become licensed as a foster parent, you need to be at least 21 years of age.
  • There are no marriage requirements when it comes to adopting from foster care.
  • You have to show financial stability
  • You can have a pretty varied medical background. It’s a little more flexible to be able to adopt from foster care if you’ve had medical, mental health, or prior criminal history. Generally, a felony will disqualify you from doing a state foster care adoption.

Financial obligations

There’s very little cost in being able to adopt from foster care. Generally, those expenses are covered by state taxes, as state funding pays for the foster care system. Typically, when children are adopted from foster care, they come with what’s called a subsidy.

Sometimes that’s a monthly subsidy that you receive to care for the child after placement. And then sometimes the subsidy also will cover the adoption cost.

I hope you found this helpful! For more information, check out this YouTube video and stay tuned for next week when we talk about international adoption.

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