How to Adopt a Child From Foster Care
To adopt a foster child, you don’t need to be perfect or have it all figured out. You simply need a willingness to open your heart and home and provide stability and love to kids who need it most. Many foster children were removed from their family due to neglect or abuse and then once they are placed in a foster care they often move from placement home to placement. Thus, it’s easy to understand they are hesitant to trust.
If you are considering adopting a foster child there are numerous helpful resources at a community, state and national level. Adoption is a process in which children become full and permanent legal members of another family.
In order to adopt a child from foster care, prospective parents must participate in what is called a ‘home study’ prior to an adoptive placement. A home study is a way to ensure that the foster child is placed in a stable home and is a good match with the prospective parent. Learn more about who can adopt and the adoption home study process here Child Welfare Information Gateway’s State Statues.
To learn more about adopting from Colombia visit Holt International, one of Kidsave’s agency partners.
Finding Your Foster Child
Children in foster care range in age from infants to teenagers. The older a child becomes, the less chance they have to be adopted. Public agencies locate and prepare families to adopt children from foster care. The best place to start your U.S. search is right in your local area. However, there are also online exchanges: organizations that connect prospective families with children in foster care who are waiting to be adopted. A great source to start your search is the Information Gateway’s list of State photolistings. There you will find pictures and descriptions of children in foster care within a given state. Or, visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway for contact information for local and county Child Welfare Agencies.
For Colombian children, you can start with our Summer Miracles gallery and visit our agency partner websites.
For US foster kids in Los Angeles area in our Weekend Miracles program visit their gallery here.
Costs of Adopting from Foster Care
According to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), the number of children and teens in U.S. foster care and the number of youth adopted from foster care rose in 2017. While the cost of adoption could be an obstacle for families who want to adopt, there is financial assistance for U.S. adoption that can be found at adoption costs and sources of financial support. For international adoption costs and supports learn more here.
Support and Training for Adopting from Foster Care
Parents who adopt from foster care must undergo specific training to understand the effects of trauma and how to help children heal. According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway fact sheet, Parenting a Child Who Has Experienced Trauma, parenting a traumatized child may require a shift from seeing a “bad kid” to seeing a kid who has had bad things happen. A few resources for foster training are: PATH (Parents as Tender Healers), PRIDE (Parent Resources for Information, Development, and Education), or PS-MAPP (Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting); some states and agencies may use local versions of these.
What We Do
Kidsave helps kids ages 8-18 in U.S. foster care and from Colombia find lasting relationships with caring adults.
Kidsave’s Weekend Miracles program places older foster youth with volunteer host families on weekends or for summer visits, so that potential families can get to know the children in a safe, fun, and comfortable environment, where they have opportunities to create natural bonds. These connections can often lead permanency through adoption or legal guardianship. This model is called the Family Visit Model.
Deciding to adopt a foster child is an exciting and life changing experience. We hope you have found this article useful as a first step to understanding the process of adopting a child from foster care.