Adoption and Foster Care – Five Tips on How to Adopt a Foster Child

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Those looking into adoption and foster care need to realize that if they wish to give their foster child a permanent home, the process of finalizing the adoption could be a long one. It takes around a year or so. If a foster parent wants to adopt the child in his or her care, or someone just wants to directly adopt a child in the system, all that is involved can seem confusing and overwhelming. With this said, it helps to have some tips on hand that break down the legal process piece by piece.

First, people need to locate local adoption agencies. These agencies have to be asked about whatever experiences they have with the adoption of foster children. Potential parents then have to select one that they are comfortable with. Once one is selected, those wishing to adopt children need to make sure that they meet all foster adoption requirements. These vary from state to state, but they generally dictate that parents be between twenty-one and fifty-five years of age; have no criminal records; and live in a house that meets their state’s size requirements.

Second, paperwork will need to be filled out that asks applicants for basic information, including name, address, employment history, and more. The applicant should at this point ask the agency about all of the adoption costs involved and see if they could be reimbursed for any of the fees. The agency may also recommend that some child care and parenting classes by taken.

Third, a home study appointment has to be set up with the agency. Before this process takes place, however, the agency will check into the potential adoptive parent’s employment and criminal (if any) history. The applicant will also have to get some solid recommendations; family and friends are usually chosen as references.

Fourth, the home study is conducted contingent on the applicant’s passing all criminal and employment background checks. This involves a caseworker coming to the home to make sure that it is suitable to raise a child or more in. If the person applying for adoption is already a foster parent, then the worker will check to see that the parent is following the proper foster care procedures.

Fifth, once the prospective adoptive parent passes the home study test, then he or she can be placed with a child.

The adoption agency will place a child with the applicant, and a visit will be arranged (if the foster child is not already under the parent’s care) to ensure that both the parent and child are comfortable with the placement. Once the child moves in, then a court date will be arranged where adoption papers will be signed. This will make the adoption both legal and complete.