Adopt a Child Through Foster Care
When a couple has a hard time having a natural child, they often turn to the adoption option. Most quickly get discouraged by many factors. All private or international adoptions are expensive, and many adults don’t have the funds to pursue this option.
Some have a desire to help an orphan from another country, such as Haiti, but many agencies require at least one trip to the country and that can be difficult to work out. Foster care adoption is another option that often isn’t highly publicized or explored, and may fit many family’s needs.
The Cost of a Foster Care Adoption
While many small differences exist between states, for most foster care adoptions, there is no cost to the adoptive parents. Others have to pay a small amount such as lawyers fees, which often get reimbursed. In addition, many children receive monthly subsidies after the adoption is finalized if they are considered a hard to place child. Children who qualify for subsidies may be:
- an older child
- part of a sibling group
- a minority
- a special needs child
The Process of Becoming a Foster-Adoptive Parent
As with private and international adoption, the process is detailed, and thorough measures are taken to ensure children are placed in loving, capable homes. The basic steps to become qualified to adopt a foster child are:
- Orientation: Prospective parents can get to know the caseworkers in their county’s Department of Social Service foster care department. They can call their local office to find the next date, and can stop by to ask questions and get some information. There is no obligation to sign up for anything.
- Training. Every state does this differently, and some are more involved than others. Parents may meet once a week for several weeks, or have an intensive one weekend training session. While this may seem time consuming, this is a crucial step to ensure parents know all the aspects of foster care and adoption.
- Home-Study: A home study is a written profile on the family. It includes information on family members’ education, background, medical history, and finances, just to name a few. Prospective parents will need to fill out an abundance of paperwork, and caseworkers will make several visits to the household to obtain all the necessary information. This will help in making a good match with a child who needs a home.
- Match: Caseworkers will look at what children are available, and connect them with parents who are compatible. Prospective parents can say no if they feel a child would not fit well in their family for any reason.
- Placement in Care: The child comes to live in the prospective family’s home and at this time the parents are technically foster parents. While waiting to finalize the adoption, the child settles in and the family has a chance to get used to each other.
- Finalization: With a visit to the local family court, a judge declares the child a part of the family forever. Time to celebrate!
Information About Children who are Available to Adopt
Many adults would like to adopt a child, but the typical routes of private or international adoption often are cost-prohibitive. Foster care adoption may be a possible solution for many people, and interested adults can call their local foster care department to find out answers to all their questions.