For many families, adopting a child is a way to bring a brand new member into the family. The most common way to adopt a child is heading to an adoption agency which matches parents with children to be adopted. Several parents are also turning towards overseas adoption a la Angelina Jolie and Madonna. However, another child adoption to consider is state foster care.
There are thousands of children across the USA who are placed in foster care because their birth parents are unable to care for them. Being part of the state foster care system means these children are not guaranteed any permanent home and often move from family to family, longing for a family to call their own. Adoptive parents can adopt older children from the state foster care system. The requirements for adoption vary from state to state but below we have outlined the basic steps for a state foster care child adoption.
Adopting A Child From Foster Care
If you are interested in adopting a child from the state foster care system, these are the basic steps you will need to follow.
- Get in touch with your local foster care office. Acquire a child adoption application from this office. In some states, this will be a local office of the state’s Department of Social and Health Services. In other states, adoptive services are administered through the county, under the Department of Social Services or Department of Human Services. Phone numbers for these offices can be located in the government section of the phone book.
- Once you have completed your application, you have to register yourself as a licensed provider of foster care. This will involve a full assessment of your life, your partner’s life , your income and your living arrangements, to ensure you are capable of properly bringing up a child. Criminal background checks, credit checks etc will also be conducted. The licensure process varies from state to state so ask your local state foster care office about what will be assessed in your application.
- Once you have been assessed and your home and you qualify as an adoptive parent for foster care, you move on to the next stage where the child to be adopted is selected. This can occur in one of two ways. Either the social worker will contact you abotu a child they think is fitted for your needs, or you may contact the office about a child that you believe you would like to bring into your home and family.
- Once a child has been selected, meetings will be arranged to get you acquainted with the child. The meetings will increase over time, in frequency and in length so that the child can gradually get used to you and your home before they make the transition into your family. A social worker will be assisting you through the entire process until the child adoption process is completely finalized.
- Finally, once the child has properly acclimatized to your home, the legal paperwork needs to be completed to finalize your child’s adoption. You will need expert help so be prepred to hire an attorney to help you file an adoption petition and complete the child adoption process for you.