How do I adopt a child from foster care?
Children in the foster care system would love to have a permanent home, loving parents, continued guidance and companionship. But adoption laws do vary slightly from state to state. If you are considering adoption, it is important to understand your state’s adoption laws.
The good news is the foster care system is full of children ready to be adopted. Many of the children are older, including teenagers and pre-teens, and many are from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. Unfortunately, many of the children do have emotional issues due to abuse, neglect, abandonment and the lack of permanency in their lives.
If you have made the decision to adopt a child in foster care the first step is to contact an adoption agency. Next, you will have to complete a home study and find the child you would like to adopt. The home study is a perfect time for the social worker to identify what type of child your family is interested in adopting and would be best able to parent. Factors which may be evaluated include age, gender, race, and physical and mental health of the prospective parents.
Next, the agency can arrange for visitations with the child and develop a plan for the child to come into your home. Finally, the agency will complete a supervisory period prior to finalizing the adoption. The adoption process can generally be done nine to twelve months after the home study is completed.
Getting subsidies for adoption
Parents who are concerned about the cost of adopting a child from the foster care system should consult with the adoption agency about a monthly subsidy. It is not unusual for many families to qualify for monthly compensation, especially if the adoptive child has special needs. The amount varies by state and by child.
Do I need a lawyer to adopt from the foster system?
Most states do not require adoptive parents to hire an adoption lawyer to complete the adoption process from the foster care system, but some families do hire lawyers to ensure they are fully represented in the adoption process.
There is increased success of adoption within the foster care system if parents are realistic, flexible and utilize all the support provided from the state. Adoption is an adjustment for all families and can be more difficult if parents do not get help understanding what a child may need academically, medically, behaviorally, or emotionally.
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