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.

The Benefits When Adopting From Foster Care

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Adopting a child, regardless of what means you go through, can be one of the most fulfilling and rewarding acts of kindness a prospective parent could ever go through.

Not only can adopting a child from a foster facility be more cost effective than any other kind of adoption agency, there are also incentives in place, depending on the state, to make foster adoption more economically viable than other means. This includes free healthcare, free education and tax credits.

Though adoption should be extremely well thought out and requires a certain change of lifestyle, the end result could be mutually beneficial for the parent(s) and the child.

So what are the full benefits for the parents?


Other than a huge sense of satisfaction, adopting from a foster program is probably the biggest advantage relative to other institutions. Whereas private adoption can cost up to $30,000, foster adoption on average costs on average little to nothing when done correctly. Parents can apply for monthly financial support to help raise the child, and a parent that adopts a child with special needs can get a$11,900 tax credit, regardless of what the expenses are. Congress has also made federal tax credits available for foster care adoptions to help offset required fees, court costs, legal and travel expenses, so true costs are relatively little.

Free Healthcare and College Tuition

Another one of the main perks involved with foster adoption is that families of foster children are eligible to receive health care through the Medicaid program until either the age of 18 or 21. Furthermore, depending on the state, children can be automatically eligible for free tuition from any state institution, as well as some private institutions.

Legally Secure

Children are not made available for adoption until a court has already terminated the parental rights of their birth parents, this form of adoption is very secure. Unlike other programs, which might not be legally binding or as safe as other means, foster programs are always completely secure.

Community Support

One of the biggest bonuses of adopting a foster child is the immediate community support you receive after adoption. Not only are there classes and meetings specifically designed for new parents, there are also adoption assistance programs and 24-hour hotlines and online groups.

Though adopting a child can be one of the biggest steps an individual can take in his or her life, it can also be the most rewarding. In order to maximize that reward, it is crucial to plan the process out to the best of your ability, ensure that the right steps have been made and understand what the future should hold.