Every year, 135,000 children are adopted through foster care. If you think you want to adopt a child, you should first educate yourself on the adoption process to see what it entails. Take a look at this in-depth guide to learn the requirements, and process to adopt a child from foster care.
What Is Foster Care?
Foster families take in a child for two main reasons:
- Until the child is reunited with the birth parents
- Until the child is adopted by a selected family
Answering Common Adoption Questions
Before becoming a parent to a newly adopted child, there are several questions you should find answers to. These questions will clear the air about what goes into the adoption process.
How Long Does It Take?
Children spend roughly 12-13 months in foster care. The adoption process is long and detailed in keeping with the best interest of the child. From the time you contact an attorney to the time you are selected to be a child’s new parent, it could take four to twelve months.
How Old Are the Children?
Some people think foster care children are infants and toddlers. However, this is not always the case. While studies show that half of the children are ages seven and under, 19 percent are teenagers. Organizations such as FamiliesFirst Network under the Department of Children and Families (DCF) help provide child protective services like adoption from foster care. Adoption attorneys will work with these child-based care networks to make sure the adoption process goes smoothly.
What Are Adoption Subsidies?
Subsidies are implemented to close the gap of any financial issues a family would have concerning adoption. If the child meets a special needs standard, the family could receive subsidies well into adulthood.
Can You Set Preferences?
While working with a social worker, you may tell them the qualities you would like the child to possess.
These qualities include:
- Mental Health
- Physical Health
While you request these specifications, you should always keep an open mind to older children or to those who don’t meet your set standards.
Do You Need an Attorney?
Most states do not mandate you hire an adoption attorney. You may go through a social worker if you desire.
That said, an adoption attorney may be the best choice because:
- Adoptions are run by state law
- An attorney would know how to handle future issues, such as if the birth parents want the child back
- An attorney will handle the legal documents and decide the terms of adoption
An attorney has extensive knowledge of laws and regulations concerning adoptions. By hiring an attorney, you could leave the legalities to them and focus mainly on the adoption process.
How to Adopt a Child Through Foster Care
If you know you want to adopt a child through foster care, you need to know what goes into the actual process.
Make Sure Adoption Is Right for You
The above are all questions that should be asked and answered before deciding to adopt.
There are still questions you should ask yourself, including the following:
- Am I ready to be a parent?
- Should I take on such a long-term responsibility?
- Am I financially stable enough to be a parent?
- Is my current family accepting of this decision?
- Do I have the time and money to put into the adoption process?
- Why do I want to adopt?
- Am I okay with not having a biological child?
Your answers will aid in realizing your motivation for adoption.
FamiliesFirst Network Lakeview Center is a trusted partner for foster care adoption cases in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton counties. Most children in foster care are reunified or permanently placed with relatives or family friends. However, some children need permanent adoptive families. FamiliesFirst Network has a variety of amazing children that are looking for their forever homes. As an adoption attorney, I will work alongside FamiliesFirst to make sure the adoption transition is as smooth as possible.
A home study is an assessment of your family. Naturally, a child cannot go to anyone who wants to adopt.
A worker will come out to do the following:
- Interview you
- Interview your family
- Perform a home inspection
- Assess your personality, characteristics, and temperament
- Perform a background check
This person should also train you in the adoption process, give you tips, and help answer any questions.
Meet the Child(ren)
You may go to meet the children to see what child would fit in your home the best. You could form a special bond and even learn more about the child, such as their favorite toys, games, and activities.
Wait to Be Selected
After you have gone through the initial process, all you can do is wait. It can be excruciating, but once you get that call saying you are selected, all you have to do is wait to become a “legal guardian”.
Hire the Best Adoption Attorney
Florida Adoption is a leading practice in adoption services.
For anyone looking to adopt a child, hiring a Florida Adoption attorney means you will get someone who not only understands the ins and outs of adoption but is passionate about the children’s well-being.
Whether you are looking to pick an adoption plan or want to adopt, we explain it all on our Hoping to Adopt page. Begin your journey with your Florida Adoption attorney.