In this blog post, we’ll be going over the steps to take to adopt from foster care. According to the most recent federal data, there are over 400,000 children in foster care in the United States and 100,000 are waiting to be adopted. These are kids whose biological parents’ rights have been terminated because they didn’t correct the problems that put their child in foster care in the first place. They are not at the age to get out of the foster care system, so they’re waiting to be adopted by a family.
If you have the heart for adopting foster care children, then you have two ways that you can go about it:
1. Adopting from foster care
How do you go about adopting a child from foster care? Here are the 3 steps you need to follow:
Step 1 - You’ll want to look up the Health and Human Services department in your state and find the website where they post pictures of the children who are ready to be adopted. In Nebraska, we have a site called the Nebraska Heart Gallery and they display children that are okay with having their photo on the website.
Step 2 - Contact the caseworker or Health and Human Service department in your state to let them know of your desire to adopt from foster care.
Step 3- Most states require you to be a licensed foster care parent even though you won’t be fostering. This is to ensure that you have gone through classes and a proper background check so they know you’re a safe family for that child.
2. Foster to adopt
Foster to adopt is a form of adoption in which a child is first placed into a home as a foster child with the expectation that the child will be reunited with his biological parents. If the rights of the biological parents get terminated, the child will become legally free to be adopted and you, the foster parent, could be considered for adoption of the child. Here are the 3 steps in the foster to adopt process:
Step 1 - The first step you need to take if you’re interested in fostering to adopt is to research the different foster care agencies in your state, call the ones that you think would be a great fit for you, and ask them about the process.
Step 2 - After you pick the foster care agency that you'd like to work with, you’ll need to complete their required steps to become a licensed foster parent.
Step 3 - After you’ve completed that process, the final step is to accept your first foster child into your home!
If you are interested in adopting from foster care, please don’t let the requirements and steps deter you from doing so. My advice is to do your research and collect as many resources as you can to help you understand how to parent children who are in foster care.
As you probably already know, there is oftentimes a lot of trauma involved for many of these children. Maybe they’ve been abused or neglected, and quite often they’ve experienced more trauma than most adults have in their entire lives. So, being educated and knowing how to deal with issues when they arise will be a tremendous asset.
Are you looking to adopt a foster child or have any questions regarding the adoption process? Then Schedule a call with me today!